Kit loves finding ways to make holidays more fun, educational, and memorable for children and adults alike.
Turkey Activities for Kids
Turkey-themed crafts make for great Thanksgiving projects, and turkey-themed games can keep kids entertained for hours while the real turkey is cooking. Here I have listed some of my absolute favorite kid-friendly Thanksgiving games and crafts. These are perfect for teachers, parents, children, and anyone else you share the holiday with. Pictures, supply lists, and step-by-step instructions are included to help you follow along. I hope these fun projects and activities give your Thanksgiving celebrations that extra touch.
Turkey-Themed Thanksgiving Crafts
- Turkey Windsock
- Turkey Treat Buckets
- Pinecone Turkey Centerpiece
Turkey-Themed Thanksgiving Games
- Pin the Tail on the Turkey
- Turkey Bowling
1. Turkey Windsock
This first craft idea is an amazing turkey windsock. It's a fun and easy-to-make Thanksgiving decoration that you can hang in your door frame, off your mantle, or from your ceiling above your dinner table. This project is a great choice for school children, as there is so much room for creativity in putting it together. As with all the crafts listed in this article, putting this particular turkey in the oven is not recommended.
- Recycled food can with the top and bottom removed (completely dry and clean)
- Masking or duct tape
- Brown paint
- Quick-dry craft glue
- Orange permanent marker or painter's pen
- Large googly eyes
- Fall-colored ribbon tapes
- Feathers or felt
- Use the masking or duct tape to cover the inside edges of the can in case there are any sharp parts. Be sure to cover both the top and bottom edges of the can. It is best to have an adult do this.
- Paint the can brown, then let it dry. It shouldn’t take long to dry (maybe an hour or two). One coat of paint should be plenty. While you wait for the paint to dry, check out some of the thanksgiving games listed below.
- Draw a triangular beak on the painted can using your paint marker. The beak should be about halfway down the can.
- Place a little glue on the back of the googly eyes, then try to line them up above the beak. Make sure to give your turkey a little shake after a few minutes (once the glue is dry) so you know the eyes won’t fall off.
- Apply a line of glue along the inside rim of the back of the can, then attach the tail feathers. These can be made from real colored feathers, felt or construction paper. The masking or duct tape on the inside should help your feathers adhere to the can.
- Cut approximately 10–15 pieces of the autumn ribbon to about 16” in length, then apply another line of craft glue around the bottom of the inside edge of the can. When placing your ribbons on the glued surface, you can overlap them to get more coverage.
- Create a teardrop-shaped giblet from red felt, then use the craft glue to attach it to the can. Be sure to give it sufficient time to dry.
- Attach the two ends of a ribbon to the inside of the top of each side of the can to make a hanger. Be generous with the glue and give it plenty of time to dry so that it can hold the weight of the can once it's hung.
That's it! Once everything is dry glue-wise, you’ll be free to hang the turkey windsock up wherever you want. If you hang it outdoors, it will look great in the breeze.
2. Turkey Treat Bucket
If you are looking for a great way to treat your kids this Thanksgiving, you’ll love this DIY turkey bucket. You can fill it with miniature candy bars or healthier treats like clementines. This simple craft tends to be popular with kids of all ages. If you are having children over for dinner, they can make this cheeky craft before the meal and then eat dessert from it afterward. Aside from letting the paint dry, this project takes very little time to put together.
- Metal pails
- Brown paint (if pails aren't already brown)
- Googly eyes
- Colored feathers
- Adhesive craft foam (orange and red)
- Craft glue
- Run a length of glue along half of the edge of the bucket, attach 5–6 feathers, then allow to dry.
- On the opposite side, glue the two googly eyes about 3/4 of the way to the top of the bucket.
- Cut a beak shape (inverted triangle) from your orange craft foam, then attach it to the bucket centered below the two eyes.
- Cut a giblet shape from your red craft foam and attach it to the bucket next to the beak.
- Fill the bucket with sweets and candies. You're done!
Just make sure you don’t bring your turkey treat buckets out before dinner time. Otherwise, all that precious cooking might go to waste.
