Thanksgiving Fun with Turkeys

Print Friendly

Thanksgiving Fun with Turkeys

Let’s have some fun with turkeys. Why is it that the turkey has become a symbol of Thanksgiving? The turkey probably was part of the first Thanksgiving meal along with deer, several types of seafood and many fruits and vegetables. Wild turkeys are found in 49 of the 50 United States. Alaska is the only state where they are not found. The fact that they are so wide spread across our nation is probably why they are a common symbol to our Thanksgiving.

Below are some fun activities to do with turkeys during this Thanksgiving holiday.

Fun Time
Fun with Food
Craft
Story Time
Related Posts

Fun Time

Since it’s almost Thanksgiving, I thought it would be fun to have a turkey themed day with my 2 year old great-nephew. We started out with a movie. The movie was Free Birds. It’s a story of turkeys that travel back in time, to the first Thanksgiving, to try to get turkeys off the menu. Although it is currently in movie theaters (November 2013), it might be on DVD by the time you are reading this. I would recommend watching it. It was a fun addition to our turkey themed day.

Right before naptime we read Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano. I love including books in our fun time. This turkey was also trying to find ways to not be included in the Thanksgiving festivities. I loved some of his disguises. I have more suggestions of fun turkey books below in my Story Time section.

(top)

Fun with Food

You can find all kinds of fun turkey themed bento meals on Pinterest. If you aren’t familiar with Bento meals, they are artistically crafted foods that are popular in Japan. If you are on Pinterest, you can find several fun ideas by clicking here. I was especially inspired by the one I found on Creative Food. I adapted their idea to get this:

Fun with Turkeys: Turkey Bento with colored pepper tail and ranch dip

Fun with Turkeys: Turkey Bento with colored pepper tail and ranch dip

1. For the body, I made a turkey sandwich and cut it out with a circle cookie cutter.

2. I had purchased a package of 2 oz. portion cups (like the ones you might get butter or single servings of dressing in with your take-out food) at Costco. I used one of those for the head. I put some ranch dip in it.

3. We then cut eyes from a piece of American cheese with a straw. I used edible food markers to make the pupils in the eyes.

4. I cut the beak and feet out of carrot pieces.

5. I used a small piece of red pepper for the snood. (The snood is the fleshy piece that grows from a turkey’s forehead and hangs over it’s beak)

6. For the turkey’s tail feathers I cut thin slices of red, orange and yellow peppers.

The meal was a hit! Everyone gobbled it down (pun intended).

Fun with Turkeys: Turkey Bento Meals

Fun with Turkeys: Turkey Bento Meals

(top)

Craft

When I taught preschool, I would do this craft with my classes. I originally found it on Enchanted Learning. You use the child’s hands and feet to make the turkey. The original instructions say to use colored construction paper for the parts but my daughter inspired me to do something different. Read the instructions below to find out how to make this special Thanksgiving turkey and a fun memory of little hands and feet.

Hands & Feet Turkey

Fun with Turkeys: Materials Needed for Hands and Feet Turkey

Fun with Turkeys: Materials Needed for Hands and Feet Turkey

Materials Needed:

Markers, crayons or paint
White cardstock
Brown construction paper
Wiggly eyes
Pencil
Glue
Scissors


Instructions:

1. Trace the child’s feet on the brown construction paper. Yes, both feet.

2. Cut out the feet. (I got my great-nephew started on the next part before I cut out the feet so he had something to do.)

3. Trace the child’s hands on the white cardstock. You will need 3 sets of hands (Since my great-nephew’s hands are small I was able to get a set of hands on a half piece of paper.)

4. I chose fall colors for the feathers (the fingers become the feathers). We used orange, red and brown. At first I gave Jeremiah the half sheet of paper, without cutting out his hands, for him to color. Since he is only 2 yrs old, I figured he would scribble more than actually color.

Fun with Turkeys: Hands & Feet Turkey Craft

Fun with Turkeys: Hands & Feet Turkey Craft

Then he started coloring real intently on one corner.

Fun with Turkeys: Coloring

Fun with Turkeys: Coloring

I decided to cut the hands out so he didn’t waste time working so hard on a piece that would get cut off and thrown away. Here he is working on one of the fingers.

Fun with Turkeys: Hands & Feet Turkeys

Fun with Turkeys: Hands & Feet Turkeys

I would give him one color for each set of hands.

Fun with Turkeys: Hands & Feet Turkey Craft

Fun with Turkeys: Hands & Feet Turkey Craft

5. Jeremiah helped me glue the feet together to make the body and then we arranged the hands to make the tail feathers.

6. Finally, we glued on the eyes.

7. I would recommend putting the child’s name and date on the back of the turkey. We took ours and had it laminated. I had to take the eyes off so we could laminate it but then we glued them right back on.

Here is Jeremiah and his prize turkey. I would recommend doing this activity every Thanksgiving, while they are little, just to see how much they grow from year to year.

Fun with Turkeys: Hands & Feet Turkey Craft

Fun with Turkeys: Hands & Feet Turkey Craft

(top)

Story Time

10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston
Reading Level: 3 to 5 yrs old
This book doesn’t have anything to do with Thanksgiving but since turkeys are closely associated with Thanksgiving I thought this would be a fun book to include. The story starts out with 10 fat turkeys “fooling” on a fence. There are lots of funny words such as, “Gobble, Gobble, Wibble, Wobble” and lot of silly antics out of the turkeys. This will be smiles and giggles to your little one..and a few from you too.

