It’s that time of year again when the leaves have fallen and are crunching beneath our feet. In our preschool classrooms, this can only mean one thing- time for adorable turkey hat crafts!
After all, what is Thanksgiving with young kids without some kind of hand-made turkey craft decorating their precious heads? This particular cute turkey hat takes a unique turn with sponge-painted feathers. How FUN is that?
SPONGE PAINTED PRESCHOOL TURKEY HATS
One of my funniest childhood memories is from a nostalgic time when I was seven years old. It was November, and it was time to perform the traditional Thanksgiving play at school. I was one of many Pilgrims in the performance and I was so excited to just be on stage.
There was one role, however…one coveted character in a cast of 50 first graders, that everyone wanted to be. It was of course, the turkey. The turkey had the coolest “stuffed” costume with beautiful feathers adorning its perimeter. The turkey got to run around and make awesome gobble gobble sounds, while the rest of us had to memorize lines.
The turkey was not eaten in the end (spoiler alert!) and helped unite everyone in our rendition of what Thanksgiving was all about. So, a good message, although not completely historically acccurate. Anyway, the lucky first grader that got to play the coveted Turkey role was a friend of mine. I had a smidge of envy, but was also thrilled that my friend got the special role.
We made it through the ENTIRE play, and it is almost the ending and time for bows…when the play takes a comedic and somewhat treacherous turn! My friend/AKA Turkey, climbs up a ladder that was made to look like a hilltop, so she could have her big moment of uniting all in attendance at the feast. We all literally had JUST switched out our Pilgrim hats for our homemade turkey hats.
And, I don’t know how it happened…but all of a sudden, the ladder/hilltop starts falling over like a tree when someone yells Timber! My friend/turkey sailed off of it, but luckily landed in a large pile of soft artificial maize. A few Pilgrims also helped break her fall, but luckily escaped without any major injuries.
My friend/turkey didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but ultimately, went with “run off the stage crying.” The rest of us stood there in shock just staring at one another in our special turkey hats. I remember raising our turkey hats in the air, letting out a gobble, gobble, and then bowing like we had rehearsed.
After that, we quickly evacuated the scene of the crazy flying turkey. I immediately checked on my friend. She was completely fine, luckily, other than a slightly bruised ego.
Yes, turkey hats definitely stir up some nostalgia of childhood and in some cases, some very interesting stories!
Whatever your traditions, memories, and nostalgia from the Thanksgivings of your youth, there is nothing quite as coveted and special as turkey hats for Thanksgiving! I hope it is both memorable and special to make these easy turkey hats with your kiddos!
Cozy Fall Preschool Centers$10.00
FAQ ABOUT TEACHING ABOUT THANKSGIVING
Celebrate Thanksgiving the preschool way by including fun games and activities. Include crafts or activities that promote appreciation, gratitude, and teamwork like the first thanksgiving snack. Try a gratitude activity with your preschoolers and help guide them into learning to be thankful.
Discuss the importance of the meaning of Thanksgiving. Help young children learn that this holiday is all about gratitude and celebration of the family and friends who care and help us each and every day.
Encourage children to share what they feel thankful for and find ways to share those feelings with the important people in their own lives. Invite children to share special traditions or games that are special in their families.
Turkeys are such a fun symbol of Thanksgiving and they are ideal for fun hands-on crafts! Try a colorful turkey process art activity or play a silly game of Catch the Turkey! Use beads and work on that hand eye coordination and fine motor skills with a beaded feathers with pipe cleaner Thanksgiving craft.
HOW TO MAKE SPONGE PAINTED THANKSGIVING HATS
- cheap paper plate
- washable paints
- sponge for each color paint
- scrap brown, orange, and red construction paper
- one sheet of another color construction paper
- googly eyes (wiggle eyes)
- hot glue gun (for adult use only)
STEPS TO MAKE THIS EASY THANKSGIVING TURKEY HAT CRAFT FOR KIDS:
- The first step of this Thanksgiving craft is making the tail feathers from the paper plate. Invite your preschoolers to paint the paper plate using the sponges. We used one sponge per color to avoid mixing colors on the sponge.
- Once the paper plates are sponge-painted, allow them to dry on the warm setting in the oven.
- Make the face of the turkey while the plate is drying. The face is just a brown circle, and orange diamond shaped mouth (folded in half, and a squiggly piece of red construction paper to make the snood). Googly eyes finish the look.
- Once the plate is dry, carefully cut it in half.
- Take one full sheet of construction paper and cut it into a two and a half inch wide strip, going lengthwise down the paper, thus making it twelve inches long.
- Tape the two strips together, making one long band.
- Wrap the band around your child’s head and mark the length, then remove and cut and tape to size.
- Gently hot glue (this task is for adults only) the half paper plate to the band of the hat. On the opposite side, add the turkey.
- Allow it to cool for a few minutes, then wear and enjoy your little turkeys!
I’m always calling my kids turkeys when they are being silly, so a hat for the name is appropriate.
BENEFITS OF ARTS & CRAFTS FOR PRESCHOOLERS
We all know that arts and crafts can be both messy and fun, but have you ever thought about how beneficial they can be for young children? There are many reasons to encourage your preschoolers to participate in arts and crafts!
How are arts and crafts beneficial for preschoolers?
- Arts and crafts help develop fine motor skills– grasping and using a pencil, crayon, or paintbrush, cutting, folding paper, gluing, and so much more! All of these will help prepare preschoolers for writing, tying their shoes, buttoning their coats, and other useful skills for elementary school and beyond.
- Arts and crafts help teach math skills such as shapes, spatial awareness, counting, and pattern recognition.
- Arts and crafts helps teach color recognition and color theory.
- Arts and crafts teaches following directions and attention to details.
- Studies have shown that arts and crafts have a positive impact on cognitive development.
- Arts and crafts helps with social and emotional development and provides a safe way for children to express themselves.
- Arts and crafts can help build a positive self-image.
- Arts and crafts can help connect children with the grown ups in their lives by sharing in creating masterpiences and sharing about their projects.
I hope your Autumn is full of wonderful, warm and cozy times with your children. There are so many special Thanksgiving activities and Thanksgiving crafts for kids!
Find your favorites and enjoy sharing them with your little ones. I hope this sponge-painted turkey hat becomes a favorite Fall craft in your classroom or household!
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.