If there’s one thing I love more than turkey (besides of course the mashed potatoes and stuffing) on Thanksgiving, its turkey themed crafts. There are literally thousands of them that can span any age range. When I taught first grade we did a project based on the book Turkey Trouble (get this one, its a great read) and it was my favorite project of the year. The kids got a turkey template and they were charged with disguising the turkey so that no one tried to serve him for Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve seen turkey Elvis, turkey ballerinas, turkey superheros, even turkey Lil’ Wayne (dead serious).
I had tons of Thanksgiving activities lined up for the girls, but if we’re being honest here, these days Thanksgiving always feels super chaotic to me since Layla’s birthday is right on the heels of it. The last two years I’ve been up to my ears in party planning, present buying, and oh yeah – Christmas shopping!!! With all of this going on you better believe our activities are simple, easy to make, and tons of fun!
- Contact paper
- Quill Feathers (the flimsy craft ones will not work for this)
- Construction paper
- Googly Eyes
- Creative Play
- Fine Motor
To begin, decide where you are going to put your turkey and how much space you have. This will help determine the size you need to make your turkey. I used a single sheet of contact paper, so my turkey is only about 8 inches tall in size. There was really no need to make it bigger than this, but if you have the space, go for it!! Use your construction paper to make anything resembling a turkey – this doesn’t have to be fancy, the feathers are really the highlight of this project. Mine is super basic, and really not at all cute on its own.
Once you have your turkey made and taped up on the wall, place your contact paper over the turkey BACKWARDS (sticky part away from the wall). Tape the sides of your contact paper so that it stays up on the wall. Make sure there is contact paper above, and on the sides of the turkey to place the feathers.
Lay out your duck quill feathers and get to work! Kids can decorate their turkey with colorful feathers, and move them around as much as they want to create new designs!
Olivia LOVED these feathers. If you have a younger one at home too these make for great sensory play.
This could be a project to take on the road (if you wrapped a piece of cardboard or small poster board in the contact paper), but using the same quill feathers I created another small activity that Layla could take on the road with us to our Thanksgiving festivities.
Change it up
This little turkey utilizes the same skills (with more emphasis on the fine motor portion) and is great because like the contact paper turkey it can be used over and over.
- Paper towel roll (cut in half) or toilet paper roll
- Hole punch
- Quill feathers
- Hot glue gun
- Extras for decorating (construction paper, goggly eyes, felt , markers etc)
To start, I trimmed a section off of my toilet paper roll that was about 1 1/2 inches. This will be used as the head of the turkey. I decorated the face with whatever was laying around (orange construction paper for the beak and puff paint for the eyes). I opted to cover the hole in the front of the turkey with a simple piece of felt wrapped over it. This part is definitely not necessary, but I know my kid and she’d be so distracted by that gapping hole that we’d never get to putting the feathers in place. Use the hot glue to attach the head to the body of the turkey, and than punch several holes into the back portion of the turkey. Only place the holes on the top half of the roll, this makes a platform on the bottom portion to help the feathers stand up.