These colorful Thanksgiving centerpieces, which display what students are most thankful for, offer adults an easy way to include children in the dinner conversation during the big feast.

What You Need:

  • Paper bowls (two per student)
  • Toilet paper rolls (one per student)
  • Orange, brown, red, and yellow paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Pencils
  • Various colors of construction paper (including black and brown)
  • Scissors
  • Tacky craft glue
  • Googly eyes
  • Black markers
  • Optional: marbles

What You Do:

  1. Have students turn the bowls upside down and paint their bottom sides with the orange paint.
  2. Have students paint the toilet paper rolls brown. Set the bowls and paper roll aside to dry.
  3. Ask students to draw feather shapes on various colors of construction paper, then cut them out. Each student will need about 10-12 feathers, depending on their size.
  4. Have students brainstorm what they are thankful for and write one thing on each feather with a black marker.
  5. When the toilet paper rolls are dry, have students paint on a yellow beak and a red beard.  
  6. To complete the turkey face, have students glue on two googly eyes. Leave space at the top.
  7. Help students glue the back of the toilet paper roll turkey body to one of the orange bowls. Be sure to attach low enough on the bowl that the tube can stand up on the table. Wait for the glue to dry before moving on to the next step.
  8. Have students glue the feathers to the back of the orange bowl, along the rim, to surround the turkey. Allow time to dry.
  9. Have children glue the second orange bowl to the back of the turkey (connect the rims) to cover the unpainted centers. Allow time to dry.
  10. Use the black construction paper to cut out a top hat for the turkey (see photo of finished project) and glue it to the top of the turkey face.
  11. Have students trace a hand on the brown construction paper, then cut it out and glue it to the bottom of the paper roll to serve as the turkey’s feet.

Helpful Hints:

If a turkey is a bit wobbly, add a couple of marbles inside the paper tube to steady it on the table.

Cutting equal-sized colored feather pieces before class may make the craft run more smoothly, especially with younger students.