I saw this cute Thanksgiving countdown and had to try it. I adapted it a little so that I could reuse it every year (or at least for a few years). I used foam and cardboard instead of construction paper and cardstock. I also made it magnetic and keep it on our fridge.
Our turkey actualy isn’t this full yet, I just took a picture of what he would look like in all his glory. J adds one feather to Mr. Turkey each day. You could do the reverse and pluck a feather each day, pretending to ready him for Thanksgiving dinner. I think older kids would find that really funny actually.
First check out the original site if you like to change things up each year and are ok with a temporary version. I liked how she made the head 3D. Since J is so young I know that this will still be exciting for him next year.
My materials: colorful foam, cardboard, googly eyes, adhesive magnets and glue. It took about 30 minutes to make, but could be done much faster since I had to redo things a few times or find new materials to work with. This is also something your little one could help make. I just did it during naptime since our week is so busy and wanted it done in time for a decent countdown.
How I made it:
1. Cut the feather strips out of colorful foam. (You want thin strips so they fit behind Mr. Turkey, especially if you plan for a full month’s countdown.)
2. Attach an adhesive magnet to the top of each strip. This will allow you to have that fanned look to the feathers. If you place the magnets closer to the bottom, they will simply create a single file line across the turkey’s back. (This was my first mistake!)
3. Cut two circles out of brown cardboard, a large one for the body and small one for the head. **I suggest having a very large body so you have plenty of room for your feathers to fan out, especially if you plan to start on Nov. 1st. The cardboard circles that come with frozen pizzas work great.
4. Glue the smaller circle onto the larger one.
5. Cut out a strip of cardboard and glue on the back of the large circle. **Place it on the base of the body since the feather strips will be stuffed along the top. (This was my second mistake!) When dry, place 1-2 magnetic strips on the back of the turkey’s body. The cardboard backing allows Mr. Turkey to be lifted slightly when attached to the regrigerator. This allows the feathers to slide behind him easily.
6. Cut out the feet, beak, and snood and glue them onto the turkey, along with the googly eyes.
7. Test it out before getting your little one’s excited about it. I’m glad I tested it first since I needed to rearrange the magnets on my pieces. Now we have a cute turkey that J can easily slip a feather behind on his own each day.
Age attempted: 30 months