When it comes to the most delicious meal of the year, cooking and stuffing the turkey is best left to the adults. But there’s no need for children to miss out on the holiday fun. Celebrate the season with our roundup of the best turkey crafts for kids that will keep little hands occupied (and away from the kitchen).
20 Turkey Crafts to Help Celebrate the Season
1. Wine Cork Turkeys
Before you start crafting with your child, feel free to pour yourself a glass of vino to help get the creative juices flowing—just don’t throw out the cork. Instead, use it to make one of these ridiculously cute wine cork turkeys. Younger kids can pick the colors of the felt tail feathers and cut them out (an excellent scissor-skill exercise), while older kids can help with gluing things down. Parents should know that this craft calls for a hot glue gun, so close supervision is required. FYI: With a little help from a serrated knife, you can make multiple wine cork turkeys to use as name card holders, but you may need to start popping bottles a couple weeks in advance to collect enough corks for the job.
2. Printable Turkey Basket
Good news for parents who can’t confidently engineer a 3D work of art from scratch: This craft comes with a printable pattern (i.e., one more thing to be thankful for). Depending on the age of the child involved in the craft, a grown-up might need to assist with the scoring and cutting of the pattern—but other than that, this kid-friendly project is a fun and creative way to encourage your child to follow directions in the service of a bigger goal. Bonus: The only supplies you need are pencils, scissors, cardstock and a glue stick.
3. Hiding Turkey Puppet Craft
A turkey craft that provides entertainment and encourages imaginative play, this paper plate puppet is a double-win. There’s painting, gluing and construction paper snipping involved in making both the turkey and the backdrop. The takeaway? An engaging project that kids of all ages can have a hand in completing (with a little help from a grown-up friend with the craft knife, of course). Best of all, if you have a baby in the house, you can just bang this one out yourself and use it as a peek-a-boo prop.
4. Glitter Cd Turkey
Glitter might be the bane of your existence, but this crafting supply never fails to excite the too-young-to-clean crowd. This super sparkly Mod Podge craft is fun to make and can be relatively mess-free as long as you supervise and steer clear of carpet. Purge your CD collection (‘Mom, what’s that?) and use a disc to make this dazzling turkey craft with your kid.
5. Mason Jar Turkeys
In case you missed it, mason jars have immense crafting potential. Case in point: This super cute turkey fashioned from a painted glass jar with simple cardstock and pipe cleaner appliques (plus a pair of googly eyes for good measure). Grown-ups should mind the hot glue gun, but the painting, pipe cleaner crafting, and cardstock cutting are all fair game for kids. In other words, hold on to those jam jars, friends.
6. Paper Plate Turkey
The toddler and pre-K crowd will have a blast pulling off this simple craft, which requires nothing more than a paper plate, a coat of paint and a few feathers (preferably in autumnal shades). Bonus: Unlike some more colorful projects, your little kid will have this one on lockdown...you know, because it’s the same shade of brown that happens every time you bust out the paint.
7. Turkey Tissue Paper By Number Craft
This STEAM craft, which hones number recognition and color matching skills, relies on only a few mess-free materials—tissue paper, glue, scissors and a free turkey template. If you’re looking for an educational art project that’s been tailored to the pre-K crowd, look no further: This one checks all the boxes and produces a darn cute finished product to boot.
8. Painted Newspaper Turkey Craft
Newspaper clippings and watercolor paints combine to make an aesthetically pleasing and exceedingly easy turkey craft that even the youngest kids can pull off. A brightly colored cardstock background will make the newspaper turkey pop, but you can also just work with what you’ve got (white printer paper will work in a pinch). Children of all ages will enjoy cutting, assembling and painting their newspaper turkey. Plus, with little kids, acrylics can go very wrong...so let’s just say we’re thankful for watercolor crafts.
9. Fingerprint Turkey Napkin Rings
This finger painting project requires a little more precision than your toddler will likely be able to muster so this turkey craft, like most things (sorry tots), is best-suited for preschool kids and up. That said, the art project comes together quickly and calls for only a few basic supplies—cardstock, acrylic paint, white paint pen, glue and scissors. There’s also a template to make the kid-friendly process even easier. The end result? A turkey napkin ring that might just become a keepsake. (After all, no two fingerprints are alike.)
