Turkey Unit for Preschool
Verse: Genesis 1:21 "God created every winged bird after its kind and God saw that it was good." Create hand motions for the keywords: God = point upward. Created = work your fingers together like you're kneeding clay (we use a lot of playdough so this was an easy way to visually connect to the idea of creating). Winged Bird = flap your arms out wide like your flying and keep doing it until the word "kind". God = point upward again. Saw = make glasses around your eyes with your hands. Good = thumbs up.
Letters: T (turkey) + F (feathers) -- still more voiceless sounds.
Use 9x15 construction paper. Cut out a large chunky letter. Your child will be decorating each letter with things that start with it. After he does this, I attach it to a different colored full size sheet of construction paper, and write the capital letter, the small letter and the word underneath it.
T = I bought a pack of turkey shaped stickers and he decorated his T with them.
F = We glued colorful craft feathers all over the big letter F.
- Make turkey sandwiches for lunch. If you cut the sandwich into different shapes or use a turkey shaped cookie cutter, you can do this several days out of the month.
- Turkey Track snack: Buy the dry chow mein noodles. Coat a cracker with peanut butter or cream cheese and arrange three noodles on the spread to look like a turkey footprint.
- Turkey nuggets. If your kids like chicken nuggets, you can make these (especially with leftover Thanksgiving white meat) just as easily.
- Turkey cut out cookies. Get a turkey cookie cutter and make some sugar cookie cutouts. Or if you have letter cookie cutters, spell out t-u-r-k-e-y.
- Turkey cookie place card. We made big chocolate chip cookies, wrapped them in saran wrap, then glued a construction paper turkey head to the front and colorful feathers to the back of it. The kids wrote on the feathers telling Grandpa what they loved about him, and placed it at his place on the Thanksgiving table.
Books and Activities
1. Hungry Turkey Picture. The turkey in this story eats and eats and eats. Glue a simple turkey cut-out to a piece of construction paper. With brown or black ink pads let him make "fingerprint" feed all over the ground around the turkey.
2. Eaten Letter. Put 4 - 6 letter flash cards in front of your child (letters he's learned so far). Have him close his eyes while you quickly take away a card. Ask him to open his eyes and identify which one the turkey ate.
3. Plastic Spoon Turkey. Use permanent markers to draw a turkey face on the underside of the bowl of a spoon. Or glue on googly eyes with construction paper beak and waddle. Create a fat, brown construction paper body and glue on colored craft feathers for the turkey's tail. Poke the spoon through the body. From the back side, tap the end of the spoon and make him peck at some make-believe seed on your table. Or tape the spoon to the back of the paper to keep it stationary.
4. Make the Big Letter T.
5. Turkey Trot Game. To make three Turkey gamepieces I adhered three turkey stickers (the ones he used to make his big letter T) to craft foam and cut each one out. I made a gameboard filling a 9x15 sheet of construction paper with 3 columns and 13 rows. The bottom row in each column says Start. Place the game pieces on start and race the turkeys. Use a die to determine how many spaces each turkey goes at a time. First one to the end, wins.
6. Colorful Turkey Tail. DLTK-holidays.com has a really cute Turkey craft online. The feathers are all little spaces for your child to cut out and paste 15 different color swatches. Use your color ink cartridge and print it on your 'best' quality so you can tell the difference between shades like gray and silver.
7. Color a Tom Turkey. I found one on Enchanted Learning that labels the parts of the turkey.
8. Bird Sounds. Print out pictures of different farm birds (rooster, chick, duck, hen, turkey, goose, etc.). Hold up each one and say the wrong bird sound. Let your child correct you. You can add to this activity by reading "Cock-A-Moo Moo" by Juliet Dallas-Conte.
9. Turkey Bingo. Print out a blank bingo card which you've fit into the outline drawing of a turkey. Slip it into a page protector. With a dry erase pen, fill in the spaces with the letters you've worked on so far. Write the letters again on the white board or a piece of paper and point to them as you call them out. Let him erase one letter each time until he has a bingo. My son always wanted to erase all of his letters -- which was just more good practice for him!
10. Shaving Cream Art. Spray a couple handfuls of shaving cream onto a dish or tray. Drop four or five drops each of red and yellow food coloring into the cream and slightly swirl it in with a craft stick. Cut out an outline drawing of a turkey and gently press it face-down into the shaving cream. Let dry to see the bright swirly print your child made. You'll have a lot of shaving cream left over, so you could do this with several cut-outs of the different farm birds.
