Create a Thanksgiving Jigsaw Puzzle
It’s a match! There’s nothing quite like the feeling of completing a puzzle, especially in front of a roaring fire on a cold autumn night. Puzzles are more than mere entertainment, though! They help children learn to manipulate small objects, match colors and shapes, and develop logical reasoning.
Encourage your little one to use her imagination to create one-of-a-kind Thanksgiving puzzle pieces! When that last piece fits into place and the picture is complete, your child will glow with a sense of accomplishment. This autumnal activity will boost her pride even more as she will be building her very own unique puzzle that she'll want to pull out of the closet every year when the weather turns cool and leaves start falling.
What You Need:
- Blank, precut jigsaw puzzle (available online or at craft stores)
- Acrylic paint in various colors
- Felt tip markers
What to Do:
- Carefully set the blank jigsaw puzzle on your child's work surface.
- Paint your child’s left palm, from fingertips to wrist, with a small amount of paint (enough to leave a wet, even coat).
- Place your child’s painted hand, with fingers open wide, on the blank puzzle. Press down gently, but firmly. Lift it straight up when finished to avoid smearing the paint.
- Wash her hand and repeat the handprint on other areas of the puzzle using different colors of paint.
- Show your child how her hand forms the shape of a turkey, with the thumb for a head and the fingers as feathers.
- Once the paint is dry, have your child draw in details on the turkeys—legs, beaks, eyes, feathers, and even a hat or glasses! To spark your child’s creativity, ask her to tell you about each of the turkeys—their names, where they are, what they are doing, etc.
- Encourage her to add background detail as well—trees and grass, a barn, other animals, or fall motifs such a leaves or pumpkins. The more color and detail that is added, the more interesting the puzzle will be!
- Once the artwork is complete and dry, gently break apart the puzzle. Invite your child to piece it back together again by herself. If she needs help, suggest that she try turning a piece or trying to look for similar colors to match. The more she can figure out on her own, the more she will learn from the piecing together process.
Display your little one's holiday creation in the family room and invite guests to have a go at it on Thanksgiving day! Your child will be encouraged to explore her artistic side more often when she notices the enthusiasm that her handiwork receives.