Not a fan of glitter? No problem! Try this turkey craft for preschoolers using faux sand. AKA: dyed salt. It’s an easy turkey craft that will work your preschooler’s fine motor skills!
Fun Turkey Puppet Craft for Preschoolers
Every year I scour Pinterest for new Thanksgiving craft ideas.
I can always count on finding tons and tons of turkey crafts for Thanksgiving. From paper bag turkeys to paper plate turkey crafts and even kid-made turkey crafts and center pieces for Thanksgiving dinner, there are so many creative ideas to add to your Thanksgiving preschool lesson plans.
I thought I’d add one more to the bunch: faux sand sprinkled Thanksgiving turkey puppets!
This craft is for you if you’re not a glitter person. (wink, wink).
FAQ About Teaching Thanksgiving in Preschool
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 Thanksgiving Turkey Puppets
Have you ever made turkey puppets with your preschoolers?
This adorable turkey puppet craft will work your preschooler’s fine motor skills and hand strength, while providing an end product perfect for the dramatic play center.
- foam turkey cut outs (or you can also use heavy card stock of cardboard)
- colored faux sand (how-to will follow)
- craft sticks
- liquid glue
- hot glue
- googly eyes
How to Make Faux Glitter or Sand
Even though I love adding glitter to our preschool crafts and process art collages, sometimes the mess that comes with glitter isn’t worth the fine motor skill or hand control development that comes with it.
I thought using color sand would be a perfect alternative, but the cost is hard to get around when you’re working with a preschool class.
So, I set out to make my own faux sand in various colors.
Hint: it’s just dyed salt. Here’s how to do it.
- Place about a cup of salt in a zip top baggie.
- Add a few drops of food coloring or liquid water colors.
- Add a squirt of hand sanitizer.
- Seal the baggie and shake well to distribute all the dye.
- Pour onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and allow to dry fully, about 2 hours.
- Repeat steps 1-4 to create multiple colors.
Note: The reason for adding the hand sanitizer is that the alcohol will help set the dye and keep it from rubbing off when using.
How to Make the Turkey Hand Puppet
Begin with a foam turkey cut out.
I found my set at Target’s dollar spot, but these look-alikes will work just as well.
Use some liquid glue on the tail feathers in lines to make a design. With my preschoolers, in the photos, I just put a quick line of glue around each of the tail feathers of the turkey craft.
Invite your little one to sprinkle some faux sand on the glue. If you need a recipe, you can find my recipe here. I made five vibrant colors to make sure the faux sand really stood out against the darker color of the turkey craft.
I love sprinkling activities because it is excellent for developing fine motor skills. This took the place of the writing activity that day. In preschool, we focus more on fine motor activities than using pencils to trace letters and shapes.
For more information about writing in preschool, you can read these posts: Development of Emergent Writing and What Does Writing Practice Look Like in Preschool?
Once the faux sand has been sprinkled all other the glue, covering every little bit, allow the glue to dry completely. Then, over a sink, dust off the remaining faux sand. Finally, carefully glue a craft stick on the back of the turkey using hot glue and a googly eye on the front.
Now, hand to your little one for some fun pretend and puppet play!
More Thanksgiving Crafts for Preschoolers
Can’t ever have enough turkey crafts for kids. From simple paper turkeys to sun catchers using construction paper and tissue paper, these are really fun crafts. You can even try this coffee filter turkey for a fun Thanksgiving craft activity for kids.
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.