Thankful Turkey Craft

Do your kids need a reminder to be thankful this holiday season? Make this thankful turkey craft as a reminder to have an attitude of gratitude.

Thankful turkey craft: a fun kid's craft that teaches gratitude.


(Ha! And you thought I’d start out this post with something about Thanksgiving, right?!)

So much fun, so much food, presents, pageantry, so many things to be thankful for.

But somehow my kids often forget. The over stimulation and over indulgence of the season can often lead to un-gratefulness!

This year, I decided I wanted to try something new. I wanted to start getting them in the practice of being thankful and thinking thoughts of gratitude, so that it becomes a habit for them. I wanted them to change their focus from negative to positive.

So, I did what anyone would do at this time of year….. I made a TURKEY. A thankfulness turkey to be precise.

The goal of this turkey is to make the kids start thinking of things that they are thankful for. BUT this turkey has some rules. 1) They have to come up with something new for every feather they put in the turkey. 2) In order to get a sucker from the turkey, they have to tell me what they are thankful for and replace that sucker with a feather.

(Yes. Of course we had to put suckers in it too. I think it’s more fun, but if you would rather avoid the sweets, this turkey works without them too.)

Supplies needed to make a thankful turkey craft
Supplies needed to make a thankful turkey craft

What you will need:

  • Turkey Printable (I printed it out on white cardstock)
  • Construction Paper (in fun turkey colors)
  • Toothpicks
  • Round cardboard container (I used an empty cappuccino container)
  • Nail and Hammer (to pound holes in the container)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Empty Toilet Paper Roll
  • Markers (opt.) to color in the turkey head
  • Suckers (opt.)

Steps to Make Thankful Turkey Craft

Step 1: Wrap the container, attach the toilet paper roll, and pound holes

Cut 1/2 inch slits into both ends of the toilet paper roll. Lay the round container on it’s side and tape one end of the toilet paper roll onto the top of one end of the circular container, overlapping down the front side a little. (Since my container opened, I chose the side that didn’t have the cover.)

Taping the toilet paper roll neck onto the thankful turkey craft
Add a toilet paper roll for the turkey’s neck

Wrap your circular container with whatever construction paper you want to use and glue it on, covering the edge of the toilet paper tabs so you can’t see them. Cut off any extra paper. You can add a little tape to the edge if you need to as well. Then glue your paper onto the front part of your container.

Gluing and taping construction paper onto can
Wrap the circular container with construction paper.

Take the nail and hammer and pound holes into the top of the circular container. This will be where you stick the feathers of the turkey (and suckers if you go that route). Your nail hole needs to be big enough to fit your feathers, so make sure to grab a big enough nail to do the job.

Pounding holes in can with a hammer and nail
Pound holes in your container for feathers (and suckers)

Note: You want enough holes, but don’t go too crazy. You have to cut out a feather for each and every hole, so hold back and pound holes in moderation.

(Just as a reference I made 40 holes.)

Step 2: Print out the turkey printable and cut it out.

Use the thankful turkey craft printable to cut out the pieces for the head of the turkey.

The printable is in my free resource library. If you don’t have the password yet, you can get it by signing up for my newsletter at the bottom of the page.

You can either color in the turkey head or use construction paper and create the head with the construction paper. I printed the turkey pieces on card stock and used markers to color in my head.

Cutting out thankful turkey craft printable
Cutting out thankful turkey craft printable

Now, cut out the feather portion of the printable and cut out a feather for each of the holes that you had previously made in your round container. Tape a toothpick onto each of the feathers.

Note: You can cut off the sharp tip of the toothpick if you are worried about anyone getting poked.

Step 3: Assemble the thankful turkey craft

Now it’s time to put the turkey head together.

First, fold the top of the turkey head in half along the line on your printable. Next, carefully cut the slits in the bottom of the turkey head and insert the tabs from the top of the turkey into the slits. Tape them down.

Assembling the head for the thankful turkey craft
Steps for assembling the thankful turkey craft

Glue the snood onto the top of the beak. Fold the top down along the dotted line. If your snood sticks up too much glue the underside down to the beak as well.

Gluing snood on the turkey beak
Use a glue stick to glue the snood onto the turkey

Now it’s time to attach the head to the neck. I cut a little bit off of the top of the toilet paper roll and stuffed it into the head to create a little structure for the turkey head.

Then I sliced tabs into the top of the toilet paper roll.

Tape the tabs to the bottom of the turkey head.

Attaching turkey head to thankful turkey craft
Attach head to thankful turkey craft.

Bend the wattle on the dotted line and glue it onto the front of the toilet paper roll.

Gluing the paper wattle onto the turkey craft
Glue the wattle onto the turkey neck

Now, you might have noticed that your can is a little round and rolly. To solve this, I cut 2 quarter inch slices off the end of a toilet paper roll and taped them next to each other at the back end of the can to act as feet.

Toilet paper rolls add to bottom of can to keep it from rolling
Add toilet paper feet to can to keep it from rolling.

Add the suckers and display your turkey somewhere that will remind your family to be thankful.

Step 4: Start sharing what you are thankful for

Now I know that this won’t suddenly and dramatically cause my children to be content and grateful, but my goal is to place as many things in front of them as possible. Things that will teach them to think and grow, both in knowledge and in character.

Thankful turkey craft on dinning table
Display your thankful turkey where you can see it.

We put it on our dinning room table where it can be a reminder to talk about the things we are thankful for.

I hope that this craft can help you find a way to discuss what you are thankful for as we enter the next two months as we begin to cultivate our gratitude.

So I will start us out with my very own thankful feather: I’m thankful for you!

Need the password for my free resource library? It is a free perk for my newsletter subscribers. Sign up on the form below if you want to receive emails from me plus gain access to my free printables.

Smiling woman with brown hair

Thank you for reading! I am so glad that you stopped by! If you enjoyed reading this, I would love for you to share it on Pinterest and Facebook!

Creatively Yours, Erin

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