Noodles and Turkeys

Hello Friends! How many of you are planning a Thanksgiving feast at your own house on top of Thanksgiving festivities in your classroom? It is definitely a lot to juggle. I’m actually hoping that some small miracles will happen this weekend in terms of house cleaning and material preparations. 🙂 Maybe the dust bunnies will hop away and the turkey will brine itself. You just never know.

One special craft that I like to make with my students at this time of year involves colored noodles. Do you know the trick for dyeing noodles with such vibrant colors? The magic ingredient is rubbing alcohol! Just pour your noodles in a large freezer bag, sprinkle in some rubbing alcohol, and add some drops of your favorite food coloring. Shake it up until everything is coated evenly. Then pour the noodles into a single layer on some newspaper to dry. In just a few hours, your noodles will look amazing! I never measure the rubbing alcohol. I just sprinkle some in the bag until the noodles are damp and it works beautifully every time.

Now for that craft I had mentioned. A few years ago, I was inspired by these handprint turkey banners from the Yesterday on Tuesday blog.  I loved the idea of using burlap to bring a unique texture to a traditional project. Burlap is fairly inexpensive to buy. I paid $2.99 per yard at my local fabric store.  It only took about one yard to cut the 24 pieces that I needed for this project.

To make the handprints, I had a helper paint the hand of each student and carefully make a print on the burlap. The kids smiled and giggled at the sensation of wet paint on the palm of their hand.

Some years I have used paper bags from the grocery store for the backing, but this year I just used some brown craft paper I already had available at school. I put some clear packing tape at the top of each banner to reinforce the holes for hanging. A hot glue gun worked great to attach the burlap to the brown craft paper.

Next, we practiced some cursive writing for the “Happy Thanksgiving” piece and glued it to the top of the banner. The kids used permanent Sharpie markers to add eyes, beaks, and legs to their turkeys. Of course, they also added a red gobbler. Then they used regular Crayola markers to make colorful patterns around the edges.

I suspect that parents will look back and smile at those precious handprints one day.

Finally, it was time to use those colorful noodles! Each student strung the noodles on a pipe cleaner. We attached the pipe cleaners to the holes at the top of the banner for easy hanging. Then, we finished it off with some raffia on the handle for a nice, natural look.

And there you have it! That’s one special Thanksgiving craft to cross off the school list. Now I am off to write a grocery list and make eighteen special name tags (with my real kids) for our home Thanksgiving table. I hope you have a wonderful, restful holiday! Be sure to kick your feet up and relax a bit once the work is done.

Here is another one of my favorite Thanksgiving activities! I teach my students about the history of the first Thanksgiving using this bag book. If you are looking for something more historical, this is the project for you!

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