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Toddler Activities: Thanksgiving Tear Turkey

Toddler Activities using construction paper and glue make a turkey! One of my favorite Thanksgiving activities that I did in Kindergarten as well as with fourth graders. This toddler activity most appropriate for ages 4 and up.

tear turkey DESCRIPTION
Using just construction paper and glue make a turkey. Add a few or many feathers, arrange in a pattern to make each turkey unique.

Neat Results with Older Children! See Other Ideas below.


  • Construction Paper: (suggested colors) Brown for the Body, Head and Feet

  • Red, Yellow and Orange for the Feathers, Beak and Wattle

  • White or Black for the background
  • Pencil
  • White school glue or glue stick.

  • Simple picture of a turkey or print out a coloring page of one.
  • A feather (optional)
  • Wiggly Eyes

    1. Find a picture of a turkey. Talk about the different parts of the turkey, the head and body, feathers, feet, etc.

    2. Explain the colors for each part.

    3. Using the pencil trace an outline of the turkey body, a figure 8 shape works well. Draw feathers.
    4. Show your child how to tear using small tears, working your way slowly around the line.
    5. Tear out the body and the feathers. With the scraps shape feet and beak.
    6. Select a background and put glue in the center of the turkey. Center and press onto the paper.
    7. Place a drop of glue on either side of the feather at the base and tuck under the body.
    8. Glue on feet, beak, waddle and eyes


  • Make sure to leave extra space around each item to be torn. It is hard to tear if you cut out the pieces close to the drawn line.
  • Remind your child it does NOT need to be perfect. If you have a feather, let them see it to show how a feather separates. Explain how little tears only makes it look more like a real feather.
  • For younger children, do a few pieces at a time and take a break. They may want to use their scissors but encourage them to create their turkey by tearing.
  • Arrange feathers in order before gluing.
  • A front view of a turkey seemed easier than a side view for this toddler activity.

    Older Children
    Wonderful toddler activity and with a few modifications...great for older children too!
    When I was teaching elementary school, a co-worker and I would display all the turkeys made on our classroom doors. By this time of year we got to know the children very well and we could often pick out who made which turkey just by looking at them. You could almost see personality traits just in the tearing and placement of the feathers and turkey body. Neat evenly torn feathers arranged in a pattern vs. various sized feathers in random order. Detail oriented children often like adding a top hat or curling the feathers with a pencil or making extra tears in the feather to be more realistic. It was interesting to see who tucked the feathers neatly under the body and who glued the feathers glued on top.

  • Let them draw their own turkey on the construction paper. They may choose to do a side view instead.
  • Let them select what colors to use, how many feathers, and other details.
  • Print out some of the turkey facts below and have children select their favorite to write on their picture (use white construction paper for the background)

    Turkey Facts

  • The turkey is one of the most famous birds in North America. In fact, Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the wild turkey, not the Bald Eagle, the national bird of the United States

  • The wild turkey we often see in photos or pictures is not the same as the domestic turkey that we serve at Thanksgiving.

  • Domestic or tame turkeys weigh twice what a wild turkey does and are raised on farms.

  • Most domestic turkeys are so heavy they are unable to fly. Wild turkeys, however, can fly for short distances at speeds up to 55 miles per hour. They can also reach speeds of 25 miles per hour on the ground.

  • Turkeys have great hearing, but no external ears. They can also see in color, and have excellent visual acuity and a wide field of vision, which makes sneaking up on them difficult.

  • Turkeys have a poor sense of smell, but an excellent sense of taste.

  • After the female turkey mates, she prepares a nest under a bush in the woods and lays her tan and speckled brown eggs. She incubates as many as 18 eggs at a time. It takes about a month for the chicks to hatch.

  • Thanks for stopping by! Comments Are Welcome!

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