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Terrific Turkey Crafts for Preschool

written by: Melissa Elizondo • edited by: Amanda Grove • updated: 9/11/2012

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year to stop and give thanks. It is also a great time to teach your preschool class about turkeys. These turkey preschool crafts can be used during the Thanksgiving season or any time of year you want a fun turkey craft.

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    Thanksgiving and More!

    Of course these fun turkey preschool crafts come in handy with the Thanksgiving holiday, however there are other ways one could enjoy these projects:

    -As a compliment to your turkey unit and subsequent lesson plans.

    -In teaching your class facts about turkeys such as their diets and habitats.

    -As a fun way to enhance the development of fine and gross motor skills.

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    Thankful Turkeys

    Materials

    Turkey outline for each student

    Construction paper

    Glue or glue sticks

    Scissors

    Crayons/markers

    Brown, yellow and red butcher paper (optional)

    Trace each students’ handprint onto the construction paper. Each student will need four or five handprints to use as feathers on his turkey. If your students have had practice with scissors, let them cut out their own handprints. If not, they may need help with this part.

    Talk about what thankful means. List some things you are thankful for, and brainstorm a list of some things you are thankful for as a class. Have students draw a picture on each handprint of one thing they are thankful for. If you are working with an older preschool class, have them label their pictures too. Pass out the turkey outline and the glue. Have students glue the handprints onto their turkeys at the back where the feathers would go. Then, allow students to color their turkey outline.

    These turkeys make a great bulletin board display. Use the title, “Turkeys are Thankful for…"

    Another option is to do one turkey as a class. Draw a turkey onto the brown butcher paper. Use the yellow butcher paper to create the turkey feet and beak. Use the red paper for the wattle, which is the red part that hangs down from the turkey’s neck. Have each student trace and cut out one handprint on which they will draw one thing that they are thankful for. Have students share what they are thankful for and come up and glue their “feather" onto the turkey.

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    Turkey in the Straw Puppets

    Materials

    Brown construction paper

    Plastic drinking straw—one per student

    Feathers of various colors

    Small googly eyes (optional)

    Paper cutter or scissors

    Pencil

    Craft glue

    Bowls

    Stapler

    Before you do this craft, cut the brown construction paper into strips that are about two inches wide. You will need two strips for every student plus two for you.

    Pass out the strips to your students. Show students how to make a big ring with one of the strips and have them do it. This will be the turkey’s body. Go around and staple the students’ ring together. Next, show students how to make a smaller ring and have them do it. This will be the turkey’s head. Go around and staple the smaller ring on top of the bigger ring. Try to staple the body together off to the side so that you will have room to poke a hole for the straw.

    After that, use a sharpened pencil to poke a hole in the bottom of the turkey and directly above it through the middle of the turkey. Pass out a straw to each student. Have students push the straw through both holes. Pass out feathers and the bowls of glue. Allow students to glue four of five feathers to the back of their turkeys. If you choose to use them, give each student two small googly eyes and have them glue onto the front of their turkeys. Finally, have them draw and color a beak and wattle under the eyes.

    Use this time to teach your students the song, Turkey in the Straw. Here are the lyrics:

    Turkey in the hay, in the hay, in the hay.

    Turkey in the straw, in the straw, in the straw.

    Pick up your fiddle and rosin your bow,

    And put on a tune called Turkey in the Straw.

    Turkey in the Straw is usually sung to the tune of Do Your Ears Hang Low?

    For an easy stage to perform the song, place a fall colored piece of fabric over a table to use as a stage. Allow them to use their turkey puppets to perform the song for other classes or even for parents.