These Turkey Centers took place in a first-grade classroom where the children sit at round tables. The kids took their usual seats, did the activity at that table first, and then moved to other tables as spots opened up. This set-up has been requested now by two wonderful, experienced teachers and it works really well.
I tried all kinds of gel paint at home with my own kids first, but opted for Sharpies in class, as one of the reviewers on OT suggested. Kids this age love Sharpies (who could blame them?) and they’re low maintenance, which is always good for a class party. I also brought along suction cup hangers so they could be hung up for instant gratification.
This activity from Family Fun was a big hit. We had a few parent helpers at the party and the mom whom I asked to run this table had fun with it and changed things up as needed.
We put a cranberry, a candy corn, an acorn, a small gourd (fake), and a miniature ear of Indian corn (from the grocery store) in each of 2 fancy crystal cracker dishes. I had some Thanksgiving-themed melanime plates from Pottery Barn Kids that I set at each seat at a table. To start, we told two of the children to pick up one thing at a time from the crystal dish and pass it to their neighbor’s plate. The kids raced, changed directions, passed things smallest to biggest and biggest to smallest and tried it with both the rubberbanded chopsticks and loose chopsticks (I’d left a few pair unconnected).
For instructions on how to attach the chopsticks together, click here. A local Japanese restaurant gave the chopsticks to me for free.
The teacher provided a turkey headband for the children to make, similar to this one. I’d also orderd a foam headband kit from Oriental Trading that we ended up using at a Girl Scouts Daisy meeting instead. I’m not a fan of the foam kits, but if you are, these are cute ones.
The parent helpers and teacher wore drumstick headbands, which I’d ordered for our own Thanksgiving celebration at home.
Pin the Pilgrim Hat on the Turkey
When I spotted this paper game in Target’s Dollar section, I snatched it up and used the self-serve laminator at FedEx Office. I brought my own orange bandana and the kids could choose whether to be blindfolded or not. Every one received a “Happy Thanksgiving” pencil for playing.
Turkey Cookie Decorating
This popular turkey cookie from Pillsbury is perfect as a party treat or decorating activity. None of the moms wanted to bake so we used the round sugar cookies from the Publix bakery. The children put them in Ziploc bags to take home.
Parents brought in Oreo Turkeys, fruit and cheese for the kids to eat at the party.
Michaels has sturdy kraft bags that stand up on their own, even when empty - I love to personalize them and use them for goody bags. Everything fit – the suncatcher, the cookie, pencil and lollipop.