Paper - plain white paper to trace on
Construction paper - to cut out feathers and other features; to mount finished pictures on
School glue or glue stick
Assorted glitz - sequins, glitter and such
Have each child open one of his or her hands as far as possible. Trace the hand on the white paper with a crayon. Older children may want to trace their own hand. For very young children, you can make photocopies of a hand you traced from an older child.
The thumb will be the turkey's head; the other fingers serve as the tail feathers and the hand itself is the turkey's body.
Very young children:
Draw wings on the body. Draw eyes, a beak and wattle on the head. Add feet. Let the children color the bird.
(Adults should pre-cut construction paper features for the birds.) Glue construction paper tail feathers on the tail. Glue a yellow beak and a red or pink wattle on the head. Draw in eyes, feet and wings. Color as desired.
Any age that enjoys getting messy:
(With thanks to Dr. Karen Romito of HobbyTown USA in Folsom, CA) Put finger paint on the hand and fingers in a variety of colors. Place the hand down on the paper and move the four fingers (but not the thumb) back and forth a little to create a fan of colored tail feathers. Draw in any additional details after the paint dries.
Using safety scissors, cut features for the turkey from construction paper. Glue them on as desired and use crayons to color the other parts.
Here's a picture of a real feather, if you'd like to use that:
You can download the image here: Feather Photo
Feel free to get creative within your group's abilities with things like glitter, water colors (use water color paper to start rather than copy paper), colored pencils or other decorating techniques. This is a very adaptable project, suitable for a wide variety of time frames and skill levels.
Some ideas for incorporating "Thanks" into the project:
Have the children print something or someone they or thankful for on each tail feather (or have an adult print it for them);
Have them print an appropriate scripture reference or passage at the bottom of the picture. Some options are:
I Chronicles 16:8
I Chronicles 16:34
I Chronicles 29:13
or have older children find their own verses;
Have them address the picture to someone they are thankful to and give it to that person as a thank you gift.