5 Thanksgiving Crafts Perfect for Sending to Birth Families

Thanksgiving is a great time to acknowledge just how much birth families mean to us.

Karen White November 04, 2015

Thanksgiving. The time of year when we reflect on what we have to be thankful for.

For adoptive families, Thanksgiving often evokes strong sentiments about the way they became a family. For birth families in open adoptions, Thanksgiving can be bittersweet. A mix of feeling happy about the relationship they have with the child they placed, and feeling sad about what they miss by not always being with the child.

And what birth family (or any family for that matter!) doesn’t cherish artwork made by their child?

Handprint Turkey
1. Handprint Turkey

The most popular of all Thanksgiving décor is, of course, the TURKEY! And what is cuter than a turkey made with your child’s hand? (well, maybe #2, but we will get to that in a minute!) If your child is really young, just paint his or her hand all one color and the outline the fingers with marker afterwards for the same effect and way less mess. Trust me, I learned from experience!

You can find the poem here.

Footprint Turkey
2. Footprint Turkey

Even cuter than handprints are footprints. Those little chubby toddler feet are just too cute! But this one is definitely for the younger set, because especially if you have a boy, once he is in grade school you aren’t going to want to touch those stinky things. Not to mention kid feet lose some of their cuteness as they grow (yes, even for birth families!)

Gratitude Feathers
3. Gratitude Feathers

Not crafty? Not into messy paint projects? Well, if you can cut a circle then this project can be done by you! Plus it is an easy way to incorporate the entire family, not just the adopted child(ren). It’s also a great way to get adoption conversations started as a family as you all list things you are thankful for.

You can find a step-by-step tutorial here.

Gratitude Pie
4. Gratitude Pie

For kids who are able to write for themselves (and whose feet you no longer dare touch!) This project from blogger Simply Modern Mom is easy (aka, you won’t have to force them to do it) and cute. The child chooses things they are thankful for about their birth family and then write or draw them under each "wedge." The top piece spins to reveal their feelings.

Family Tree
5. Family Tree

My all-time favorite opportunity as an adoptive mom to open up adoption discussions is a family tree. Originally posted as a wedding project, where the guests place their fingerprint in lieu of a guestbook (because paint and wedding clothes always go hand in hand?) it would also make a great project to send to birth families! To make it extra special you could write the names of all the family (birth and adoptive) inside the little leaves.

You can also download a super sweet tree template here.

Photo credit: http://littlepageturners.blogspot.com/2011/11/colorful-leaf-printing.html)

author image

Karen White

Karen White is the self-proclaimed leading authority on being "that mom." You know the one. The PTO Vice President, room mom, baseball team mom, AND leader of well-behaved kids (OK, the well-behaved part may be stretching it . . . like really stretching . . .) When she isn’t threatening to tackle one of her boys on the ball field if they don’t run faster, or convincing her 4-year-old daughter that everything doesn’t HAVE to sparkle, she is also a wife and stay-at-home mom of three. One of the three happens to have been adopted, but good luck figuring out which one it is, since they all have pasty white skin, blond hair, and blue eyes.


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