Let’s put this festive factoid out there right now: Native Americans who took part in the first Thanksgiving likely never saw or used a tepee. Tepees were mainly used by nomadic American Indians who lived in the Plains. With that said, I still think this idea is perfect for your Thanksgiving craft table.
Not only is it super-cute, but it’s a great way to jump start a conversation (with kids and/or adults) about the different types of homes Native Americans lived in. Wigwams, longhouses and even igloos – these are all fascinating abodes of our native peoples.
So grab a party hat and let’s put together a rockin’ tepee for Thanksgiving! And FYI – there was no turkey at the first Thanksgiving either. Pilgrims likely feasted on deer and swan on Gobble Gobble day. Just sayin’.
- Party hats – the cone-shaped ones leftover from your kid’s birthday bash
- Brown paper bag
- 3 sticks
- Paint brushes
- Cut off the top point of the party hat. This is where we’ll insert three sticks at the end of this craft. Go ahead an measure out your sticks now. They should be a little taller than the hat.
- Pull your paper bag apart at the seams so you can work with one big piece of brown paper. Feel free to use scissors to help with this.
- Ball up the paper and then spread it out again. Repeat this process two more times. We’re trying to achieve a leather-ish type look. Most tepees were made of animal skins.
- Paint a little glue onto the back of the paper and then wrap the party hat with it. Cut away extra paper. Tuck in the sides – kinda like you’re wrapping a present.
- When the glue is dry, you can cut a small opening for the entrance of the tepee. You can also use black paint to create this shape.
- Decorate the tepee however you wish with colorful paints. You could also use stamps, stickers or cutouts. Since this is a Thanksgiving tepee, leaves and pumpkins would be festive. If this is a craft for the kids’ table, each child could also write their names on their tepee.
- Insert three sticks into the top of the hat. The sticks are supposed to look like the branches that provided structure to the tepee. Secure with a few dabs of glue.
Let everything dry and then display the tepee on your Thanksgiving table or mantle. Happy Thanksgiving!