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Pine Cone Turkey

It’s turkey time!

I’m a vegetarian but most of the family loves their turkey.  Thanksgiving is all about counting our blessings and one of those is a full table–with family, friends, and plenty of tasty food.

And my son is really into the birds when we visit them at a local farm or at the Audubon center–he loves yelling “gobble, gobble” and hearing them gobble right back at him.


  • pine cone
  • five (5) or more leaves (pressed will work better but if you are a fly-by-the-seat of your pants crafter, fresh will be fine)
  • beeswax or Modge Podge (to preserve the leaves)
  • orange and/or red felt (for the feet and wattle)
  • yellow paper (for the beak)
  • googly eyes
  • strong craft glue (a glue gun would also work well)


1. Cut a base with feet sticking out, using the felt. Glue the pine cone to the felt base.

2. To preserve the leaves, either dip the leaves in melted beeswax or coat each side with Modge Podge and let dry.  The kids loved the beeswax and it dries very quickly but they had a tendency to hold the leaves in too long.

3. Glue the leaves in a fan shape.

4. Glue the feathers to the back of the pine cone. Wrap with a rubber band to hold the feathers in place and allow to dry.

5. Add the features to the face: cut the wattle from the felt, roll a piece of paper into a cone for the beak, and glue on googly eyes.  (My daughter added some dyed wagon wheels under the googly eyes.)

“Gobble, gobble.”

Books About Turkeys:

Five Silly Turkeys, by Salina Yoon, is a funny little counting rhyme. You won’t learn much about turkeys but toddlers will enjoy counting along. And the crinkly feathers have a fun texture babies love to touch.

Sometimes Its Turkey, Sometimes Its Feathers, by Lorna Balian, is the story of an elderly woman and her cat, who watch their turkey chick devour food all year in anticipation of a fat bird for their Thanksgiving Feast.  When the day arrives, the woman realizes she just can’t serve up their friend for dinner. My children were very amused by this story and were surprised by the ending.  They also loved seeing all the traditional Thanksgiving foods laid out on the table–minus the turkey, of course.

Educational Connections:

  • Science: As you read the stories, point out the various parts of the turkey anatomy.  What are the names for the male,  female, and baby turkeys? How can you identify the males? What do you think the males do with their tail feather displays?
  • Field Trip: Visit a local poultry farm and see the turkeys.  Wild turkeys can fly but most domesticated ones raised for meals cannot–why do you think that is?
  • Home Arts: Prepare your Thanksgiving meal with your children. If you serve turkey, are you using a male or female turkey and if so, why?
  • History: How did the turkey become a symbol of Thanksgiving? What is the story behind the first pardoning of the White House turkey?
  • Mathematics (for older kids): If you are serving turkey, calculate how long it will take to thaw and/or cook the Thanksgiving turkey based on its weight.

Shared at: ABC and 123 Learning Show and Tell and story + ART = stART

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Written by

Candace Lindemann, Yale, BA, Harvard Graduate School of Education, EdM, is an educational consultant and published writer. She enjoys new learning experiences with her children, ages 6 and 4 and 1.5.

Filed under: 0-3 (Babies and Toddlers), 1-2 (Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Fall, Featured, History and Culture, Home Arts, Science · Tags: , ,

11 Responses to "Pine Cone Turkey"

  1. […] Pine cones are so versatile! Make turkeys with the kids using this tutorial from Naturally Educational. […]

  2. JDaniel4's Mom says:

    The turkey looks great! The books look wonderful too.

  3. […] Pine Cone Turkeys from Naturally Educational […]

  4. Joyce says:

    This is so cute! I’ve added this craft to our fall bucket list, which I plan on blogging about later today and linking back to you. Thank you for sharing!

  5. […] Educational Pine Cone Turkey DuoFinally, check out this Pair of Pine Cone Turkeys, from […]

  6. […] kids already like collecting Pine Cones. Why not turn them into these Pine Cone Turkeys from Naturally […]

  7. This is an adorable craft! I love that it’s mostly nature materials. (I don’t eat meat either, but most Thanksgiving crafts are turkeys!)

  8. […] is right around the corner. How about making Pine Cone Turkeys as your centerpiece this […]