Who doesn’t love an adorable turkey craft to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday? This fun craft idea for preschoolers is sure to stay up on the window until it snows!
Turkeys are an icon of the American Thanksgiving holiday.
Many of us spend weeks fine-tuning the events and dishes leading up to the perfect Thanksgiving. Some of us even purchase that All-Clad roasting pan that has been on our wishlist since Easter, all so we can roast the perfect turkey.
You know the kind.
The turkey that is moist and juicy, full of herb-atious flavors and covered in a perfectly brown and perfectly crispy skin. That one.
Let me just say that this fun turkey craft is not that turkey. But it is so fun and it makes lovely kid-made decorations for Thanksgiving. I have four hanging on the sliding glass door in the kitchen. I love the way the sun shines through them in the early afternoon, making the turkey feathers glow with vivid colors. It’s definitely a favorite Thanksgiving activity in our house!
Thanksgiving Craft for Preschoolers
These handprint turkeys can be made by children of just about any age. With a little prep by an adult, even young toddlers can enjoy this craft, as well as much older children. Even my eight year old enjoyed creating this paper craft!
- brown construction paper
- red and orange scraps of construction paper
- tissue paper
- googly eyes
- clear Contact paper
How to Assemble the Turkey Craft
1. Cut your construction paper two inches by five and a half inches. Make five of these.
2. Fold the slips of paper in half and cut an elongated “c” shape on the fold. When it opens the paper looks like an oval with the center cut out of it. These will be the feathers.
3. Make the turkey body as seen in the picture below.
4. Place the turkey body face side down onto a sheet of Contact paper (the Contact paper should be sticky side up). Then, arrange the five ovals over the body to make the tail feathers. Like this:
Now, you might want to consider adding a second body circle to the back of the turkey to cover up what you see in the above photo. This will also make it so that the sun cannot shine through the construction paper. If you look closely at the top photo in this post, you’ll see what I mean.
5. Cut small pieces of various colored tissue paper. The pieces pictured are less than a square inch.
6. Place the tissue paper on the tail feathers so they stick to the contact paper. Cover all the sticky contact paper on the inside of each feather.
Special note: It is okay if your child gets the contact paper on the outside of the feathers since the turkey can be cut out once finished. When complete, you can cover the backside of the turkey with another sheet of Contact paper, thus laminating it, or you can stick the contact paper directly onto the window.
7. Cut the turkey out of the contact paper, if desired. Add googly eyes to the face. Hang in window.
A Quick Word About Kids Crafts and Preschool
I am typically a huge advocate for process-based art in preschool. I’ve mentioned time and time again the benefits of allowing children to flow through their art, processing each step, and allowing that processing to be the objective.
This preschool craft for Thanksgiving is what I would consider a mix of crafts and process art. Yes, there is a specific look, or outcome, that makes this a craft. However if your preschooler would rather crumple up the tissue paper and place it willy-nilly all over the contact paper, then that is okay too.
I know that parents love receiving crafts because they make such sweet gifts and keepsakes. However, when offering a parent a “craft” that does not “look the way it should,” I challenge you to share with your preschool parent what the child learned as he explored the crafting materials.
This paper turkey craft might not be the perfectly browned one you’re hoping to eat on Thanksgiving. But it will definitely be a hit, regardless.
Do you have a favorite turkey craft for kids to make near Thanksgiving? Stop by the Stay at Home Educator Facebook page and tell me. If you make one of these easy turkey crafts, I’d love to see a picture.
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.