11. Turkey Nest. Use some die cut leaves, or cut them out of magazines. Let your child glue them to a piece of brown construction paper. Write "Turkey's build their nests on the ground." Then type 'Turkey Nest Picture' into Google images and print out your favorite one depicting a clutch of turkey eggs. Let him cut out the picture and paste it onto his nest on the ground.
12. Turkey Puzzle. Using whatever large turkey picture you like, print it out or glue it to cardstock. Cut it into about 6 different jigsaw pieces and then let your child put it together. Unless you have an avid puzzler, I wouldn't make it more than six pieces. And making sure you print or draw a border around the edges might be helpful for your little person as well.
13. A Turkey is a Bird Booklet. It's a good time to drive home that turkeys are birds. Cut out several identical copies of a turkey outline. Staple them together to make a booklet. On the front write 'A Turkey is a Bird.' Then, use this list on First-school and cut out each picture and it's caption (i.e.: the little yellow duckling graphic and "D is for Duck") Draw a "D" on the page for your child to trace. Let him glue on the captioned duck image and then do the same thing on the other pages for as many birds and letters as you want to practice.
14. Flying Turkey Mobile. To practice our memory verse, we wrote each phrase of the verse on little turkey die cuts and glued a fluffy feather on the backside. We glued two popsicle sticks together to make an X. Then, we punched a hole in each turkey, tied it with strings of various lengths to the sticks and hung the whole thing from the ceiling.
15. Make the Big Letter F.
16. Feather Painting. Pull out a few colors of tempura paint and let him paint with a real feather instead of a paintbrush. You can then leave the feathers stuck to the paint on the page.
17. Find the Turkey. I have a turkey shaped cookie cutter that worked well for this, but you could just use a picture. Simply hide it somewhere in the room and have him find it. This activity never gets old.
18. Flannel Board Story. There are a lot of fun turkey flannel stories you can find online. I've used "Turkey in the Brown Straw. Ha! Ha! Ha!" (sung to Skip to My Lou) with all my preschoolers. You can find the instructions and the song a little ways down the page here. There's other great ideas on that site as well.
19. Turkey Headband. You simply have to make one of these from Family Fun.
20. Feather Bookmark. Simply take a real feather (washed) and adhere it between clear contact paper. Punch a hole and put a ribbon through to finish the bookmark.
21. Two Turkey Handprints. #1 It's time for the traditional turkey handprint craft! Paint your child's hand and press it to paper. Draw a beak, eye and wattle on the thumb and glue craft feathers over the fingers. THEN #2 make a Mayflower ship. Stamp his hand again in the middle of yellow construction paper. Cut out a wavy ocean from blue paper and adhere it just covering the bottom of his handprint to look like a ship in the ocean. Then cut out a few squarish sails and glue them to his "mast" fingers. Add a sun and clouds if you like. It's adorable.
22. Thankful Card Stamping. I have an acrylic turkey stamp that I let my son use to make little notecards. We printed "Thankful for you" on each of them.
23. Pine Cone Turkey. You can google several different ways to make one of these. Essentially, get a pinecone and lay it sideways. Adhere googly eyes, a beak and wattle to the front of it. Use chenille stems to make some turkey toes for it to stand on and then insert craft feathers for a tail. Alternately, you can use chenille stems to form tail feathers if you like.
24. Turkey Sandwich Game. Using craft foam cut out the following sandwich pieces: two pieces of bread out of white, two or three pieces of sliced turkey out of pink, two or three tomato slices out of red, one squiggly line of mustard out of yellow, two pieces of cheese out of orange, two pieces of ruffly lettuce out of light green, two connected pickle pieces out of dark green, and anything else you can think of with any other colors you may have. Alter a die to cover three of the sides with the letter "T." Give your child a piece of bread to start. Let them roll the die. Every time a "T" comes up he can add a piece of turkey or tomato to his sandwich. Any other number allows them to pick from the other items. After three "T" rolls finish the sandwich.
25. Feather Float. Take a fuzzy craft feather and hold it over his head. Have his blow up under it to keep it afloat. See how long you can keep a feather in the air.
26. Thanksgiving Meal. As you get magazines throughout November cut out pictures of traditional Thanksgiving dishes that your family might enjoy. Let your child glue them to a paper plate to create his own Thanksgiving dinner.
As always, this list is not exhaustive and the ideas aren't even original to me. I've been doing some of them so long I just don't know who to give credit to. If you want to link back to my Apple or Popcorn units you may find more instructions there for typical activities as well.