Turkey Tiara

I love our Thanksgiving tiaras!  These were actually inspired by Fancy Nancy Our Thanksgiving Banquet.  (We love Fancy Nancy in our house!)  They are festive and fun and pretty easy to make.

Supplies: headband, felt–brown, mustard, and red (for the red use the stiff, sparkly felt), googly eyes, red feathers, ribbon

To assembly the pieces you want to start with the face.  Layer the two circles together and then add the red felt wing bits.  For the red piece, I used the stiff, sparkly felt to give the piece a firmer structure and a little more pizzazz.

Once all the felt parts are together you want to glue it onto the headband.  I attached it a little at the side because you don’t want it right on top of the head.  And then add the real feathers.  If it’s already on the headband it is easier to be sure pieces aren’t poking into the head.

For the headband piece I covered mine in ivory ribbon.  We had cheap colored ones and this made it look nicer and match the girls’ outfit.  You could just as easily by a nicer headband with which to start.

Don’t like the showgirl look?  You don’t have to make it with the feathers and the sparkles.  Last year I forgot ours at home when we traveled to California so we had to make a quick detour by Walmart and borrow my grandma’s glue gun.  I just used dark brown felt instead of the bright red and no fluffy feathers.


Turkeys, Turkeys Everywhere

We have made a few different turkeys this season.  They were fun and cute and a lot are easy enough that you could even do them on Turkey Day to keep the little ones occupied while you are cooking or the grown ups are visiting.

Coffee Filter Turkeys

I think that these turkeys came out so cute.  It was a different take on the coffee filter flowers using liquid water color.  We also used scented pine cones to spice up the place.

Supplies: coffee filters, liquid water color, pippettes or eye droppers, pine cones, googly eyes (if you want),  construction paper or another item for the head (pom pom, small pine cone, etc.)

Using our sensory table so it didn’t make too big a mess, I gave the girls little cups of the water colors and plastic pippettes to drop the paint onto the coffee filters.  If you haven’t made the flowers before it makes a tie-dye type design once it dries.  You could also just color the filters with markers and then spray them with water to create a similar effect.  We went with the droppers and water color to make what the girls called “a science craft.”

We then crumbled the filters up into flower shapes and glued them onto the base of the pine cone to make the puffy tail feathers.  Older children could do the folding and stuffing themselves and probably wouldn’t even need to glue in the “feathers.” Since I have little ones that like to play with their crafts, I did the stuffing and hot glued in the pieces.

Then we added the head pieces.  I have included the image of the template I used so you could just download that and size it to your needs if you don’t want to draw your own, but really it’s pretty easy to freehand.  You could also do something different for the head such as use a pom pom or a small pine cone piece.  We didn’t have any natural pieces to use and the pom pom balls I had just didn’t look right with the color of our tail so we went for a paper head.  And the girls chose the googly eyes because “everything is better with googly eyes.”

Spray Paint Turkeys

These make great wall hangings to decorate the house for the big day.  And the graffiti style makes this good for a wide variety of ages.  Little ones can work on their hand muscles spraying the paint and older ones can play with the spray functions to create different designs.

Supplies: liquid water color, spray bottles, paper, tape

We used the liquid water color for these turkeys as well.  I drew the turkey feather piece on thick paper (we just use a roll from Michaels) and then cut out multiple copies.  I taped up all the feathers on our wall in the backyard.

Then I gave the girls spray bottles filled with liquid water colors–one bottle per color.  The girls had a great time spraying down the feather pieces.

After they dried we glued on the turkey pieces.  I cut out beaks and waddles ahead of time for the girls to add along with googly eyes.

Fancy Turkeys

I love crafts like these where we just put out a bunch of different supplies and the girls go wild. It really is just a turkey and whatever craft supplies you have on hand.  The girls had the idea to turn these decorations into puppets and added the craft stick handles.

Supplies: Cardstock, glue, markers, sequins, feathers, glitter, tissue paper, 

I used the cricut to cut out the turkeys out of cardstock (Cricut Lite, Celebrate with Flourish) but you could just as trace their hands or use a template online (there are tons of them).  We didn’t do the traditional hand turkeys for this one since the girls’ hands are still so little (there would be very little space to decorate).


Who hasn’t made a woven paper placemat for Thanksgiving?  This went great with our practicing patterns.  In addition to the placemat, we’ve done our pattern file folder game and made bead necklaces.  But really I included this in the post because I think it’s easy to think that projects need to be super creative, complicated, and unique but all those projects you loved as a child are new and fun to your little ones.  So don’t forget about them!  Make a hand turkey.  Weave a placemat.  Have fun!


