Gratitude Turkey Centerpiece

Simple Kid Craft for Thanksgiving

By Emily Papa, Macaroni Kid South Hills of Pittsburgh Publisher November 15, 2021

Prior to being a SAHM, I was a Drug & Alcohol Counselor for 10 years. With my love for art therapy and working mostly with a juvenile caseload, I was always searching for engaging, meaningful projects we could create on a budget. I started making this simple Thanksgiving craft when I was working in residential treatment, looking for a way to connect my clients with gratitude; in spite of being away from their loved ones over the holidays. This project is perfect for a classroom holiday party or large family get together to help us stay focused on an often overlooked concept; gratitude. 

For this simple Thanksgiving kid craft you will need the following supplies: 

  • Large (6” or 8”) craft foam ball
  • Small (2” or 4”) craft foam ball
  • Dark brown yarn
  • Light brown yarn
  • 2 googly eyes
  • Small piece or red felt
  • Small piece of yellow felt
  • Toothpicks (or craft sticks)
  • Scissors
  • Scotch or washi tape
  • multi -colored craft paper

Turkey body:

  1. Using a craft knife, cut a 1” layer off of your larger sphere so that it has a flat bottom. This will serve as the base of your turkey. 
  2. Take the dark brown yarn and tape an end to the flat side of your base. Slowly and neatly, start wrapping the yarn around the sphere to completely cover the surface. Tie it in a knot to secure it from unraveling. 


  1. Use a similar method on the smaller ball, use the light brown yarn, to completely cover and build up your sphere to approximately 4” in diameter.  
  2. Using a craft stick or toothpicks, attach the head to the body. 
  3. Give your turkey a face with the googly eyes; cut out yellow felt triangles for the beak and red teardrop shaped felt for the gobbler. 


  1. Cut feather shapes from colored craft paper 
  2. Distribute to your family, asking them to write or draw what they are grateful for on them. Help the little ones with this (and be sure to put the date on it).
  3. Once you’ve collected all the feathers, fold them in half lengthwise to give them a seam, tape a toothpick to the back, bottom side so that half of the toothpick is exposed. Insert the exposed toothpick into the body of your turkey in the shape of a fan to create your Gratitude Turkey! 

You can use this turkey year after year starting with just the base and adding new feathers throughout the month of November or right before Thanksgiving dinner. Or keep the feathers each year, adding new feathers behind the old to watch your family gratitude grow and grow. Place the Turkey on display through the month of November and then use it as a centerpiece on Thanksgiving, taking some time to read each feather with your family.

Looking for more ways to identify and express gratitude? Check out Gratitude Tablecloth a Meaningful Family Thanksgiving Tradition and Finding Your Gratitude: 30 Days of Writing Prompts