How to Make a Tabletop Turkey With Your Child

If you're familiar with my feelings on children's art, you know I detest adult-directed projects -- the kind you see done in most classrooms today. With these projects, there's a sample made by the teacher and the kids copy it in a step-by-step robotic way with no creativity and initiative. They wind up looking all the same and nothing was gained along the way. But they sure look pretty on the bulletin board -- nice, neat, and uniform!

 I have one exception to my dislike of these projects and that's when they're created by a parent and child together.  For many years, I hosted a weekly mom and me group at my home and these projects played a big part, especially on holidays. They taught teamwork and compromise. A craft such as the Tabletop Turkey is much too complicated for children to do on their own but ideal with an adult. Make several and give them to family and friends for their Thanksgiving table or fireplace mantle!

 1. Open up a brown paper bag and sponge-paint it with brown tempera paint -- front and back. Let it dry.

 2. Cut the bag in half. Then cut the top section of the bag into two equal pieces. You'll now have 3 parts.

 3. Take one flat piece and accordian-fold it to make a fan shape. Then fold up 1" at the bottom of the fan and staple. Do the same to the other piece. These become the wings!

 4. Glue one wing to each side of the bag. Place a zip-lock bag with 1 cup of white rice inside the lunch bag. Gather the top of the lunch bag and staple shut.

 5. Cut out a head and draw eyes on it. Accordion-fold two strip of orange paper (1/4" x 12") for legs. Glue feet to legs. Glue legs to bag.

 6. Make a wattle by cutting out a thing strip of red paper. Curl it tightly around a pencil. Glue it to the beak. Glue the beak to the bag.

7. Cut a 12" X 12" sheet of comics. Fold it in half. Then accordian-fold and staple it into a fan shape. Glue it to the back of your turkey. Punch a hole in the recipe card and tie it around your turkey's neck with ribbon or yarn.

For more fun fall activities with your kids

Having a collection of good Thanksgiving books adds humor to your holiday. Your kids will love seeing and hearing the same books year after year.

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