Fall is the perfect time to get your kids outside to collect acorns, pine cones and sticks for their indoor crafts. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, any of these five simple projects can be proudly displayed on your dining room table. Plus, your kids will delight in knowing they contributed to the festivities and it will be a great conversation piece for family members.

An acorn frame is one of the easiest, most fun fall crafts to do. Give your child an empty yogurt container for collecting her acorns the next time you are outside on a walk. Grab an old frame at a secondhand store and hot glue the acorns all around the frame (an adult should do this part). Spray with shellac once you have the acorns glued on. Voila! You have a really cool frame that you can talk about for years. This would also make a great gift for grandparents with a picture of them and their grandkids.

An "I am thankful" tree is such a great conversation piece; literally. Have your kids grab a bunch of long, skinny twigs from outside. Place them in a vase and tie on little pieces of paper with things that your kids are thankful for. Before dinner, have each person take a piece of paper off the "tree" and read aloud each note of thanks. This is a great way to teach your children the importance of gratitude.

Pine cones make such pretty centerpieces. Grab some spray glue and glitter and let your kids roll their pine cones on a paper plate to decorate. Spray a coat of shellac at the end so the glitter stays on the pine cone and not all over your house. Display in a bowl or on the fireplace mantel.

Hand prints are the most nostalgic way to preserve your child's itty bitty years. Take that precious little hand and trace around it on a piece of paper. This is fun for an older child to do with their younger siblings. Turn the hand print into a turkey by drawing a face on the thumb, feathers on the next three fingers and a tail on the pinky. Gobble gobble!

Lastly, make a headpiece for your child to wear at dinner. Grab some construction paper, tape, scissors and feathers. Cut the paper into strips, taping the strips together to make the headpiece long enough to go around your child's head. It should fit snugly. Decorate the crown with feathers and place on top of his head - making him feel like the prince that he is.

These are just a few quick crafts for you to do with your children. The possibilities are endless when it comes to craft time with your kids. Go on, get outside and start collecting those acorns!


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Meagan Ruffing is a parenting journalist who loves making crafts with her three children. Check out more parenting tips and tricks at meaganruffing.com