Paper Turkeys

Wendy Lias, LSW

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and the kids are home from school (for a week? Indefinitely? Who even knows at this point?!). I’m looking for ways to fill the time.  I had the vague idea that I’d like to do some sort of Thanksgiving themed art with my kids BUT the project had to meet the following criteria for selection:

  1. Both my kids (ages 2 and 5 years) need to be able to participate
  2. There cannot be a single “correct” way to complete the project
  3. I’m not heading to the store and so the project must be feasible with supplies readily on hand
  4. No white-washed representations of the historical origins of Thanksgiving

My Googling left me very disappointed and I devised my own little Thanksgiving turkey craft that I’m now happy to share with you.  The only supplies that you absolutely need to complete the project are paper, scissors, and something that can make marks on paper. 

Step 1: Create your turkey tail: cut a large semi-circle out of paper and divide it into sections

Step 2: Decorate the sections of your turkey tail with any supplies you have on hand.  Paint sticks were a popular choice in my house, but markers and crayons also got some play.  If you look at the pictures of our final project, you’ll see that my 2 year old contented herself with going bananas with some gems and glue.

Step 3: Add a turkey body.  There are two ways to do this.  You can cut out a large turkey to create a standing turkey or a smaller, front-view turkey body to create a flat decoration.  In hindsight, I think flat would have been easier for everyone in my house; but I realized that once we were already most of the way finished with the project.  If you are aiming for a standing turkey, cut small slits in both the body and the tail and then fit the two pieces together.  For a 2-D craft, simply tape or glue the turkey’s body onto its decorated tail.


Flat turkey

If free-handing vaguely turkey shaped drawings is not on your agenda today, I’m including a template that you can print and use at your convenience.

Did you recreate these versatile turkeys on your own? We’d love to see what you came up with.  Share your results and tag Thoughtful Parenting on Facebook or Instagram.  Did you come up with an entirely different Thanksgiving activity to do with your kids? We’d love to see that too!

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