This turkey hat craft is super simple to set up and make with the kids. Bonus: you’ll find nine more Thanksgiving turkey hat ideas at the end. Perfect to add to your preschool Thanksgiving activities!
While preschoolers aren’t quite ready to jump into the full history of Thanksgiving, it’s still important to celebrate with them when you can.
This turkey headband craft is something I’ve done since I first started teaching. It’s a great way to talk about shapes and colors, and it also gives the kids a chance to work on fine motor and hand-strengthening skills.
Plus, it’s kind of goofy and that is just fun. I have never failed to elicit a laugh from the kids when I’m wearing my own turkey hat. And of course I make one for myself, too!
Related: Turkey Tracks Turkey Art
Make a Turkey Hat Craft
As I mentioned above, you don’t really need a lot of materials to make these turkey hats. You likely already have everything you need in your preschool art center.
Related: Turkey Sensory Bottle
Prep the Turkey Hat Craft Materials
Cut a long strip of brown construction paper for the headband part of the hat. I like to use the twelve-by-eighteen inch construction paper for this part. We went with strips that were about three by eighteen inches, although we weren’t always exact. This was all easily done a paper cutter.
Next up, cut the other colors into strips for the turkey feathers. I used normal size construction paper for most of these, ending up with strips that were about an inch or two by eleven inches. Some of the kids asked for “super long” feathers, so I did cut some from the longer construction paper too. Like the brown headbands, this was easily done using a paper cutter.
Cut out large circle from brown construction paper for the turkey heads. If your students will cut the circles themselves, make a circle template for them to use or trace circles on brown paper.
You can also cut out orange triangles for the beaks and red teardrops for the snood/waddle. Or you can simply cut small red and orange construction paper squares so the kids can cut out their own.
Call over the children a few at a time, or individually. First, measure the long brown headband piece around their heads. Then, cut the headband down to size if needed.
Lay the brown headbands on the table in front of the children. Have the kids make their turkey faces using the brown circles. They can use a marker to add eyes and other features as desired. Have them add turkey beaks with orange construction paper and snoods with red paper, if they’d like.
Next up are the feathers! Have the children choose colorful paper strips. Show the kids how fold the strips in half gently, without creasing the middle, around the brown headband. Then help the kids add a staple to hold the “feathers” in place.
Once the kids have finished most of their turkey hat craft, individually staple the ends together to form a hat.
Then it’s time to let your preschool turkeys go about the rest of their day. If they’re anything like my students, they will love wearing the hats as they’re playing and learning.
A Few Notes
Depending on the ages and abilities of your students, you may have to cut out the faces, beaks, and snoods for them. This is a judgement call you can make, but it doesn’t hurt to let the kids at least try. Same goes for stapling the colorful strips to the headband. You’ll be there to help out as needed, of course.
Let the kids make the turkey faces as they’d like to. There’s no need for perfection. Same goes for choosing what color strips to add to their turkeys. There’s no specific way this turkey hat craft has to turn out.
Here’s a tip for when the kids are stapling the “feathers” on the turkey hat craft – make sure the bottom of the staple is facing out. This way, the smooth side of the staple is on the inside, by the kids’ heads.
More Turkey Hat Craft Ideas to Try
As promised, here are nine more ways to make a turkey hat craft with your preschoolers!
Stay at Home Educator made sponge-painted turkey hats with the kids.
This hat from Kids’ Craft Room has the absolute best legs!
Momdot shares how to make a Thanksgiving hat using a Silhouette Machine.
Teaching Mama’s thankful hat has room to write what the kids are thankful for.
I love the use of a brown paper bag to make this hat from The Kindergarten Connection.
Planet Smarty Pants shares a way to incorporate painting into the making of the hat.
The kids can use their hand prints to make Scholastic’s paper plate hat.
I Heart Crafty Things has the best idea for making a snood (what my kids often call the turkey’s “waddle”) on her turkey headband.
The eyes on these turkey hats from Play to Learn Preschool are just awesome!
Simplify Your Thanksgiving Planning
Save time planning with resources from Preschool Teacher 101. You’ll find a variety of preschool lesson plans, early math and STEM activities, and early literacy ideas. Bonus – they’re all done for you!
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