Gus, the Pilgrim Turkey by Teresa Bateman
Reading Level: Ages 4 to 8 yrs old
Gus loved being a turkey and loved living on the farm until one day his friends told him some sad news. Gus was looking forward to playing in the snow and celebrating the New Year until his friends told him that turkeys usually don’t make it to the New Year. When his friends shared with him that turkey is one of the main items to eat for Thanksgiving he decided it was time to leave the farm. He travels far and wide to find a safe place to live. As he finds a new safe place to live he comes to the realization that he is now a Pilgrim. Pick up this fun little book for a light spirited look at Thanksgiving and the deeper definition of a pilgrim.

A Plump And Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman
Reading Level: Ages 4 to 8 yrs old
The people of Squawk Valley really wanted turkey for their Thanksgiving dinner but they couldn’t find one anywhere. The turkeys around Squawk Valley had become quite smart and learned to hide when Thanksgiving was near. The townspeople decided to trick the turkeys by having a special art event that featured turkeys. They posted signs all over the forest saying they were looking for a plump and perky turkey to be their model for the different art projects. Pete the turkey saw the poster and believed he could help out so he went to model for the special event. So Pete posed while the townsfolk created their turkey art. Everyone was excited because now they were going to be able to catch Pete and have him for their Thanksgiving dinner. Pick up this fun little book to see if the townspeople get to eat turkey for dinner or if Pete gets away.

Run, Turkey, Run! by Diane Mayr
Reading Level: Ages 3 to 7 yrs old
If you aren’t ready for your child to understand that the turkey we eat at Thanksgiving is a live animal, before we get it, then avoid this story. It is not a morbid, overly detailed, story but the fact that the other farm animals keep telling the turkey to run and the farmer is chasing him through the whole story means you will probably have to have the discussion. It’s actually a cute little story. The turkey tries to roll in the mud with the pigs and swim in the lake with the ducks in order to hide from the farmer. In the end, the farmer and his family eat grilled cheese sandwiches with peas and mashed potatoes. Have fun with the story of the turkey who got away.

Too Many Turkeys by Linda White
Reading Level: Ages 5 yrs old and up
This is not a Thanksgiving story but it is a cute turkey story. Fred and Belle have a tiny farm that they take very good care of. One day a baby turkey, which is called a poult, wanders onto their farm. Belle is not very excited about the idea but Fred says he will take care of the little turkey. The turkey ends up being a great benefit to the little farm until too many of his friends show up. Pick up this book and find out how having a turkey on the farm was helpful although a little stressful at times.

A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting
Reading Level: Ages 5 to 8 yrs old
Mr. & Mrs. Moose are getting the table set for Thanksgiving. They are very excited to have all of their friends over but there is one thing that is making Mrs. Moose sad; there is no turkey for Thanksgiving. Mr. Moose wants to do what he can to make this a special Thanksgiving so he heads out to find a turkey. Pick this book up to find out what happens when Mr. Moose finally finds a turkey, it might surprise you.

Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano
Reading Level: Ages 3 to 7 yrs old
If you aren’t ready for your child to learn that the meat on the table comes from live animals, it would probably be best to skip this book. Other than possibly needing to have that conversation, this book is adorable. Turkey is in trouble because Thanksgiving is almost here and he is the main course. He tries several disguises to hide from the farmer. In the end, he comes up with a fantastic substitution for turkey. Pick up this book and share it with your child to find out what the farmer’s family has to eat this Thanksgiving.

Turkeys on the Family Farm by Chana Stiefel
Reading Level: Ages 5 to 8 yrs old
This is a wonderfully informative book about turkeys. Your child will get to see actual pictures of turkeys. They will learn how turkeys are raised and cared for, on an organic farm. They will learn the different terms used when referring to turkeys such as tom, hen, jake or poult. This is a great book to get some basic information about turkeys.

Turkeys That Fly and Turkeys That Don’t (Rookie Read-About Science) by Allan Fowler
Reading Level: Ages 3 to 7 yrs old
Your child will learn a lot of fun facts about turkeys. Even I found it interesting as to why some turkeys fly and some don’t. There are lots of pictures of wild turkeys and domestic turkeys so your child can see the difference. I enjoyed learning about the similarities and differences between wild and domestic birds, I’m sure your child will too.

(top)

Related Posts

Thanksgiving Learning Activities
Pumpkins are Orange; and Other Learning Concepts

(top)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
This entry was posted in Holidays, Learning Activities, Thanksgiving and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Thanksgiving Fun with Turkeys

  1. Pingback: November Family Friendly Events 2014 - Love to Laugh and LearnLove to Laugh and Learn

  2. Pingback: Pumpkins Are Orange; and Other Learning ConceptsLove to Laugh and Learn

  3. Crystal says:

    I love that turkey craft. Jeremiah is so cute!

  4. Jeremiah’s version definitely more interesting that colored paper would have been. And you could have made one more turkey bento.

  5. Pingback: Thanksgiving Learning ActivitiesLove to Laugh and Learn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *