Beaded Feathers Thanksgiving Turkey: A Fine Motor Patterning Craft

Beaded Feathers Thankgiving Turkey a craft in patterning - Stay At Home Educator

For preschool I wanted to design a turkey craft that was served multiple purposes.  This craft is not only excellent for decorating and celebrating the holidays, but it also serves as a fine motor activity and a math activity.  The tail feathers of this turkey are beaded in patterns, so it meets various educational preschool skills.


  • cardboard tube, cut down to no more than three inches high
  • pipe cleaner
  • beading pasta or regular beads
  • googly eyes
  • hot glue gun (for adult use only)

Begin by painting the cardboard tube brown.  This will be the body of the turkey.  While the paint in drying, the next steps can be completed.

Cut down three pipe cleaners to about six inches in length.  You will need five pieces of cut pipe cleaner.  Invite your child to bead these, encouraging pattern making.  Having your child pattern the beads is a fun way to include some math skills (as we are working on patterns this month in preschool), but of course not necessary.  I found that about twelve small beads works best on each pipe cleaner.  Any more than that makes it difficult to shape the pipe cleaners into tail feathers.

Once all five pipe cleaner have been beaded, shape them into tail feathers by bending them slightly in the middle and twisting the ends together.  Now, using the hot glue gun (for adults only), glue the tail feathers onto the card board tube.  (Make sure it is completely dry, first).  Arrange the feathers evenly on the back of the tube, making them overlap some.  I used a lot of glue to make sure the feathers would stay in place as I like them.  Once the glue has dried and cooled down, move the feathers a bit to adjust the center of balance.  I had the curve them forward a bit to avoid my turkey from falling over.

Complete the turkey by cutting a very small piece of yellow pipe cleaner and bend it in half to make the beak.  Glue on.  Then use a piece of red, about one and a half inches, for the snood.  I twisted mine a bit, then glued it on.  Finish with googly eyes.

Place your child’s turkey on the kitchen table or counter top for everyone to enjoy during the holiday season.

Have fun!



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One Response to Beaded Feathers Thanksgiving Turkey: A Fine Motor Patterning Craft

  1. Stacy says:

    I did this activity with my 2 year old last week! It was fun and our turkey came out really cute! I wrote about it on my blog:

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