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Thanksgiving Art Activity for Preschools: Early Childhood Classroom Turkey Craft

Published by Lolita Terra

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Inspire the creative process in young children ages three and up by integrating arts and crafts activities into the regular curriculum. Try using special days or holidays as inspiration for a relatable theme. With Thanksgiving coming up this November, consider using a themed turkey art project in the preschool classroom. Follow this simple to use lesson plan for holiday fun!

Thanksgiving Turkey Art Lesson Objectives

  • Explore art materials and process.
  • Build color and shape recognition skills.
  • Identify parts of body (i.e., hands).
  • Explore nature and animals.
  • Learn about texture and pattern.
  • Follow steps in a sequence.
  • Build fine motor skills.
  • Develop self-regulation behaviors.
  • Develop pro-social skills such as listening to others, sharing, and taking turns.

Grade/ Age Level for Activity

This art activity lesson plan can be used with children ages four and up. It can easily be adapted for children with specific needs or developmental goals. Additionally, it can be adjusted in order to simplify the lesson or make it more challenging.

Materials Needed to Create Turkey Hand Art Projects

  • Construction paper
  • Glue Markers or crayons
  • Craft feathers (do not use real bird feathers)
  • Optional: Glitter or sequins

Steps to Create Thanksgiving Turkeys with Preschoolers

Pre-activity

Before beginning this art activity make sure that the students know what a turkey looks like. Try reading picture books with colorful illustrations or photographs. Explain that the turkeys that will be created in the classroom will be imaginative, and hence more colorful than a real turkey.

Process Steps

  1. Ask the children to choose partners. If this is not possible, select partner groups for the class. Have one child place his or her hand down on the construction paper, and ask the other child to trace it using a washable marker or crayon. Make sure that the fingers are spread out.
  2. After each child has a hand tracing, invite the children to design a turkey face. Use the thumb part of the tracing for the head (the fingers will be the feathers). Explain that the children can use shapes to draw the facial features. For example, the eyes can be circles and the beak can be a triangle.
  3. Have the children add the craft feathers with glue to the finger part of the tracing.
  4. Optional: Add glitter or sequins for an extra flare.

Thanksgiving Lesson Wrap Up

After the turkeys have dried, hang them in a special place. Ask the children to discuss the turkeys and the processes used to create them. Sample discussion starters include:

  • What shapes were in the face?
  • What textures can be felt?
  • What colors were used?
  • How was the turkey drawn?

Early Childhood Enrichment Activities

Use this art activity in conjunction with a holiday or animal theme.

  • Holiday: Add this art project into a week long unit on Thanksgiving. Display the art as decorations for a holiday party.
  • Animals: Try creating other animals and birds by tracing hands first. Make alligators, ostriches, or horses.
  • Self Concept: Add in a lesson self concept and body parts. The focus of this lesson is on the hand. Try re-creating it using foot tracings or prints.

This Thanksgiving create colorful hand made turkeys that are perfect for a vivid holiday display. Use markers, glue, and craft feathers to inspire young learners to design and make unique works of animal art

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