Thanksgiving Turkey Craft

Big Life Journal is a site I regularly follow and also signed up for ttheir newsletters. It promotes mindfulness and growth mindset for kids and teens but there are a great deal of wonderful advice for parents to parent more consciously and more positively.

I found this cute turkey printable in my inbox the other day and immediately printed the black and white version. (Little L. is into colouring now.) Unfortunately, I cannot link the printable as it’s available only for those who are signed up for the newsletter. In the picture below your can see what parts it has.

So we started with the colouring, checking a real turkey picture for the body but then the girls just used their imagination and their favourite autumn colours to make the feathers. On the feathers we wrote what we love having in our lives, what we are grateful for. (In the meantime we talked about the body parts of a turkey, and colours, special colours like maroon.)

Then came the cutting and sticking together. It took quite a while because of the colouring, but there is a coloured version of it too – we do not have a colour printer, unfortunately.) Here are the final results:

While putting our turkeys together we chatted/thought a lot about what we are thankful for, what lovely things and great people are in our lives. For a long time we haven’t had any fun, creative, holiday-related activities in English with the girls, just everyday conversations. However, now it was a great time to spend together in English in a productive way.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!


Thanksgiving with turkeys

At this time of the year we have real difficulties preparing for all the festivals and celebrations we have:

  • Thanksgiving (26th Nov)
  • Daddy’s birthday (28th Nov)
  • the beginning of Advent (29th Nov)
  • St. Nicolas Day (or Santa Day – 5th Dec)
Not to mention that illnesses were on and off all month, three in a row. There haven’t been 3 consecutive days when everybody in the family was perfectly healthy.
Still, we managed to do a little bit of fun for Thanksgiving.
Of course, it was mainly about turkeys 🙂
I made this home-made salt dough:
1 cup salt
1 cup hot water
2 cups flour
1 or 2 tbs cocoa powder (to make it brown)
Mix them all. I kneaded the dough with my hand but you can use a mixer. If you choose to knead it wait a little until the hot water cools down. Then I put it in a plastic container and next to the fridge for a short while (1-2 hours)
When ready, I prepared this for E.:

On the tray I prepared coloured feathers, orange foam triangles for the beak, googly eyes, red (water drop shaped) foam for the wattle (the red skin hanging down from the beak of the turkey along its neck – “bőrlebernyeg” in Hungarian). In the middle there was the brown salt dough.

We made balls out of the dough to make the body and the head. First, we kneaded the dough and then with rolling movement we formed them into balls. These movements are really useful to strengthen the muscles in a child’s hand.

Googly eyes: a girl and a boy
Placing the wattle

Then E. made two turkeys and me too. We fixed the beak and eyes as well as the wattle, after all this she stuck the tail feathers in.

We practised saying the colours, the different parts of the turkey, like feather, beak, head and body or this new word (even for me): wattle. We used expressions like roll the dough, knead the dough, stick it in etc. We also talked a little bit about why we celebrate Thanksgiving, why we have a feast at this time of the year.

I found another great turkey activity online. Turkey feather counting mats. You can use these either as play dough mats (so you can use coloured play dough to make the feathers) or with real feathers. E. was so into these colourful feathers we used them again.

Finally, we had a Thanksgiving feast (quite a moderate one). My Mum stayed for dinner too (also help with preparing some turkey breast roast and pumpkins) and we all said what we are thankful for in our lives.
And what is E. thankful for?

– I’m thankful for my parents, my Godparents and my toys and others… the good meats and my friends in the nursery.

I’m thankful for my wonderful daughter and my family.


If you wish to listen to some Thanksgiving videos on youtube, or prepare a tree of gratitude, just click on the pic below:
If you haven’t had enough of thanksgiving, here are some more crafts:

Crafts for Thanksgiving – Chapter 1.

I’m not sure if E. understands the concept of being thankful, though one night when we talked to the Angels I wanted to say good night and she said:

– Wait, Mommy!
– Yes?
– I want to say thank you.
– What for?
– For the skeleton costume.

So I might be wrong. She can also say thank you whenever I give her some food or a toy. Sometimes she reminds Daddy to say thank you.

I told her the Thanksgiving story very basically though we focused more on being creative this time.

Colour your turkey – letter recognition

I mentioned to E. that American people celebrate Thanksgiving with turkeys, like we celebrate Martin-day with geese.

So we coloured a turkey. I printed an image of a turkey from the net, but before we started I added some letters to different parts of the turkey. With some of the dot markers I signed orange, yellow, red and purple next to the turkey. She immediately understood how to colour it. We have no brown dot markers so I used a crayon.

identifying the letters
staring with yellow
our colourful turkey

Bubble wrap paint turkey

I found this idea on . I’m not going into details as you find easy-to-follow instructions on the site.

It looked great, so we tried it. It’s a little too complicated with a 2 and a half year old. You need to wait a lot for the paint to dry. E. had no patience. But she enjoyed the painting. I had no dark brown coloured paper so we painted the body too. (The thermo-hat is due to an ear infection)

painting the body
adding the eyes on the stool – where else?
finished with the beak too, though there’s no snood
I cut the feathers – she did the sticking
Turkey without legs and snood

Autumn tree variations

The first tree idea came when E. enjoyed me punching leaf shapes with this.

So while she was asleep in the afternoon I punched some more leaves (yellow, red, orange, brown and creamy colours) and I put them together with some real dry leaves next to a drawn tree. With the help of some glue we put the leaves onto the tree’s branches. She wasn’t interested in the real ones.

Broken leaves had to go on the ground, under the tree

Our nanny arrived and they went on together

Have you noticed that some leaves are falling down 😉 ?

“Nice tree. Can I pee on it?”

The second tree is based on the same idea as the dot marker turkey. I drew a tree and on the branches I wrote the first letters of some colours. Dotting fun.

I’m planning to make some more Thanksgiving activities. So come back for the autumn tree and turkey of gratitude.