Thanksgiving Craft: Leafy Turkey

by Dana B. Bryant

leafy turkeyPiles of fall leaves entice a child to kick, roll, throw and...bring the leaves home. Who can resist collecting the brightly colored leaves in brilliant shades of red, gold, yellow, orange and brown. Each leaf seems more beautiful than the last. By the time you reach home, you and your child's hands are overflowing with a bounty of beauty.

What can you do with all these leaves? We suggest turning your treasures into a turkey tail or two. Here's how:

Explore Nature Together

Go on a nature hike! You're guaranteed to return with autumn leaves. Try your local "green area," park, or favorite recreational destination. Note: You'll want to use your leaves right away. Otherwise they tend to crinkle and break.

Tip: If nap time interferes with creating a gobbler, you can press the leaves in newspaper between books for a few days before making the craft. They'll be flat and easier to work with.

Make that gobbler.

paper ready for leaves• You'll need a plain piece of paper or cardstock, glue and scraps of black, orange and yellow construction paper or felt.

• A parent or older sibling draws an arc on an empty sheet of paper. Show your child how leaves can make a tail that "fans" out. Once the tail's going, make a body from gray or black construction paper and beak, waddle and turkey feet from felt or construction paper.

leaves spread out in a fan• Your tot can sort and arrange leaves within the arc. Once the small artist's happy with their tail, they can spread the glue into the arc (you may need to supervise). Glue the leaves onto a piece of paper in a fan shape.

• Let dry. Add the body, beak, waddle, and feet.

Younger children can join the fun. They might not get a perfect fan, but they'll enjoy playing with the leaves and glue.

How did your "turkey tails" turn out?

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