The holiday season is upon us, and for many families that means the tradition of enjoying a nice roasted (or fried!) turkey for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, along with all the sides and fixin’s! Although the spotlight is on the turkey, I like to zoom in on all that we’ve been blessed with and are grateful for as well this time of year. My blog from last year’s Thanksgiving, Give Thanks, has more activities on being thankful that we’re also doing this year (like the Be Thankful pumpkin which has become a Thanksgiving tradition thanks to my friend Brianna!), but to switch things up and keep it fresh I decided to do a whole week of lessons JUST on turkey themed activities this year! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’m so grateful for all of you who find my site useful, and for all of the work you put in to making your littles wonderful people! I see you!
-Turkey tail ABC: I printed and laminated a tailless turkey and the feathers from this Teachers Pay Teachers turkey math activity (which I actually used for math too!) I wrote the letters- one per feather- then gave my littles the first half of the alphabet mixed up and had them take turns finding the next letter and adding it to the turkey’s tail so they were in the correct order. Then we did the second half of the alphabet!
–Hungry Turkey beginning reader: My littles had so much fun reading and coloring each page of this little book with me! Even my 3 year old was “reading” each page since the text is so repetitive!
–Color by sight word turkey: I printed this for free from Teachers Pay Teachers, then had my little read and color accoringly!
-Draw a turkey oral comprehension: This is always a fun activity to do- not only does it work on oral comprehension but also shape skills and patterns! All you do is give your little oral instructions on how to draw a turkey and have them listen and draw accordingly.
-Story prompt: Write a story about how a turkey escapes becoming dinner on Thanksgiving Day.
-Turkey book list:
-Turkey feather number ordering: I cut out two turkeys from construction paper as well as 10 feathers for my 3 year old and 20 for my 5 year old. I wrote the numbers 1-10 on the first set, and…you guessed it! 1-20 on the second. Then I gave my littles each their set of feathers with the numbers all mixed up, had them put them in order then glue them to the back of their turkeys with the number side facing out (which REALLY confused my 3 year old…LoL).
-Draw and count turkey feathers: I printed a tailless turkey for each of my littles and then had my 5 year old add as many feathers as he wanted while counting (I originally told him he had to draw 20, but he wanted to keep going- maybe say they have to have at least 20 but they can draw more if they want). Then I asked him if he could write the number he counted to, which he did! For my 3 year old, I helped him count while drawing his feathers (I showed him how to do the first few) and we only went to 10. He also decided to add “turkey tracks” all over his page when I wasn’t looking so….hahahaha
-Turkey feather counting: I printed these turkey feather counting cards and feathers from Teachers Pay Teachers, then gave my littles each a number and had them identify it and count that many feathers for the turkey. (I had my 3 year old work on 1-5 and my 5 year old 6-10)
-Double digit turkeys: Using the turkey number cards from the activity above, I had my 5 year old work on making double digit numbers by calling out a number and having him build it with the two digits that make up the number.
-Turkey counting cards: So to make these, print out these turkey page(s) I made, then write the numbers 1-5 on the smaller turkeys (for younger preschoolers) and 50 on the larger turkey (for older preschoolers who can count large groups). I had my 3 year old do the 1-5 turkeys: I put the turkeys in order, had him identify each number then count that amount of candy corns to put on the coordinating turkey. For my 5 year old, I gave him the 50 turkey and had him count out 50 candy corns to go with it.
-Turkey feather patterns: I had my littles build turkey bodies out of playdough, then I had my 5 year old add feathers in a pattern of his choosing. For my 3 year old, I reviewed what a repeating pattern is, started the pattern for him, then had him finish it by sticking in the next 2 feathers. They both did 3 patterns.
-Turkey book (or movie) and tail feather facts graphic organizer: I was originally going to read a nonfiction book about turkeys to my littles, but our library didn’t have any for little kids! I checked Amazon, but they all looked a bit dry, so I just had them watch a Turkey Facts video for kids on YouTube. Afterwards I had my littles take turns telling me facts they learned about turkeys from the video and I added them to the tail feathers of a large turkey graphic organizer I drew on my chart paper.