Tree of Thanksgiving

Here is our Tree of Thanksgiving we made.  As a family we wrote things we are thankful for on each leaf and hung them on the tree.  It is now sitting in the middle of our kitchen table and when we say grace we read the leaves and thank God for all of our blessings.  This is a project I loved from beginning to end.  Obviously the part I love best is giving thanks, but on a crafty note, I also really like how our tree came out.

Supplies: posterboard (for the tree), paint, cardstock (for the leaves), construction paper (to make template), ribbon or raffia, hot glue, scissors, hole punch, marker


To make the tree you first want to draw out a stencil of the basic tree design.  You want to have a bit of a dip in the center piece. (Don’t be thrown off by all the orange paper.  The stencil and the tree really are different pieces; we just have a ton of orange paper).

Use your stencil to make two copies of the tree on posterboard or foamboard, depending on what you prefer.  I used orange posterboard since that’s what we had on hand and I thought it would work well painting it brown.  You could certainly skip the painting step and just go with brown board.  Different colors will give you different looks.

You need to make a cut in the top of one and the bottom of the other.  And you will want the cuts to match up.  I just went to the halfway point on each.  It might have worked between if I cut only down 1/3 from the top on one and up 2/3 from the bottom on the other.

I then reinforced the pieces with hot glue so the cuts weren’t quite as important.  You just need the pieces to fit together evenly so that it will stand up.

Cut additional branches as necessary.  I added four branches, one for each middle space.

Then hot glue the additional branches in.

Paint the tree.  You just need to be careful because if it gets too wet the whole thing can fall apart.  We just painted it lightly and quickly.  Just know that as you paint the branch pieces might start to curl.  I just made sure to quickly paint the other side.  Then I used a hair dryer to help it dry a little before propping it up.  You could certainly skip the painting step.  However, I kind of liked how it made the branches curl up and change shape a little.  It also kept all the branches from all being lined up straight.

For the leaves I used my cricut to cut them out of cardstock.  You could also just as easily draw your own or search a stencil online.  And then I used raffia for the ribbon hangers.

Then we just hung the leaves on the tree, reading each as we went along.  Like I said before we keep it in the middle of the table and refer to it when we say grace.

Balloons Over Broadway

If you are a fan of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade you will love this book!  And if you aren’t a fan, you will probably still enjoy it.  I am embarrassed to admit this but our girls still haven’t seen the Macy’s parade due to our Turkey Day travels, but they love reading this book all year long!  (Don’t worry, this year I tivo-ed the parade for us).

This book tells the story of Tony Sarg who designed the original Macy’s parade and how he came to invent the giant balloons we see today.  Much of the art mimics his studio and projects.  My girls love talking about the pictures and what each little piece means.  I love that a non-fiction books encourages such creativity and demonstrates the power of imagination.

Like I said, we actually read this book all year long.  And we were so inspired by it that when focusing on The Very Hungry Caterpillar we made the caterpillar puppet from the book.

Thanksgiving File Folder Games

With Thanksgiving around the corner, here are some festive file folder games we made for the girls.  Both Thanksgiving games focus on math skills.  And I’m grateful once again to my husband, Ed, for making all the clipart for me.

Thanksgiving Pattern Making

Like the name says, this game is about making patterns.  Little ones just learning about patterns, can simply match the pictures onto the pattern strips, while others can continue the pattern with the picture cards on the blank strips.

Download Thanksgiving Patterns File Folder Game

To make the file folder, you want to cut out the grid of pictures to make the card pieces.  I recommend laminating them to help them last longer.  Then glue the pattern strips down on the file folder.

I wanted to have the blank pattern strips too so that the girls could see where to continue the pattern and how many to lay out.  I attached them to the side of the folder using tape so that they could fold in to pack up the game and extend to layout the pattern.

I also added an extra blank one so that the girls could make their own pattern as well.

Turkey Number Game

In this game the girls add the feathers to the turkey body while practicing counting and number recognition.  I used the colorless feathers to act as a guide for where to add the feathers and so that the girls could match the numbers.  And be sure when gluing down the turkey body you only glue in the center so that the wing pieces can slide under the body.

Download Turkey File Folder Game

Once all the feathers are laid out, we practice some simple arithmetic, such as taking away three feathers and seeing how many are left then adding two back to see what it equals.

In addition to black and white wings, we also included a colorless turkey in case you want to have the little ones color their own set.  Instead of a file folder game you can turn this into a craft, coloring the pieces, cutting them out, and gluing them together.

Another option is to use the pieces to make a felt board story.  We sometimes sing a turkey version of 10 Little Indians:

One bright, two bright, three bright feathers,
Four bright, five bright, six bright feathers
Seven bright, eight bright, nine bright feathers,
Ten bright feathers on the turkey


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