Turkey Day activities for kids
Keep the youngsters out of the kitchen, away from the TV and into the fun and fellowship of Thanksgiving with these crafts.
By Karen Lee
This year, build in some quality family time away from the TV and with the youngest members of your family. Recruit the teens in your clan to help lead the younger ones in these fun, interactive Thanksgiving and wild turkey-themed activities.
FUN IN THE YARD
Need to burn off some extra calories after the meal? Or, do the young ones need to expend a little extra energy. Head outside and try this fun version of hide and seek. Play it in the garage or even indoors, if weather doesn’t cooperate.
On a dozen or so index cards, draw or paste a picture of a turkey. To play, everyone leaves the yard (or room) except the leader. The leader hides the cards.
When the kids return, the hunt begins. As each turkey is found, it is brought back to the leader who corrals them in a separate pile for each hunter. When all the turkeys have been found, the hunter with the most turkeys is the winner and becomes the leader for the next round.
Tip: Old copies of Turkey Country magazine or www.nwtf.org are great places to find turkey pictures.
Channel your creativity by gathering natural items and turning them into festive decorations.
Celebrate the Thanksgiving harvest the old fashioned way using popcorn and seasonal dried fruit. It’s a feast for kids and wildlife alike. You’ll need:
- a large needle
- string or fishing line
- popped corn
- dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, apples and apricots)
- pieces of orange peel (optional)
Let the fun begin
Measure the line long enough to fit over each child’s head (leaving enough room to tie it off). Adults may need to help kids thread the needle. String the popcorn and fruit in a festive pattern.
Kids can wear these fun, fragrant necklaces for the day, then hang them on a tree or shrub for wildlife to enjoy.
Tip: Put a dab of all-natural peanut butter on the necklace before placing it outside. The oils and protein are great for birds.
Create fun turkey table decorations using rocks, a few craft supplies and your imagination. Take a short hike to a stream, riverbank or beach and pick up smooth rocks about the size of a child’s hand. Make sure the rocks are dry and paint them fun colors; they will be the body of the wild turkey. Use craft feathers to make the tail, and googly eyes, felt and ribbon to give each turkey a unique personality.
Fall Leaf Turkey
- fall leaves
- googly eyes
- colored construction paper or felt
Let the fun begin
Collect fall leaves and pinecones from the yard, a park or nearby woods. (Optional tip: Press the leaves for a few days before making this craft to keep them from getting crunchy.) Glue the leaves onto a piece of paper into the shape of a tail fan. Glue the pinecone onto the bottom of the fan. (You’ll need lots of glue here.) Stick on the googly eyes. Cut an orange beak and a red wattle from felt or construction paper, and glue them onto the pinecone. Allow time for the turkey to dry before you hang it up or take it home.
Kids will give this easy activity a thumbs-up.
Fingerprint Flock of Wild Turkey Place Cards
- a nontoxic inkpad
- blank place cards
Let the fun begin
Press a thumb into the inkpad and then on paper to print a wild turkey’s body, head and tail feathers. Use markers to add a beak, wattle and feet. Complete the cards by writing guests’ names on them.
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