Thanksgiving Craft: “Thankful Turkey” to Teach Kids the Meaning of Thanksgiving


elp your little ones understand the meaning behind Thanksgiving with this fun and super easy craft project. Your kids will create a Thankful Turkey and be able to list the things they are thankful for. Before your family digs into your Thanksgiving feast, pass the Thankful Turkey or Turkeys (if there are multiple) around the table and ask everyone to share at least one thing they are thankful for. This is a great activity to bring your family together and share the meaning of Thanksgiving.

Supplies needed for each Thankful Turkey:

  • 1 large pinecone
  • 3 sheets of different colored construction paper (1 yellow and any other colors)
  • 2 large googly eyes
  • 1 red pipe cleaner
  • Different colored markers
  • Scissors (child proof)
  • Tacky glue

Follow these step by step instructions to create your own Thankful Turkey:

Step 1) Create those lovely feathers
Using the pattern provided here, trace the feathers onto the different colors of construction paper.  Help your child cut-out each feather safely.

Once you have all of the feathers cut-out, ask your child what they are thankful for and why.  Help them identify 6 different things and write them on the feathers with the different colored markers. If they are having trouble with the concept or thinking of an idea, give them an example. You can say, “Mommy is thankful for you because you make me so happy and the world a brighter place.” Some ideas might include being thankful for a sibling, Mom and Dad, friends, a pet, a toy they really like, etc. Encourage your kids to think of their own ideas and readily accept what they tell you. You might be surprised by their answers. This is a great time to discuss with your little ones what it means to be thankful and why it is important to give thanks for the things we value in our lives.

Step 2) Cut-out the feet and the beak
Using the patterns provided, trace the beak and feet pattern onto a yellow piece of paper. Help your child cut-out the beak and feet safely.

Step 3) Assemble that Thankful Turkey
Help your child glue the eyes, beak, and feet onto the pinecone as shown. Attach each thankful feather to the back. For the final touch, glue a small piece of red pipe cleaner over the beak for the gobbler.

Step 4) The Big Day
Before everyone digs into dinner, let your little one(s) stand up and tell everyone about their Thankful Turkey. If they need help explaining their Thankful Turkey or if they are embarrassed, ask your child questions aloud and have them answer (i.e. What did you make? Why is it called that? What are you thankful for? Should we pass the Thankful Turkey around the table and let everyone else say something they are thankful for?). Watch your family come alive as they share what they are thankful for.

What your child will learn:

  • colors
  • fine motor skills (using scissors, gluing)
  • writing
  • the meaning of Thanksgiving

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