Using either actual fall leaves or ones you’ve cut from construction paper, let your toddler use a glue stick to attach them to a place-mat-sized piece of orange or brown construction paper. Alternately, some toddlers might enjoy coloring leaves you have drawn on white paper. Laminate the place mats or cover them with clear adhesive shelf paper.
Make 2 dozen 1-by-4-inch strips from construction paper in various fall colors. Show your toddler how to loop strips together to form a chain; she can either tape or glue the loops closed. She might enjoy trying to repeat a pattern, such as orange, brown, yellow. Swag the chains around the Thanksgiving table.
Show your toddler how to draw around his hand, then let him paint the hand shape, which resembles a turkey. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t stay within the lines, because you’re going to cut these out. Help him make an eye and a waddle with markers. Provide your child with small photos of each Thanksgiving guest and let him glue those to the center of each turkey.
Cut a piece of burlap 18 inches wide and long enough to hang down about a foot on each end of the table. Help your toddler fray all the edges of the runner by gently pulling on the threads of the cloth. Cut a household sponge into a pumpkin shape; let your child dip it into orange paint and make a row of pumpkins down the center of the runner. You might also alternate these with a sponge cut into leaf shapes and dipped into brown paint.
Have your toddler paint tissue tubes with brown tempera paint; let these dry thoroughly. While they are drying, help your child cut out circles -- to represent pumpkins -- from orange construction paper. Also help her cut out small green rectangles for stems. Glue the pumpkins to the napkin holders. Alternately, for little ones who have not yet mastered cutting, let them attach a variety of Thanksgiving stickers to the painted tubes.