I love crafting with toddlers and preschoolers. They always get so excited about the project, and I love seeing how proud they are once the craft is finished.
But craft time serves other purposes as well. It’s a fun way to work on fine motor skills and encourage creativity. It can also be a great way to introduce a new topic for learning.
This paper Mayflower craft is a fun way to introduce the first Thanksgiving to preschoolers.
You may want to check out our other Thanksgiving crafts for kids as well.
This Thanksgiving craft is perfect on its own, or pair it with a fun picture book, like the adorable (affiliate link) One is a Feast for Mouse.
While this paper craft is fun for toddlers and preschoolers, it would also be good for early elementary students.
If you are crafting with toddlers, you will want to have the pieces cut out ahead of time. For older preschoolers you can draw the shapes out for them to cut.
Older students should be able to create the pieces completely on their own.
Draw the basic shape of a boat on brown construction paper and cut it out.
Cut 2 black strips of paper to form your ship’s masts. To make it simple for young crafters, cut 2 white rectangles as sails. We made one of our sails slightly smaller.
We added a “Plymouth Rock” for our ship to sail to as well.
Once the parts our cut out, glue the masts to the back of the ship. Then add on the sails.
To make the water, cut a curvy line for “waves” on the bottom end of a piece of blue construction paper.
Then fold the bottom 1/3 of the blue paper up and use clear tape on the sides to keep it folded. This makes a pocket for your Mayflower to sail in.
Finally, glue Plymouth Rock into the corner of the waves.
Have your child stick their paper Mayflower into the pocket of blue paper. Now they can sail the boat back and forth.
My toddler had fun sailing his ship back and forth in the “water,” making sure it landed at Plymouth Rock each time.
As the kids played, we talked about how the Pilgrims sailed across the ocean and came to America.
One day when they are older we will talk more about why they came, but for now, this simple Mayflower craft was a good introduction for toddlers and preschoolers as to why we celebrate Thanksgiving.
You may also like these Thanksgiving crafts & activities:
- Simple Thanksgiving Sensory/Small World Play
- Fine Motor Skills Turkey Craft
- Paper Cup Turkey
- Wigwam Craft for Kids