5 Multicultural Kid Crafts to Try This Thanksgiving

Bring cultural diversity and international spirit to your Thanksgiving with these five easy kid crafts.

Bonus: All of these kid crafts can be made with basic materials you probably already have! They involve minimal mess and are simple enough for most kids to complete on their own. (Another thing to be thankful for!) Don’t forget to check out our post for ideas for celebrating a bilingual Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving: A Harvest Celebration

Thanksgiving is a special day to gather with your loved ones and think of all that we have to be thankful for. The first Thanksgivings were a celebration of a good harvest.

Most cultures around the world have some type of harvest celebration. However, they’re not always in November because harvest celebrations coincide with a country’s seasons and the type of crop they’re harvesting.

Thanksgiving Kid Crafts Inspired By Multicultural Traditions

1. India: Pongal – Kolam Chalk Drawings

Pongal, the harvest festival of Southern India, is celebrated in January or February. It celebrates the successful harvest of sugar cane, rice, and turmeric. Traditional Kolam drawings are symmetrical and placed in front of doors.

It’s believed that they bring happiness and prosperity. For this activity, you need colored chalk and some space to get creative.

2. Vietnam: Mid-Autumn Festival – Lanterns

The Mid-Autumn Festival on August 15th not only celebrates a successful harvest, it also honors the children of Vietnam. Kids get special lanterns and take part in a parade. Make these lanterns with paper and tape. They just might inspire your own kids’ parade at home!

3. Portugal: Madeira Flower Festival – Headbands and Hats

The Madeira Flower Festival takes place in the Spring when flowers are blooming and features a parade with floats and flowers everywhere, especially worn on clothing.

Kids can make flowers out of any material you have: gift wrap, tissue, colored paper, paper towels, or scraps of fabric. Secure the flowers with pipe cleaner, tape, yarn, or rubber bands onto headbands, hats, belts or any article of clothing. Head outside for a mini parade, in true Flower Festival spirit.

4. United Kingdom: Harvest Festival – Corn Husk Dolls

The UK’s Harvest Festival occurs in September or October. It includes singing and decorating churches with baskets of food. A traditional harvest time craft is making dolls out of corn husks.

If you don’t have corn husks on hand, use scraps of fabric. (You can also use paper.) Kids can also add yarn hair and felt clothes – or use whatever materials you have available.

5. Israel: Sukkot – CD Suncatcher

The festival of Sukkot, in September or October, is a time to remember Israel’s agricultural roots. The holiday centers around a special kind of dwelling called a “sukkah,” which has a roof of organic material, like palm leaves. Embellish the sukkah with bright, shiny decorations. Make this craft with old CDs, and anything shiny and colorful you have on hand.

Comment and share your favorite holiday kid crafts projects. Tell us how you celebrate multicultural traditions with your family!

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Anneke Forzani founded Language Lizard (www.LanguageLizard.com) to provide educators, librarians, and parents with resources that develop literacy skills among English Language Learners, build inclusive classrooms, and celebrate cultural diversity. Language Lizard offers bilingual books in over 50 languages, multilingual audio resources, multicultural posters, and free lesson plans to support multicultural classrooms. The company also runs a blog (blog.languagelizard.com) for parents and teachers working with language learners and culturally diverse students. Anneke is the author of Building Bridges with Bilingual Books and Multicultural Resources (a manual to support culturally responsive teaching) and With Flying Colors: Color Idioms (a multicultural idiom book).

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