Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts


Use multi-colored feathers or feather shapes with toothpicks or craft stick attached to them. Make a turkey head and attach a stick. Insert the feathers and head into a large potato. Makes a cute centerpiece.


Multi-colored Turkey hand

Paint the child’s palm brown and then paint each finger using one color for each finger: red, green, yellow, and orange. Have child press hand on a piece of paper. After the paint dries you can add the eye, beak, and that little red dangly thing under the beak.

Another version to Ricks is to paint the palm and thumb brown. Then across the fingers with red yellow and green. Instead of each finger a different. color- all fingers are three colors. I wish I could show you one, they are really cute!(teacher of toddlers)


“Spice Turkeys”–trace child’s hand. Let them “paint” glue on palm and fingers w/brush. Let them sprinkle on different Thanksgiving spices on fingers–nutmeg, salt, pepper, cinnamon, allspice, or the like. Let them smell the scents of a Thanksgiving dinner! (Good for teaching the 5 senses, too.)


With all the great painting ideas we use at this time of year. Always put a squirt of dish detergent in the paint. It helps with the cleanup. The brushes, sponges and children’s hands clean up with ease. They do not need any extra soap.


Native American Vests

Have children choose a Native American name to use in the classroom during the course of study relating to Native Americans (ie Dancing Raccoon, Little Bear, Pretty Flower). Using markers and t-shirt paint, have children illustrate their name on burlap vests. Native American symbols can also be used to decorate the vests. Burlap that is purchased by the yard works great. Simply cut the doubled burlap into 12″ pieces and make an opening for the child’s head.


Cut out a turkey body from brown construction paper or tag board. Then let the students use fabric, wallpaper samples, construction paper, glitter, sequins, and other craft items to dress their turkey for Thanksgiving. After their turkey is dressed, they can dictate a story about how Mr. Turkey convinced the family not to eat him for Thanksgiving dinner.


Send home a pattern of a turkey with your kiddo’s. Invite the child’s family to decorate the turkey with glitter, macaroni, feathers, paint, sequins, etc. When you get them back display them with pride! Give an award to each family such as Most Colorful, Silliest Turkey, Yummiest Turkey, etc.



Take an uncooked potato and have children insert feathers on one side being careful to choose the feathers with the firmest “stem”. Glue on wiggle eyes. Use red felt for a “gobble’. Fold yellow or orange diamond shape cutout to make beak. Insert 4 toothpicks in bottom half to make him stand. CUTE CUTE CUTE! Parents and kids love them. Experiment with materials.


“In step with Thanksgiving!” For wall mural or individual purposes: Draw an outline of Turkey, side view. Take old, used shoes, have paper plates of tempra ready for dipping. After the kids have colored in their Turkeys, have them take the shoes, dip in paint, and press paint for Turkey feathers. This is adorable as a bulletin board or can be laminated and made into placemats for Thanksgiving.


We love painting at the easel..so for Thanksgiving, we make turkeys. The children make a big brown “peanut” shapes and peach bird legs. Then we put on BIG google eyes and peach fun foam for the beak. I cut them out and for the feathers, I use that wide paper ribbon in big loops (six) stapled out of the back. I use brick red, natural, and cream. That twisty ribbon is great, but it takes forever to untwist. The turkeys turn out really cute.


Cut feather shapes from sponges. Be sure to vary the size and include the small stem on the end. Use these to sponge paint with fall colors on large sheets of paper. The children enjoy filling up whole pages with bright feathery colors!

Share an idea you have used in your classroom or at home that pertains to this theme.