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Naturally Educational » 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Ecology, Fall, Featured » Handprint Turkeys

Handprint Turkeys

With Thanksgiving so early this year and coming on the heals of the Sandy “Frankenstorm,” we’ve been focusing on helping others and keeping things simple. We did spend a little time revisiting the classic “Hand Turkey” Thanksgiving craft with our own spin–a handprint and footprint Turkey–and then added a new twist. This time, we used magazines and catalogs for our tail feathers.


  • construction paper (blue, green, brown, red, and orange)
  • googly eyes
  • magazines or catalogs
  • glue
  • scissors
  • pen or pencil

1. Fold a piece of magazine paper in half, twice. Trace the child’s hand. Cut-out the outline so you have four handprints. These are the turkey’s tail feathers.

2. Trace the child’s foot on brown construction paper. Cut out the footprint. This is the turkey’s body.

3. (Optional) Cut a strip of green construction paper about 2 inches wide. Fringe cut to make “grass.”

4. Arrange and paste. Add eyes, beak, and waddle to your turkey.

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.
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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: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Ecology, Fall, Featured · Tags: ,

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