Thanksgiving signals the beginning of the holiday season and provides a great opportunity to spend quality time with your kids. One way to make some great memories is to unleash some creativity together — and here, we’ve collected 10 Thanksgiving-themed turkey crafts to get you started.
This collection features a variety of creative art and craft ideas for kids from baby to tween and will help you occupy your kiddos while they’re home from school. Crafts help them develop fine motor skills, the focus to accomplish a task and the ability to follow instructions. Plus, it gives them a fun alternative to screen time.
1. Pinecone turkey craft
Get everyone outside to use up some of that energy, then come home and have a cozy craft afternoon. First, take a nature walk to gather pinecones, then transform them into these cute little pinecone turkeys by Juggling Act Mama. (If your region doesn’t have pinecones, you can buy a bag of them at the craft store.) Featuring beaded tail feathers and an articulated beak, the finished product will delight toddlers, preschoolers and grade-schoolers alike.
This craft is a good choice for families with kids at different developmental stages. Toddlers are old enough to string pony beads onto chenille stems (pipe cleaners), and they’ll enjoy practicing their fine motor skills. Preschoolers can use safety scissors to cut out the turkey’s head from red construction paper and can glue the beak onto the turkey’s face by themselves. Gradeschoolers can complete the turkey from beginning to end with little help. You’ll have to oversee the use of the hot-glue gun, or you can simply use some craft glue.
To make a front-yard pinecone turkey mobile, tie a few completed turkeys to a tree branch for a cute Thanksgiving decoration the kids can see from the window.
2. Paper muffin turkeys
Some people say a group of turkeys is called a “gang” or even a “gobble,” but the correct term is “rafter.” Whatever your preferred term, make one out of these little paper muffin turkeys shared by Oh My Creative. They can dress up your Thanksgiving place settings, or be strung together in a garland and draped across your fireplace mantel.
All you need are fall-colored muffin tin liners, brown pom-poms, yellow paper, and glue. If you want to get a little artsy, let children use markers or watercolor paints to paint the muffin tin liners before you make the turkeys. Let the paper liners dry completely before you assemble them.
For marble-painted turkeys, flatten the muffin tin liners and put them in a shoe box lid. Dip a marble in washable paint and help your child roll the marble across the muffin tin liners to create a pattern. Let the liners dry, and then continue creating the turkey.
Babies and toddlers can use sponges to practice their fine motor skills for this craft. Put the baby in her high chair and help her dip the sponge in the paint and then make marks on a paper plate, or just give her a sponge that is already dipped in paint and let her have fun painting the plate. Toddlers can dip the sponge into the paint on a paper-plate palette and then use the sponge to dab paint on the paper plate themselves.
You can make your own washable paint by adding a few drops of dish soap to regular paint. In any case, you’ll want to protect your table with a vinyl tablecloth, newspapers or spare gift wrap. Older kids can complete this craft with minimal help.
When they’re finished, clip them to a ribbon with clothespins, or thread a ribbon through them to create a garland. Hang the garland in your child’s bedroom window to decorate for the holiday.
4. Turkey salt painting
Do you have a pint-sized crafter who is hard to impress? Wow him with this clever turkey salt painting craft by Natural Beach Living.
Part art and part science, it involves gluing salt to paper in the shape of a turkey, then painting the salt with watercolor paints to magically tint the salt. It’s so cool that even older kids and teens might want to get in on the craft action.
This one’s all about the process and kids will have so much fun that they’ll likely want to make more than one. Keep a stack of paper handy to let them “draw” with glue, and then sprinkle with salt so they can keep going as long as they want.
Help older kids tap into the Thanksgiving spirit by having them write things they’re grateful for on a piece of paper with glue, then sprinkle it with salt. They can then complete the watercolor painting process. It’s a fun way to cultivate an attitude of gratitude that will serve them well as they grow.
5. Thanksgiving turkey puppet
Admit it: As a parent, there are things like milk bottle caps you save “just in case” you need them for a crafting project. Put those caps to good use with this Thanksgiving turkey puppet craft idea by 4 Joy of Sharing. You’ll even get to use those popsicle sticks, googly eyes, feathers, construction paper and craft glue you’ve stashed.
Preschoolers and young grade-schoolers will get the biggest kick out of making these Thanksgiving puppets, so set aside an hour with your littles. After the puppets are finished, encourage the kids to pretend with them and maybe even put on a play.
For an adorable twist, trace kid hands on construction paper and cut them out. Glue the handprints to the puppets to serve as tail feathers.
Want more? Check out these other Thanksgiving-themed turkey crafts: