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Donna Hoffman Cullinan's picture

When I was a kid I loved making handprint turkeys for Thanksgiving. Ever since my son was born, I've looked forward to craft projects that I'll be able to do with him for the holidays. The problem is,  I'm not much of a "Pinterest Mom" - in fact, I relate more to the Pinterest Fails of the world. My son’s amazing caregiver showed us an easy, affordable holiday craft that anyone can recreate this year with minimal supplies! You can use this opportunity to talk to your little learners about colors, shapes, textures and parts of the body as you paint. And of course, everyone likes to gobble like a turkey! 

What You Need:
- Colored Construction Paper
- 8x10 canvas or thick white paper
- Brown, Red, Yellow, Green, and Orange Tempera paint (or other)- TIP: to make it extra easy to wash out, dilute it with dish soap! 
-Foam Brushes
- Scissors
- Glue
- Black Marker
- Small toy trucks (or other toys) to create pattern and texture
Step 1: Truck Art!
My son is *obsessed* with trucks and all things that go. This part of the project is so fun for them- they get to play with trucks, get dirty, and create art! You can use this time to talk about colors and explore textures.
- Place quarter sized pools of paint on the canvas with red, yellow, and orange paint. 
- Encourage the kids to drive their trucks through the paint and over the canvas to create fun truck tire texture! This will be the backdrop for your art project. 

Step 2: Making our Turkeys 

While our truck art dries, it's time to create the pieces of the turkey!

- Gently use foam brushes to paint your child's hands, and create flat hand prints on the construction paper. We will need three sets of hand prints: one yellow, one green, and one orange. 

- Next, create one set of foot prints using brown paint.

- Let all prints dry for 30 minutes. 

Step 3: Gobble Gobble! Time to make our turkeys!

- Once the handprints and footprints are dry, carefully cut them out and set aside. Note: Unless you're doing this project with older children, it's probably best to have an adult do the cutting! 

- As you are cutting, you can use this time to talk to your kids about colors, shapes, and for the youngest artists it's fun to make turkey noises as you're putting them together! 

- Glue  three handprints together, fanning them out and connecting them by the palms.

- Carefully glue each footprint toes down onto each set of handprints. 

- Glue each turkey onto your canvas or large piece of paper. 

- You've made your turkeys! Once they are glued down, use the marker to draw on a beak and eyes. 

- VOILA! Gobble Gobble! You and your littlest learners have successfully made a fun, memorable craft that engaged them, and provided a creative outlet for an early learning opportunity! 

Happy Turkey Day! What are your favorite craft projects to do with your littlest learners?





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