There are few things I love more than play dough, and play dough turkeys are everything (and more). The supplies may be simple, but the play possibilities are endless!
Why make play dough turkeys?
Play dough turkeys are multiple activities in one, like a Buy 1 Get 3 Free. I’ll explain. 😂
If you make homemade play dough, that’s a complete activity on its own.
Then, picking the materials to use? Another activity.
Playing with play dough? A third activity
Making turkeys? A fourth activity!
PLUS, play dough can be stored for days (and weeks), meaning you prep this once, and you have a play invitation to use over and over again (so now Buy 1, Get 10+ free).
Related: A GIANT 10-foot Thanksgiving coloring page is an interactive, festive, easy activity the whole family will love!
Play dough turkeys will have your kids gobbling with fun
We have made play dough turkeys with our preschoolers dozens of times during Thanksgiving and other months, too!
I even once brought the materials to my college students, and let me tell you…they went CRAZY for them.
Play dough + feathers = super, totally awesome fun…no matter the age
Check out these other kid-approved Thanksgiving activities:
- Fizzing Turkey Thanksgiving Science
- Paper Bag Fall Leaf Art
- Turkey Sticker Sort
- Easy Turkey Handprint Craft
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- Play dough – premade or homemade
- Feathers (small or large) – ours are years old, but this set of 120 feathers looks great
- Googly eyes
- Liquid watercolors or food coloring – if you don’t have brown, you can mix red + green to make brown
- Orange craft foam or paper
- Cinnamon – optional
First, make or prep your play dough.
I added some cinnamon to mine to make it smell extra Fall-ish, but it’s just a bonus idea and not required.
If you are making homemade play dough, check out our fantastic, easy recipe. I have made play dough hundreds of times, and it’s one of my favorite things to make. You can mix the ingredients in a bowl, but if you have a stand mixer (ex: KitchenAid) with a dough hook, it makes it 100x easier.
Next, set out the materials
Provide kids with play dough, feathers, googly eyes, and little triangle beaks made from orange craft foam.
You can set all of the materials on the table or add them each to their own bowls for easy sorting when cleaning up later.
Time to make turkeys!
Observe how kids make turkeys of all different sizes and the creativity that can be had from the materials.
I love how some kids will make tiny turkeys with a bazillion feathers, whereas others will make giant turkeys with three eyes and three feathers.
Have fun using your imagination to make all kinds of terrific turkeys!
How do you extend play dough activities?
This project is all about open-ended creativity, and if your kids have other fun ideas of what to add, don’t hesitate to add to your materials.
Some other fun materials that your child might love to add:
- A rolling pin
- Popsicle sticks
- Pipe cleaners
- Cookie cutters
Follow your child’s lead! Some of my favorite activities have been ones that I envisioned one way, but the kids added to and made so much more fun.
Tips for cleaning up play dough turkeys
At the end of a play session, invite your kids to take their turkeys apart, separating the play dough from the loose materials.
If you store your play dough in an airtight container (I use a Ziplock bag), your dough will stay fresh for quite some time, allowing you to set this activity up for many days.
We can’t wait to hear what your kids think about this adorable Thanksgiving activity!
Any that can safely use the materials.
Pipe cleaners, straws, or popsicle sticks would be cute, too.
If your dough is too sticky, add a sprinkle of flour to help.