Native American Attire

We have been reading several books about the First Thanksgiving and Big Brother has been fascinated with Squanto and the Massasoit Indians. We decided to make {our own interpretation of} a Native American outfit (besides just a breechcloth…). :)

Here’s what you’ll need:  a paper grocery sack, construction paper, paint, feathers, and foam shapes.

1. Turn the paper sack inside-out so that the wording is on the inside.
2. Cut arm holes and a neck hole…but don’t follow my example as the hole for the head was WAY too big!
3. Crinkle it up for an authentic “leather” look (your little one will enjoy helping with this part…just be careful not to tear it).
4. Lay flat.
5. Let your little one paint.
A masterpiece!
6. Cut a piece of construction paper in half, then fold each half and use duct tape (or glue) to hold together.
7. Put a stream of glue on the inside of the fold. Let your little one add the feathers and then add more glue on top. Fold the flap over and let dry.
8. Put glue on the back of the foam shapes…
…and place on the headdress.
Have fun pretending to go to the First Thanksgiving feast!
Literature Link
If You Were At The First Thanksgiving (If You.)
This book has TONS of information about the very first Thanksgiving. It is broken up into questions-and-answers and is a great book to pick up and read a little at a time. Once you and your child have read the entire book (64 pages), you’ll feel as though you’re experts!
Squanto's Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving
This book is written for older children, but I still think it is a great book to read to the younger ones (if your child can sit still). There is not a whole lot about the first Thanksgiving, but it gives an accurate account of Squanto’s life. It does include some not-so-nice details about Squanto’s life, so you’ll want to read it ahead of time and paraphrase where necessary.


  1. I love this idea, Jenae! I think Ori would absolutely love painting and wearing this "outfit." ;-) I just need to get some feathers and a brown paper sack . . . I think it is great for their little imaginations as they learn about Thanksgiving.

  2. I would be interested in knowing if you dress up the children in other cultures attire as well and teach about the important signifance of the outfits. Also if you ever have pow wow’s in your community they are a wonderful way to see/learn about Native people and see some AMAZING regalia. :)

  3. I’m writing because I run a sensory site and am looking for great ideas for Thanksgiving. And as any parent, we’re looking for terrific Thanksgiving crafts and ideas for kids with Sensory Processing Disorder and on the Autism Spectrum. Would you add a link to a craft idea or two on our blog? Here’s the link to share and get more traffic to your site…

  4. I am not a parent, I’ve been using this site as a resource for my classes, as I am currently taking child and youth care in college. You have a lot of wonderful activities, but this one is very problematic. I don’t know if you’ve heard of cultural appropriation or not, but it’s been a very big issue lately. As a First Nations woman I have this to say : cultures are NOT costumes. It’s awesome that you are trying to teach your son about other cultures, but you should try to be more respectful while doing so. There are other ways to teach this.

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