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Thanksgiving and Turkey Theme and Activities

It is a great time of year to be thankful for the children you care for. Celebrate the Thanksgiving season with children by trying out these activities.

Thanksgiving and Turkey Songs and Fingerplays

I Eat Turkey (Tune: Frere Jacques)
I eat Turkey,
I eat Turkey.
Yes, I do.
Yes, I do.
Turkey in my tummy,
Yummy, yummy, yummy.
Good for me,
Good for you.

Albuquerque Turkey (Tune: My Darlin' Clementine)
Albuquerque is a turkey
And he's feathered and he's fine
And he wobbles and he gobbles
And he's absolutely mine!
He's the best pet you can get yet
Better than a dog or cat
He's my Albuquerque turkey
And I'm awfully proud of that!
And my Albuquerque turkey
Is so happy in his bed
'Cause for our Thanksgiving Dinner
We have spaghetti instead

Five little turkeys
Five little turkeys by the barn door,
One waddled off, then there were four.
Four little turkeys out under the tree,
One waddled off, then there were three.
Three little turkeys with nothing to do.
One waddled off, then there were two.
Two little turkeys in the noonday sun,
One waddled off, then there was one.
One little turkey - better run away!

Soon will come Thanksgiving Day
Five little turkeys sitting by the barn door, One ran away, and then there were four.
Run, turkey! Run, turkey! Run far away! Soon it will be Thanksgiving Day.
Four little turkeys sitting under a tree. One ran away, and then there were three.
Run, turkey! Run, turkey! Run far away! Soon it will be Thanksgiving Day.
Three little turkeys playing Skip-To-My-Lou. One ran away, and then there were two.
Run, Turkey! Run, turkey! Run far away! Soon it will be Thanksgiving Day!
Two little turkeys lying in the sun. One ran away, and then there was one.
Run, turkey! Run, turkey! Run far away! Soon it will be Thanksgiving Day.
One little turkey, having no more fun. He ran away and then there were none.
Run, turkey! Run, turkey! Run far away! Soon it will be Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving and Turkey Art Activities

Turkey Feather Painting
Provide a variety of feathers and paint. Let children use feathers as a paint brush to create paintings.

Corn Cob Placemat
Roll corn cobs dipped in paint over construction paper (using corn holders will make this less messy). When dry, add leaves or Thanksgiving stickers, laminate and use as a placemat.

Potato Turkey
Glue real or construction paper feathers on toothpicks and have children press toothpicks into a potato. Create a construction paper face, and use a toothpick to secure.

Thankful Wreath
Make a torn paper or tissue paper wreath using a paper plate, but don't cut out plate center. In center of wreath, write down what children are thankful for.

Coffee Filter Turkey
Drop colored water with eyedroppers onto a coffee filter...this will be turkey feathers. When dry, glue on a circular head, wiggle eyes, waddle, beak and feet cutouts.

Thanksgiving and Turkey Math and Science

Favorite Food Graphing
On large paper, list four popular Thanksgiving foods (ie. Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, Corn) by putting clip art picture of each food. Have children put their picture or name next to their favorite food for a bar graph.

Patterned Feather Headdress
Measure a strip of butcher paper around each child's head. Provide children with different colored feathers and instruct them to create a pattern with the feathers and glue them onto the strips of paper. When the glue is dry, staple the ends of the paper together to form headbands that the children can wear.

Corncob Height
Measure how tall each child is by using corncobs. Create a "How Many Corncobs Tall Am I" chart to compare all children.

Sink/Float Area
Provide several objects that sink or float like corncobs, apples, seeds, sticks, beads, feathers, gourds, etc. and have children predict what will sink or float.

Gourd Observation and Sorting
Add a variety of gourds to your science area for children to observe. Children can sort the gourds into by texture: bumpy or smooth.

Thanksgiving and Turkey Motor Skills and Movement

Turkey Bowling
Fill 2-liter soda bottles halfway full with sand. Spray paint the bottles brown and add feathers. Have your children take turns using a small ball to bowl for turkeys.

Turkey Dance
Oh, you turkey to the left (two steps to left)
and you turkey to the right (two steps to right)
Then you heel and toe (do motion with foot)
and you scratch with all your might. (scratch with foot)
Now you flap your turkey wings (put thumbs in armpits and flap)
while your head goes bobble, bobble. (wobble head)
Turn around and then you say, (turn around)
"Gobble, gobble, gobble!"

The Turkey Hop
Students line up (they are the turkeys) on one side of room, and two children (who are farmers) stand in the middle of the room or area. Say the poem below and do the actions. At the end of the poem the "turkeys" run to the other side. If one of the farmers touches them, then they turn into farmers. Play until there are only one or two turkeys left.

Do the turkey hop.
Do the turkey run.
Do the turkey gobble.
It's a lot of fun.

Now flap your wings,
Like the turkeys do.
Then run from the farmers.
Before they catch you!

Thanksgiving and Turkey Snacks

No-Bake Pumpkin Pudding
Have each child mix two tablespoons pumpkin pie filling, two tablespoons marshmallow creme, and one tablespoon whipped topping. It is fun for the children to measure and mix their pudding.

Turkey Toast
Use a large turkey shaped cookie cutter to cut out shape from wheat bread. Spread the whole shape with peanut butter. Use a raisin or chocolate chip for the eye, a slice of a red gummy worm for the wattle, and fruit loops for the tail feathers.

Other Thanksgiving and Turkey Resources