Making a paper plate turkey is fun, and it’s simple enough that it’s a good craft even for young children (or very young children with adult assistance for using scissors and such). The paper plate turkey craft can even become a Thanksgiving family tradition, as older siblings and cousins introduce it to the younger kids.
You’ll need the following items for the paper plate turkey craft:
Brown paint or marker
Black paint or marker
Multiple sheets of brown, red, orange, yellow, and white construction paper
1. Paint one side of the paper plate completely brown, or fill it in with the brown marker. Allow to dry.
2. Cut out of the brown construction paper a long oval shape. Make it about as long as the diameter of the paper plate or slightly less. Make it about 1/3 or 1/4 as wide as it is long. This will be the turkey’s head and neck.
3. Glue the brown oval to the paper plate such that one end is just below the center of the plate, and one end sticks up just over an edge of the plate.
4. Cut a teardrop shape out of the red construction paper to be the turkey’s waddle. Cut a triangle out of the yellow construction paper to be the beak. Cut two circles out of the white construction paper to be the eyes-it’s OK if they’re a little big and goofy looking. Cut two little leg and foot shapes out of the yellow construction paper.
5. Glue the waddle, beak, eyes, and legs and feet onto the appropriate places on the paper plate turkey. (The waddle, beak, and eyes will go onto the brown oval that you earlier glued onto the plate.)
6. Use black paint or the black marker to make little round eyeballs at the center of the white eyes. Allow to dry.
7. Cut many feather shapes out of the red, orange, and yellow construction paper. A fun way for kids to do this is to place a hand down on the paper with fingers spread and use a pencil to trace all the way around it. Then cut along the tracing.
8. Glue all these colored feathers onto the back side-the non-painted side-of the paper plate, such that they are overlapping and sticking out over the edge of the top and sides of the plate, making that portion of them visible from the front.
One of the best parts of the paper plate turkey craft is there’s no particular limit on how many turkeys to make. As long as the children remain interested, they can keep making them, with whatever creative little variations they come up with. For instance, if you also have some miniature paper plates, they can use the full size plates for mommy and daddy turkeys, and the little plates for kid turkeys, and so make whole turkey families.
When the children are done making turkeys, they can be used for Thanksgiving decorations, or the children can just make up whatever games they want and play with them.
Blondiewrites, “How to Make a Paper Plate Thanksgiving Turkey.” Frugal Simplicity.
Sherri Osborn, “Paper Plate Turkey Craft.” About.com.