Pilgrim Turkey Craft and Story for Preschoolers

I’m in love with this pilgrim turkey craft! If you have toddlers or preschoolers, this would be fun to do after reading about the first Thanksgiving.

A pilgrim turkey craft with a story behind it - fun Thanksgiving activity for preschoolers!

I wanted to make another Thanksgiving craft this year, but was stuck for ideas. I asked my local friend Megan for help, and she definitely delivered. She was inspired by this turkey wreath on Pinterest. We added the hands to represent the helping hands of the Native Americans, and the pipe cleaner feet just because they’re so stinkin’ cute! The pilgrim hat helps make it an early history lesson.

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I spent some time today finding the perfect book to suggest to go with the craft. There are a lot of children’s books about the first Thanksgiving, but many are for older kids. After looking through the choices, I surprised myself and picked Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving.

Don’t get me wrong – we love Pete! I just expected to find a more serious title. This one is different than some of the other Pete books. It turns out that James and Kimberly Dean do a creditable and engaging job of introducing pilgrims to preschoolers.

Pete plays a pilgrim in the school play, and learns a little about history along with the readers. You’ll want to fill in a bit, and certainly expand to a wider point of view in a year or two. But for preschoolers, I think covering the basics with this fun lift-the-flap book is just fine.

Pilgrim Turkey Craft Materials

If you keep kids’ craft supplies on hand, you may already have everything you need to make these turkeys.

  • Paper plate
  • Brown paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Glue
  • Googly eyes
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • 2 pipe cleaners
  • Packing tape

A pilgrim turkey craft for preschoolers learning about the first Thanksgiving.

Pilgrim Turkey Craft Instructions

1. Cut out the center of a paper plate, and paint the remaining part brown.
2. Trace child’s hand, and cut out from five colors of construction paper.
3. Cut out construction paper pieces for the turkey and hat. Glue them on.
4. Form turkey feet with the pipe cleaners (see photo), and tape onto the back of the plate with packing tape.
5. Glue or tape on the hand cutouts to look like feathers.

Wouldn’t this look adorable hung as a wreath on your child’s bedroom door, or in a place of honor near the kids’ table this Thanksgiving! Happy turkey day!

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A pilgrim turkey craft for preschoolers learning about the first Thanksgiving.

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