Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts


Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts

I teach kindergarten and this project is a hit! During the holidays I try to pull together families into the children’s work. I discuss with the children what they are thankful for and what the word thankful means. I then show them 2 turkeys I created and then laminated that do not have any feathers. I discuss with them how we should be thankful for our families and then I have each child cut out a feather from a tracer that I have. I type up a little note to the parents and have them bring it home. They are to decorate their feather with anything they want. They are then required to write on their feather what they are thankful for. Parents have used feathers, felt, wallpaper, glitter, pictures, cotton, crayons, markers, ribbon, etc. The feathers come back to me looking great. Not only do the kids love this project but the parents do also. once I get all the feathers back I attach them to my featherless turkeys and I title the bulletin board “Two very thankful Turkeys”. The parents always can’t wait to see the outcome. Compliments will fly your way with this project!


We made paper mache turkeys with my 4 and 5-year-old class this year. We took a balloon, blew it up, mixed up flour paste, just flour and water until it’s the right consistency, dipped torn newspaper into the paste and wrapped the balloon with the newspaper. It took about 2-3 days to dry. Then when it was dry the children painted the turkey brown. This took another 1-2 days to dry. Then we traced their hands on orange construction paper, cut them out and used this for the tail feathers, I traced around their foot on brown construction paper and this became the head of the turkey. We then glued on a red triangle and wiggly eyes to the head. They turned out so cute! The parents all said this was a keeper and they all used it as a centerpiece for Thanksgiving dinner.


This year we are making placemats. We will either color a picture of a turkey ( copied from clip art or a coloring book ) or paint our hand turkey colors ( trace hand for those who do not like to paint their hand ) & place those onto a sheet of construction paper. Along the top we will write “I am thankful for” & along the bottom, we will write our answer(s). When dry, laminate/contact paper both sides. Can be used every Thanksgiving!


There are two ways I make turkeys with the kids. The first is a handprint. I let the kids paint their palm and thumb brown (or paint it myself for the little ones) and the fingers bright colors for feathers. After they make their handprint on paper, we draw on eyes and legs. For a twist, I trace their hands with brown crayon or marker on brown construction paper, cut craft feathers in half and glue the cut feathers to the fingers. We add a cheerio or fruit loop for eyes and cut orange pipe cleaners for feet.


Coffee Filter Turkeys

Materials needed: one regular coffee filter per child, regular Crayola watercolor markers, brown construction paper, white construction paper, glue, water. Have each child color on the coffee filter using the Crayola markers. Next, spray the coffee filters gently with water. The colors will bleed together to create a beautiful tail for your turkey. Next, cut large brown circles of construction paper for the turkey’s body. Cut another smaller brown circle for the head. Glue the dried coffee filter on the white paper, then the body, and finally the head. These turkeys are really something to look at!


Stained Glass Turkeys: Give the children construction paper feathers that have the inside cut out (just the outline of the feather is used). Glue 3 or 4 outlines of feathers on wax paper, then take tissue paper squares and glue them on the inside of the feather (this will be on the wax paper). After they dry, you will need to cut out the leftover wax paper that surrounds the feathers. Attach a body (if you want a front view of a turkey, cut out a brown “potato” shape head/body and glue feathers on either side. If you want a side view, cut a large circle for the body and then an oval for the head. Glue eyes, feet, etc. as you desire. Hang them in the window for beautiful stained glass feathers on your turkeys. It takes some time to make, but they are so different and nice to look at, adding lots of color to your windows!


Create a Turkey with an apple, colored marshmallows and toothpicks. Take the apple and place it on a paper plate, take the colored marshmallows and place them on the toothpicks and stick them in the apple.


Cut a paper plate into eighths like a pie. Color or paint the edge brown. Paint the rest orange, while it is still wet, sprinkle pumpkin pie spice on. Finish with a cotton ball. Voila, a slice of spice (pumpkin pie)


For Thanksgiving, create your own tablecloth. Purchase plain white paper tablecloths and let the children sponge paint leaves, pumpkins, and fruit prints. You can use pre-cut sponges and/or everyday materials like apples, leaves, pears, feathers…etc. Children will have lots of fun and parents will love to see what their kids made.

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