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3. Pinecone Turkey Centerpiece
If you want to keep your kids or dinner guests entertained and engaged while you prepare dinner, invite them to make these amazing pinecone turkeys. Making one of these simple but adorable centerpieces is a great way to bring out your inner craft skills. This is the type of project that your kids will love creating with you because it's got so much character.
- Martha Stewart circle edge punch machine
- 3 Pieces of colored paper (orange, deep red, and brown)
- Patterned autumn style card/paper
- Small piece of red ribbon
- White paper
- Black marker
- Glue gun
- Have all participants go outside and find a pinecone to use.
- Use your circle-edge punch machine to make circular dollies out of each of your three pieces of construction paper. The orange circle should be the largest and the brown circle should be the smallest. The red circle should be larger than the brown and smaller than the orange.
- Align the bottom of the red circle with the bottom of the orange circle, then glue them together. Align the bottom of the brown circle with the bottom of the red circle them glue them together. This should create a layered tail.
- Glue the tail to the back of your pinecone and allow it to dry.
- Cut out two white triangles, and then use the circle-edge punch to create little eyelid patterns like the ones in the picture. Once you’ve done this, use the black marker to draw in some pupils. Glue these two eyes to the pinecone.
- Cut a triangle out of your leftover orange paper, then glue it to the front of the pinecone just below the eyes.
- Glue a small piece of red ribbon under the beak to create a giblet.
- Cut two triangles out of your leftover red construction paper. Glue these to the bottom of your pinecone to create your turkey's feet.
- Glue the bottom of your completed turkey pinecone to a flat, autumn-themed card to give it a stable base for display (optional).
This craft is a little more complicated, but the end result is worth it. The pinecone-hunting element is also a great excuse to get your kids to blow off some steam outside.
1. Pin the Tail on the Turkey
This is a great game to keep your kids entertained while you prepare for guests or during any downtime in your celebration. By the time they're finished, they'll be laughing, pointing, and wanting their photos taken with the final turkey masterpiece.
- Brown, yellow, orange, and red construction paper
- White paper
- Black marker
- Masking tape
- Draw two circles on the brown paper. One should be smaller than the other—I recommend tracing a dinner plate and a bowl. Use scissors to cut out both circles.
- Using the yellow paper, cut out a beak shape.
- Using the red paper, cut out a snood shape.
- Cut two strips from the yellow paper. Each should be about 2" wide and 12" long. Fold the paper in an accordion style, then cut two triangles out at the bottom to represent the toes.
- Cut out a white circle from the white paper, then draw a black pupil on it with the black marker.
- Cut out a supply of "feathers" from your selection of colored construction paper.
- Attach the turkey to the wall, but leave out the feathers.
- Give each child one or more feathers to attach to the turkey's rear end, then blindfold them.
- Have each child attempt to attach their feather to the turkey's rump one at a time. Once each player has placed their feather(s), you can take a photo of them with their completed masterpiece.
2. Turkey Bowling
This easy-to-set-up game turns your hallway or driveway into a miniature bowling alley. Turkey bowling is addicting, so this is another great go-to activity for keeping the kids entertained while you tend to the real turkey in the kitchen.
- Large brown plastic cups (or paint white plastic cups brown)
- Red, yellow, and orange paper
- Googly eyes
- Glue gun
- A small ping pong ball or a tennis ball
- Cut out feathers from your colored paper, then attach them to the backs of your plastic cups with glue. Be sure to glue the feathers to only the backs of the cups so they can be stacked on each other during the game.
- Use your glue to attach the googly eyes and beaks to the front of the cups to complete the turkeys.
- Position the cups either in the traditional bowling shape or stacked in a pyramid.
- Instruct the children to take turns bowling for the cups from a set distance away. Whoever knocks over the most cups at the end of ten turns wins the game!
A lot of these crafts and games use the same materials, so feel free to try them all if you have time. I hope you found these ideas fun and useful. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and feel free to leave a comment below to let me know how these games and crafts went.