Over the last few years, the paper roll turkey craft has become an annual family tradition. It’s a classic Thanksgiving craft from my childhood, and my kids have turned it into a multilingual gratitude activity in four languages! I’ll share how to make these cardboard turkeys and tips for teaching language in a fun way.
If you’re teaching your kids Chinese like us, I have a printable bilingual template and translations in this article.
This article was originally published in November 2017. It has since been updated with new information.
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Turkey craft to learn language and gratitude
For our family, Thanksgiving is a holiday where we celebrate our blessings and focus on gratitude.
For this Thanksgiving turkey craft, we talked about everything that we are thankful for in multiple languages. After all, the United States of America is a country of immigrants, and we believe in encouraging minority languages!
In our family:
- My husband speaks English and Spanish
- I speak English and Mandarin Chinese
- Our former nanny spoke English and Korean
- My 7-year-old daughter speaks English, Chinese, and some Korean
- My 4-year-old son speaks English and Chinese (but has forgotten Korean)
The result: quadrilingual thankful paper roll turkeys – say that 10 times fast!
What age is best for the paper roll turkey craft?
If you’re wondering what age this activity is suitable for, my first kid did this craft when she was 4 -years old with her 7-year-old friend. Now my oldest kid is 7 and my son is 4.
Preschoolers like my son will likely be able to cut the turkey feathers and arrange the face, but they might need help writing or aligning the words. Elementary school kids will likely be able to make these independently.
Paper roll turkey craft: What you need
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- Cardboard toilet paper rolls
- Construction paper
- Feather templates
- Optional: wiggle eyes! My kids love these, but to avoid plastic, you can cut out white circles and add a black dot in the middle.
Paper roll turkey craft: How to make these for Thanksgiving
- Cut construction paper into multiple feathers
- Cut a triangle for the nose and a red oblong shape for the snood
- Discuss what’s good in life and write it on each feather or use the printable template
- Tape eyes to toilet paper roll
- Tape nose and snood
- If your child is reading, encourage them to practice reading the words on each feather
- Tape the feathers on the center back of the paper roll
We are so thankful for God, family, food, clothes, books, teachers, sunshine, among many other things!
Have you tried this paper roll turkey craft?
If you try this Thanksgiving turkey craft with your children or students, let us know in the comments below!
We’d love to hear about your experience. Please share if your family is learning Chinese, Korean, English, Spanish, or another language!