10. Paper Turkey Craft
Cardstock, crayons, scissors, glue. Yep, that’s all you need to make this cute paper turkey. The project is simple and so manageable, yet still promises to engage little kids with the challenge of detail-oriented, constructive thinking. Once the craft is complete, the finished bird will look good enough to...make your child feel proud.
11. Pinecone Turkey Place Card Holders
‘Tis the season for pine cone collecting. Put your nature explorer to work in the park and then get ready to start crafting these ridiculously cute place card holders. This kid-friendly craft comes together with a not-so-hot glue gun, (i.e., a hot glue gun on a low, safe setting) so even the young ones can fully participate in the project. Aside from the crafting power tool, Pom Poms, googly eyes, feathers and a scant amount of felt are all you need to transform a pine cone into a tiny, festive turkey.
12. Paper Bag Turkey Craft
If you’ve got a school-aged kid on your hands, there’s a good chance you’ve got a stack of brown lunch bags hanging around. Spare one for a good cause and make this paper bag turkey with your child for a simple, stress-free craft and a bit of quality time.
13. Light Bulb Turkey
Upcycle that burnt-out bulb this holiday season for use in this adorable turkey craft. You’ll definitely need to swing by a local craft store for this one or do some online shopping, since some specialty materials are required (think, tiny straw hat, silk flower, acrylic sealer spray) and overall, the project is certainly more involved. That said, if you’re feeling motivated to take on a Pinterest-worthy activity, there’s still plenty of painting the young person in your life can do to help out.
14. Elbow Macaroni Turkey Craft
So elbow macaroni with butter is your kid’s favorite food? Um, same. That means you’ve got what you need to tackle this amazing turkey craft. Raid the pantry for pasta, the recycling for cardboard and the craft box for acrylic paint—you’re ready to make festive art with your child. The hands-on process boasts major sensory appeal while also putting fine motor skills to the test (thanks, macaroni). The little kid in your life will also get a kick out of seeing their favorite pasta shape transformed into a colorful version of the Thanksgiving staple they likely won’t eat. Oh, the irony.
15. Toilet Roll Turkeys
Recycled materials—toilet paper tube, cereal box clippings—are all you need to make this inexpensive, but incredibly charming craft with your child. The younger ones will need help cutting and assembling the cardboard into a card-bird (sorry), but there’s plenty of creative fun to be had on the decorating end. Best of all, these turkeys get their color from Kwikstix (i.e., tempera paint sticks)—a particularly mess-free medium that parents are likely to fall in love with.
16. Cereal Box Turkey
Can’t make it to the craft store? No problem. If you have a cereal box in your kitchen and a couple sheets of construction paper, you’re in good shape to make this cute 3D turkey with your kid. The process is straightforward and kid-friendly from start to finish. Best of all, this craft includes an exercise in thankfulness, as you can ask your child to name a few things he’s grateful for and write them down on each tailfeather.
17. Wood Slice And Washi Tape Turkeys
Silly, cute, sparkly—this wood slice turkey is begging to be the centerpiece on your Thanksgiving table. It’s also remarkably easy to make with a little florist wire, washi tape, hot glue and a wood slice. OK, you might not have the materials lying around, but once you procure them, the crafting process is a breeze. Bring a big kid on board so you can bang out several of these beautiful birds and give ‘em out as gifts.
18. Turkey Headband
The balloon tongue is everything. If your child is willing to wear one of these majestic turkey headbands on the big day, it is your parental duty to make this craft happen. Fortunately, that’s pretty easy: Aside from basic office stuff (stapler, scissors), all you need is construction paper, cardstock, googly eyes and a red balloon. Kids of all ages will enjoy helping with every step of the craft—just don’t forget the photo-op when you’re finished.
19. Thankful Styrofoam Turkey
Scoop up some Styrofoam (two discs and a ball) and you set your child up with a turkey craft that can be executed independently. Big and young kids will enjoy painting a new material, and the construction paper feathers provide a space for children to share what they’re thankful for.
20. Turkey Coffee Can Painting
This turkey craft features a novel technique that promotes movement and promises to excite young kids. The combination of marbles and acrylic paint produce swirling designs on a turkey template. The end result? A colorful work of art that doesn’t require your child to sit still and craft.