-Turkey diagram: I drew a large turkey on a sheet of chart paper then wrote the parts on sticky notes. I gave my littles each a note in turn and had them find the part and label it. Then, I had them identify turkeys as birds and list the characteristics birds have.
-Wild turkey/Farmed turkey comparison: First we googled pictures of wild turkeys and farm raised turkeys (like the kind that are raised in crazy numbers for the food industry) and spent some time discussing what we noticed about each one. Then I drew a Venn Diagram on the board and asked my littles to tell me how the two types of turkeys were alike and different.
-STEM build a turkey cage: I gave my littles a handful each of straws cut in 1/2 and a small tub of Playdough. I told them to pretend the Playdough tub was a turkey and they had to use the straws and dough inside to build it a pen so it wouldn’t escape! You can use a small toy turkey too if you have one on hand! I got this idea from Mombrite but modified it to make it easier for the preschool set.
-STEM how many feathers can you get to float: This was a great activity (even though- like the original blog post at Preschool POWOL Packets– we ran out of feathers before they sank). I started by asking my littles how a feather could float best on water- on it’s side, or straight up and down. When my 5 year old said “On it’s side” I asked him why he thought that, and we had a brief discussion about surface tension and how the molecules (or building blocks) of water hold on to each other REEEEALLY tight, so things can float on top…but if you “poke through” them, things will sink. Then I had him lay as many feathers as he could on top of the water in a cake pan while counting them (which was great counting practice too!)
-Turkey centerpiece craft: These came out soooo cuuuute! Plus my littles had fun doing them. You hot glue a turkey picture (I cut the tail off when I cut them out) to the front of an upside down Styrofoam cup then have your little poke turkey feathers into the cup to make a tail- then use it to decorate your table for Thanksgiving or your home!
-Handprint turkey tail: I had my littles choose 3 paint colors (my 5 year old insisted on 4…lol) and use their hand to make prints on a page with their fingers facing up to create a turkey tail (I helped my 3 year old make his prints). Then I had them cut (my 5 year old) and glue (both kids) a turkey to the center of their tail.
-Candy corn turkey: I printed out a turkey coloring page and had my littles color the body of the turkey then glue on candy corns for the tail feathers.
-Edible turkey craft: I actually made these for my littles for a treat, but you can have your kiddo make their own if you want. Just give them 3 chocolate crème wafers, a Nutter Butter cookie, 3 candy corns, and 2 M&M’s. Give them instructions on how to assemble their snack and then let them “gobble gobble” it up! hahaha (sorry, I had to!)
-Handprint turkey: These are classic- I’ve been making them since I was a kid! You just have your little trace (or help them trace) their hand and decorate/color it like a turkey. Once they’re finished you can have them cut it out (or cut it out for them if they’re younger- hands are pretty tricky! Even my 5 year old chopped one of his turkey’s finger feathers off by accident because he decided not to take his time!)
Full disclosure here, my 5 year old has a crazy, gooey cough right now (we home tested him twice and are PRETTY sure it’s not Covid!) so we’re taking it easy this week and only doing our themed activities until after Thanksgiving break- long story short, we’re not doing our full out letter of the week/word of the week 3 daily learning sessions preschool like we normally do because kid needs some rest, fluids and Mucinex! Regular programming will resume the week following Thanksgiving! Until then, feel free to review any letter(s) or word(s) we’ve done so far your little hasn’t yet mastered.
-Bible verse: This month’s Bible verse is “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1 I write each word in the verse on a post-it, stick them to the wall then have my little point to each word and read it each day all month.
-Character trait of the month: gratitude…this word is reviewed and posted at the start of the month then each time one of my littles freely demonstrates gratitude I use the word to specifically praise what they’re doing and encourage the trait in them. (ie. “You said ‘thank you’ when I gave you your lunch! Thank YOU so much for showing me gratitude!”)
- candy corn
- colored feathers
- toy turkey (optional)
- Styrofoam cup
- Nutter Butter cookies
- chocolate crème wafer cookies