Thanksgiving is almost here and families with preschool-aged children have probably been decorating their homes with colorful fall leaves and turkeys made from drawing around little hands. Toddlers and preschoolers may have even been helping prepare some of the table decorations in anticipation of the big feast that will take place on the fourth Thursday of November.
Here is one more turkey little ones can help create that adults will want to save for years to come. Depending on the age of the child and how messy the adult wants this craft to be, either construction paper or paint can be used. This turkey craft activity can be adapted to fit individual needs and still be used by families wanting to have a memento of the Thanksgiving season when children were small.
Both handprints and footprints will be used to create a one-of-a-kind Thanksgiving turkey; if little ones don’t like the messiness of paint, tracing around the hands and feet of the child works just as well.
The child’s footprint will be used to create the body of the turkey, while the child’s handprint will be used to create the fan of feathers in the turkey’s tail. Other items needed are some glue, two googly eyes, a red wattle, an orange beak and two yellow legs. The turkey can easily be assembled on a piece of cereal box cardboard or a brown grocery bag.
If using paint, have the child step into some brown paint that has been placed in a shallow pie tin. After stepping onto the canvas of cardboard or paper, the child can then step into a dishpan filled with warm soapy water to clean the foot off. If using construction paper, trace around the child’s foot onto a piece of brown construction paper.
The same methods can be used in when making the handprint turkey feathers. If using paint, have several autumn colors available. The child’s hand can be painted with a sponge brush dipped in yellow, orange, green and red before making the tail feathers on the turkey. If using paper to make the turkey, trace around the child’s hand onto colorful construction paper. The hand can be traced on each color individually or traced once and then the paper stacked before cutting.
Once the paint is dry or the handprints and footprints have been cut out and glued onto the background, the eyes, feet, wattle and beak are ready to be added. Again, depending on the age of the child and the level of their cutting skills, they may be able to help cut the handprints and footprints out.
Once everything has been added to the right place, the turkey just needs to dry a bit before being hung on the refrigerator door or placed anywhere else in the home.