PINcover1I’m bringing PAPER CRAFTS back!  Like, kinda.  It’s not as if they disappeared completely, but somehow, over the duration of my college studies, the Early Childhood Education professionals poo-pooed “product art” and the began to beat into our heads:  “PROCESS, NOT PRODUCT!”  Of course, we either:
-wanted to graduate, or
-wanted NAEYC accreditation, or
-were working on getting Keystone Stars, or
-had to stay in line with standards to continue to receive federal funding, or
…any variation of the above.  So, like sheep, we went along with the rest of the herd and Kiddie arts-and-crafts time almost went extinct.

Now I’m gonna stop right there and tell you that I went off on a blog-tangent about “process art versus product art,” but I stopped myself and saved it as a draft for a future blog post, because…well, I know you’re here for the turkey.  Not my opinion of early childhood art.

I will say this:  For me, growing up…I loved the craft activities my teachers planned for us.  They always had pattern pieces cut out of tag board or manila file folders, and we would search through boxes of construction paper pieces, trace and cut out our pattern pieces, and glue them together with a finger-full of globby paste–the kind that rolled up into a ball of elastic-y nothingness when you rubbed the excess into the palm of your hand.  If you were lucky, you were chosen to help refill the individual paste containers, which were almost always upcycled 35mm film canisters (but we never called it “upcycling” back then).

That is exactly what this craft is.  This is product art.  It’s adorable.  It’s seasonally appropriate.  It’s festive.

It’s big, bad “product art” but you have complete creative control to use the pattern however you wish–trace it on construction paper or cardstock.  Make turkey feathers out of fabric scraps or corn husks.  Cut it out of tissue paper and iron it between two pieces of wax paper.  Go nuts with it–do whatever you want to make that turkey as unique as possible…or don’t.  It doesn’t matter what the end product is when there is less of an emphasis on process and more of an emphasis on bonding…togetherness…quality time…

I’ve included a PDF of the pattern for you to download and print.  It’s at the end of this blog.  You are free to use it any way you wish, I only ask that you link me as the original source.

I printed the pattern, cut it out, and I chose to re-trace it onto tagboard to make the pattern pieces sturdier.  It isn’t necessary to do this, but it does make it easier to trace onto your colored papers or cardstock.

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You’ll have a body, a beak, two feet, two eyes, two pupils, and one feather.  You’ll want to trace the feather 6 times.  To save a couple minutes, I didn’t bother to cut out the black pupils, I just added them at the end with a marker.

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I prefer to trace my patterns backward so there aren’t any lines visible on the front of the craft.

The instructions are pretty self explanatory.  Glue the eyes, beak, feet, and feathers into place and allow the glue to dry.

This might keep the kids busy while you’re preparing your Thanksgiving meal…or planning your Black Friday shopping.

You can download and print the PDF here.

Happy crafting, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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