TRC Read to Kids

Welcome to The Reading Connection’s blog, where you’ll find the best guidance on reading aloud to kids. Whether you are a TRC Read-Aloud volunteer, parent or student, the book themes and crafts ideas, child development guidelines and recommended websites will expand your world. For 25 years, The Reading Connection has worked to improve the lives of at-risk kids by linking the magic of reading to fun experiences that inspire a passion for learning. Visit our website at

Monday, November 2, 2015

Not your granny's hand print turkey: Non-traditional Thanksgiving crafts

Thanksgiving is all about tradition, but the kids at your Read-Aloud will thank you for a new spin on old Thanksgiving crafts. We're reposting an excellent piece on the topic from 2012 to help you with your November Read-Aloud planning.

A Read-Aloud volunteer recounted that last year the kids whooped and hollered when they found out they weren't making hand-print turkeys as the craft at their Thanksgiving-themed Read-Aloud. Kids prepare for Thanksgiving at school and in other programming throughout the month of November, so chances are they've already done hand-print turkeys or that other classic craft you pull out every year. To help you mix things up a bit this year, we've provided several non-traditional Thanksgiving crafts.

Pilgrim hats:  Pilgrims often get overlooked in the realm of Thanksgiving crafts. This easy activity turns black cups into Pilgrim hats. They can also be turned into name cards by writing a person's name on the black circle. Kids may want to make one for everyone coming to their Thanksgiving meal.
Source: Origami Owls

Finger print turkeys:  Take the hand-print turkey in another direction by just using fingerprints. Offer several different colored ink pads to give the feathers variation. The instructions provide details on making front-facing and side-facing turkeys. Add some scenery around the turkey when it's all finished. 
Source: The Charmed Mom 

Pine cone crayon-holder turkeys:  Gather enough pine cones so that each child will have one. Transform the pine cone into a turkey by adding a face and feet using construction paper. The feet can be made by cutting out a heart and gluing it to the bottom of the pine cone. Tacky glue will probably work best for this project. The turkey's feathers are made by inserting crayons into the pine cone. Let the children choose their colors and let them take their turkey and crayons home.  
Source: Amanda's Parties to Go

Leaf turkeys Collect some fallen leaves and glue them to circles of cardstock to make the feathers. Cut circles out of two large leaves for the head and body. Add eyes and a beak and you've got a very natural turkey! 
Source: My Creative Stirrings

Paper plate turkey faces This is an easy craft for a young crowd. Kids can choose whichever colors suit them for the "feathers." The instructions say to use paint, but markers or crayons will work just as well. 
Source: Preschool Crafts for Kids

Pair any of these crafts with a great Thanksgiving book such as Gracias the Thanksgiving Turkey.

To receive credit for this online training, please fill out the form here.

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