Thursday, November 17, 2011

Turkeys and Toddlers

The Roo is just getting to the age where crafting is possible.  She has her own sewing machine, loves to draw with crayons and markers and she is all over the whole "making a mess" thing.  So, with Thanksgiving right around the corner and an antsy toddler in the house, I decided to give crafting a shot.  After browsing Pinterest for easy Thanksgiving related crafts, we finally settled on a construction paper hand/footprint turkey, an idea that originated here.  That link, of course has it's own instructions, but I thought it would be more fun to see the project come to life with The Roo.  Are you ready?  Here we go:

Gather up all of your supplies, crafting with an almost three year old is already a precarious project so its best to be sure you're READY!  You will need:
-Pencil or pen
-Paper Scissors
-Construction or scrapbook paper in brown, orange, red and yellow (or whatever color you want your turkey to be, we didn't stray too far away from the original)
-Googly eyes, pom poms, buttons, sequins, rhinestones etc for eyes and other decorations-if your toddler can sit still through the entire project...mine was ready to be done before we could Bedazzle the heck outta those tail feathers, but c'est la vie...there's always Christmas!
-Washable glue and a glue stick
-Popsicle sticks, optional-we didn't use them, but had them just in case

I discovered that small children are like magpies-if there's something tiny and shiny (like a sequin or rhinestone, for example) they will jump in (sticky fingers first) with all the gusto of a kitten in a yarn shop and those sequins will go flying faster than The Blue Angels.  I learned this one the hard way, yikes.  Here's how to avoid that:

Put all those pretty, tiny and sparkly things in a container to keep them separate and well, contained

Next, have your child trace her hand, if she's able to, or you can do it for her.  Remy is all about having her hands traced so this was extra fun.  Be sure to trace both left and right on all three colors:

Once you've got her hands traced, it's time to trace a foot.  This was an especially good time for Roo because I allowed her to stand on the table for it!  (GASP!!  The unthinkable, Mom!!  Let's do it!!)

So, now you have all the pieces to make your turkey.  To avoid your little one getting antsy while you're busy cutting out their feet and hands, give them a pencil and some paper and let them trace their hands.  This will take them some time and will allow you to get everything cut out (hopefully)-especially if you have an extra pair of fancy-cutting scissors to let them use.

Once everything is ready, it's time to assemble the turkey!  Turn the foot print upside down, so that the heel is the head.  Have your little one arrange the handprints however they want to make the tail feathers:

When it is arranged to her satisfaction, use your glue stick on the back of the foot and press in place on top of the hands.
Now it's time to give your turkey a face and some legs!  I found it easiest (and cleanest) to have your child point to the spot where they want you to apply the glue for the eyes and mouth.  Don't get too picky about it being perfect, it's their creation and this is how they're using their imagination. 

Cut out a triangle on the fold of a scrap of yellow for the beak

Add a dab of glue for the wattle (a yellow sequin, in our case)

And then finally, give your turkey some legs and feet.  The Roo really wanted to use some green scraps from her hand print cutting and a couple of snowflake sequins for the feet.

We used the hand print that she traced and cut to write her name and the date on and then attached it to the back of the turkey.  Since it was part of the project, we wanted to include it. 
She was so proud of her turkey!  We're going to display it at the Thanksgiving table for all of our guests to see. 
I am sure we will be doing at least one more Thanksgiving craft this week.  We have another idea using everyone's hand prints and some finger paints, I guess I better start thinking mess-free thoughts now!!  I hope you have fun making a Hand/Footprint Turkey with your toddler! 



  1. that's really cute. i think i will get my kids to do this one. i don't have all the bedazzling things, but could make simple ones. would prologue be better for me anyway with a 1:2 adult/toddler ratio. :) thx for sharing!!

  2. probably, not prologue. stupid auto-correct.

  3. You're welcome! And thank you for liking it enough to make the project!!