Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts


Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts

Our preschool class did a great group project this year for Thanksgiving. Take 2 large sheets of poster board and draw a large turkey on it cut it out. Color the beak, wattles and feet. Take all your fall colors of tempera paint and have each child print their handprint all over the turkey (this becomes the feathers). We have some very small children in our program so it was much easier for the instructor to paint each child’s hand one at a time. It made a great classroom picture. For easy clean up add a few drops of liquid soap into the paint.


Thanksgiving Turkey Handprints

Paint the palm of the child’s hand brown include the thumb. Then paint the child’s fingers a different color (one red, one orange, etc.) Use fall colors. Make a print on construction paper. This can be repeated as many times as the child wants. When the paint is dry color in a waddle and eyes and beak. This gives you an adorable side view of a turkey and children and parents love it because it uses the child’s hand.


A Tie Turkey. Ask the parents/guardians to send in old neckties for an art project. On a transparency, blow up a picture of a turkey. Leaving out the feathers trace the image onto large paper. Have the children color the turkey. Each child can then decorate a tie (using all kinds of collage materials) and these become the feathers on the turkey. It makes a great bulletin board display!


Family Turkey:

Give your children various sheets of construction paper to take home. Instruct the family to trace and cut out handprints of all the family members, including the child. When you receive the hand cut-outs back at school, assemble them on a paper to look like feathers. On top of the feathers attach a pre-cut turkey head and body. When complete, label the picture the child’s family turkey.


Here is an idea for a turkey magnet. Make a turkey shape out of brown poster board. Make the back of the turkey circular. Glue different colored feathers onto the turkey’s back. Glue a wiggly eye on for the turkey’s eye. Glue two popsicle sticks and attach a piece of magnet tape onto the back of the turkey. If you have a magnetic bulletin board or cabinet door, stick all the turkeys on it. They look cute grouped together. They also look great on mom’s refrigerator.


Cut a turkey body out of brown construction paper and then glue this onto a large white paper. Put brown, yellow, red and orange paint onto paper plates. Have the children dip their hands into the paint and paint handprint turkey feathers for the tail. The more they layer their handprints the prettier to turkey.


Native American/ Thanksgiving Theme To support our discussion about Native Americans, my kindergarten classes made dream catchers out of paper plates. We discussed how the dream catchers let the good dreams through and would catch the bad dream. For the preparation, I had a parent volunteer help cut out the center of the paper plates and punch holes all around the inside perimeter. Then the children painted both sides of the plate. After the paint was dry, the children practiced weaving the yarn in and out of the holes until it created a web. The children related this to making a spider web. Afterwards, we punched three holes at the bottom of the plate. Here we placed a piece of yarn through each hole and taped the ends together with masking tape. Using the taped end, the children thread small beads onto the yarn and then slide a feather underneath the beads. This created a tight fit so the beads would not fall off. To hang them up, we punched a hole at the top and created a loop with yarn. The children really enjoyed this activity and couldn’t wait to share them with their family!


Thanksgiving Turkeys — To make a simple Thanksgiving Turkey, cut a simple outline of a turkey from brown construction paper. A profile of a turkey works best. Draw an eye on the turkey and the waddle. Then, with small scraps of colored tissue paper, make the feathers for the turkey. Take a square of tissue paper in your hand and insert the eraser from a pencil into the middle of the square. Twist the tissue paper around the eraser and dip into glue. Then glue the tissue paper onto the turkey cutout. Easy, and my three-year-old class loved doing it!


For Thanksgiving, we decided to make a Thanksgiving tree. We made the trunk and limbs from brown paper bags and stapled them to the bulletin board. After the kids had thought of some things they were thankful for, we cut them out of magazines and glued them to our tree. I liked it so much we had it up for about 6 months!

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