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Turkey Craftivity!

Thanksgiving is a holiday of many meanings; remembering the first great harvest experienced by the settlers and more simply to give thanks.

This craft was a hit with my students and thought I'd share with all of you. What's great is that the materials used can likely be found in your own home! You can also pair this activity with books such as "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey" by Lucille Colandro and Jared Lee.


-4 cup paper coffee filter

-Broad line (aka fat tip) markers. We used Crayola for this project, using the colors brown, red, orange and yellow!

-Toilet paper roll

-Googly eyes (or draw your own!)

-Mini craft foam shapes

-Newspaper or paper bags to protect your work surface

-Spray bottle with room temperature water

-Scissors and glue

Instructions:*The directions below are for the specific turkey shown, however, many students chose to incorporate their own color patterns including swirls and dots!

  1. Open your coffee filter and flatten.

  2. Using the yellow marker, color the outermost edge of the filter. You can make each section as thick or as thin as you'd like!

  3. In the center of the filter, color a brown circle.

  4. Layer the colors orange and red below the yellow boarder and brown circle.

  5. Use your brown marker once more to draw lines on the indentations of the filter. (See first image for reference)

  6. Spray the coffee filter with water from at least 5 inches away; lightly misting the paper. (It is easier to re-spray than drying and recoloring). A light spray allows the color to saturate the filter just enough to blend the colors.

  7. Set filter aside to dry.

  8. Grab your toilet paper roll! Ensure any remnant pieces of TP are removed.

  9. Position your googly eyes as high or as low as you'd like.

  10. Prepare your foam shapes! You can use a yellow and red triangle for the beak and snood/wattle, or using a red square, cut a wavy pattern diagonally across from one corner to another (pictured on our example) and adhere to the roll.

  11. Once your coffee filter is dry, fold in half (taco style).

  12. Apply glue to close the outer edge of the filter. (We applied glue to the lowest edge of the yellow boarder for this example).

  13. Center your paper towel roll on the filter and glue it down.

  14. *If you'd like, you can use the foam shapes, yellow construction paper or even pipe cleaners to create feet.

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