Now that Halloween's over, my kids wanted to do something in the spirit of the next holiday: Thanksgiving. With our Best Creamy Butternut Squash Soup Recipe, I wanted to showcase squash and do something fun with it. And we were so over cutting/carving after the Halloween pumpkin messes. With this craft, you can decorate your squash with felt and eventually use it to cook! Behold our Felt Turkey Craft made with a Squash!
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Helping Kids with their Felt Turkey Craft
I will say that this craft is more for kids ages 6+. My 4 yo struggled with the cutting the felt, and I had to draw all the shapes on felt for her. But she did love the gluing parts! My 6 yo was much more competent at cutting, and he was super amped to be creative with decorating the face of the turkey (see the below, slightly obscured, right side turkey, lol). I left the face steps completely in his hands. But even he got frustrated with the tail steps: drawing/stenciling/cutting of the felt. My point is: set aside some extra time to help your kids out with this felt turkey craft.
How to Draw (or craft!) a Turkey
Creating a turkey out of a squash, paper or any other materials isn't as complicated as you'd think. For our squash turkey craft, we focused on combining the following four features:
- Body. We wanted our turkey to have a rounded, pear shape! In fact, most of the other seasonal, food-based turkey crafts are made from pears...also, apples and pumpkins.
- Beak (and eyes!). A small triangle with a wobbly, red wattle is a simple way to create the turkey's beak. We crafted our turkey's beak using colored felt. To create the turkey's eyes, we used a black sharpie.
- Feathers. To make our turkey's beautiful feathers, we staggered four colored cutouts of felt feathers on top of one another, and glued them together.
- Feet. We created two turkey feet, each with three big toes. We used brown felt for our felt turkey craft's feet.
Ways to Craft with Felt
Recently, felt has become a staple in our craft supply. There are so many cool ways we can use felt for art projects and crafts. It's not terribly expensive, and you can find felt at places like Michaels or online at Amazon. The fabric's soft and flexible texture make it great for cutting, gluing, sewing or shaping into just about anything. Here are some other kid craft ideas to consider trying out with felt:
You can turn felt into just about any pretend food item you'd like. We recently made Felt Hot Dogs, which have given our kids endless hours of fun. There are also tons of other great food-themed felt projects out there, like this adorable Make Your Own Felt Pizza and this Felt Banana DIY Craft.
Toys, Tools and More!
DISPLAY YOUR FELT TURKEY CRAFT!
Once you complete your felt turkey craft, be sure to display it! Your squash turkey might make a great centerpiece for Thanksgiving or Fall table decoration.
You might also consider gifting your felt turkey craft to grandparents, neighbors or teachers. Our squash turkeys make great gifts because they are decorative AND edible!
SHARE FUN FACTS ABOUT SQUASH WITH YOUR KIDS
When crafting with food, we usually discuss some fun facts about the foods we are working with, like their origin and nutritional benefits. These discussions often spark more questions and curiosity about how foods are produced and harvested. According to Dr. Jennifer Cohen, the Fussy Eating Doctor, parents can start teaching kids about food by discussing the parts of food and what they do for kids’ bodies. According to Cohen, this can send a more personal and meaningful message to kid. Some good sites for this info are: Choose My Plate (by the USDA) and Science Kids.
- Butternut squash is an orange winter squash that is grown in the summer and harvested in the fall.
- If you're looking for a nutrient-dense food, butternut squash is a great option! It's rich in Vitamin A, which we need for healthy vision, bones, teeth and skin.
- Butternut squash is known for its sweet and nutty flavor.
- Although botanically butternut squash is considered a fruit (since it has seeds and develops from the flower-producing part of a plant), it is cooked as a vegetable.
💡Overview of Felt Turkey Craft💡
Ingredient: Butternut Squash
Corresponding Recipe: The Best Creamy Butternut Squash Soup
Skills supported: Fine motor (tracing, cutting, gluing, drawing), following instructions, math (composing shapes)
✂ Supplies for Felt Turkey Craft ✂
- Butternut squash (pick one that can stand easily on its own)
- Colored felt (brown, yellow, orange, red, dark red)
- Tacky Glue
- Permanent Marker
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📝 instructions for Felt Turkey Craft 📝
Consider setting up the craft before cooking so kids can get to work right away.
- Start by making the turkey tail. On your yellow felt, outline the largest part of the tail (like below), and cut out the shape.
- Place your yellow tail on top of the orange felt and use it as a stencil, tracing it onto the orange felt. Now cut the orange shape out, cutting maybe 1-2 centimeters inwards from the tracing. Repeat this stenciling/cutting with the red felt and then the dark red felt.
- Stagger all the colored tail parts on top of one another, and glue them together using Tacky Glue.
- Cut a small yellow triangle for the beak, a wobbly long, red shape for the wattle, and 2 brown shapes for the feet. Glue everything onto the squash.
- Draw eyes onto your turkey with a permanent marker.
- Glue a line on the back of the squash and lay it down on top of the tail. This glue takes a while to set, so leave the turkey alone. We left ours overnight, horizontal on the table, so the glue could dry.
*For toddlers especially, these tasks may require adult supervision and/or assistance.
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