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Turkey Craft · Maple Leaf Theme · Thanksgiving Preschool Printable Activity

Turkey Craft | Maple Leaf Theme | Thanksgiving Preschool Printable Activity


  • printer
  • paper or card stock
  • scissors
  • glue
  • coloring tools for black & white templates

This is a very simple craft for young children to introduce or revisit a very special and beloved North American bird, the turkey.

Make sure to review and include complementary learning activities below to address and discuss the different elements of the craft before and/or during craft assembly:

Craft Instructions:

Printing, assembly and decoration ideas:

Option 1: Print color templates, cut and assemble. Fold beak and place glue where indicated.

Option 2:
Print all black & white templates and review these suggestions:

  • Children can color and cut out template pieces (assist when needed). Fold beak and place glue where indicated or,
  • Cut out template pieces and trace onto different color craft paper (older children may be able to do this step themselves) - use autumn colors if the activity is seasonal or,
  • Letters or numbers practice > Color-by-the-Number or Color-by the Letter Activity
    Before distributing the black & white template, write numbers or letters in the template pieces to represent colors making it a color-by-the-number or color-by-the letter activity. On a separate piece of paper (or on the template page) make a simple graph with the number or letters and the designated color so the children can refer to it.

Shapes and learning about birds > Make sure to identify shapes where applicable: stars (feet), main body & eyes (circles), beak (triangle). Note that the "feathered" tail of the body is a maple leaf likeness, only birds have feathers.

Assembly steps:

  1. Glue the maple leaf behind the circle body
  2. Glue head over the body.
  3. Glue beak and wattle next to the beak (glue ahead of time for very young children)
  4. Glue feet slightly under or over the body, whichever is easier for the child.

Other ideas for decorating the craft:

Older children (ages 4.5 - 6) need more challenge to make the process more interesting and explore other art techniques or simply set up various materials and different brushes, etc., and allow them to discover ways to paint and decorate.

  • Mosaic: fill the body and/or leaf template with real oak leaves or crushed leaves or cut up shapes of tissue paper, or left over craft paper, and cut out excess.
  • Use a sponge roller or pieces of sponges cut into basic shapes, and mix shades and/or roll paint.
  • Use a dropper to paint the oak leaves.

Variations of the craft > Substitute template #2 > the maple leaf template with these suggestions:

  • Real dried autumn leaves of a type of tree that is native to your area. You may want to focus on your state's tree leaf for example. The maple leaf, maple tree, and maple tartan are national symbols of Canada, and featured in the Canadian flag. Visit this related activity to expand on a Canada theme.
  • Trace a large leaf of your choice to autumn color paper or paint paper in autumn colors and then cut out.
  • Handprints > Use three or four handprint cut-outs in autumn colors depending on the hand size.
  • Craft feathers or paper cut-outs that resemble feathers.


  • Close template window after printing to return to this screen.
  • Set page margins to zero (minimum) if you have trouble fitting the template on one page or review Print Help.

Turkey Craft | Maple Leaf Theme | Thanksgiving
Preschool Printable Activity

Template 1:     color     B&W

Template 2:     color     B&W

Complimentary activities:

Animals > Birds > Farm > Turkey >