Thanksgiving turkey cookies are the perfect activity to do with preschool and school-aged kids. Keep the kids busy on Thanksgiving day, or make them as a thanksgiving gift for teachers, neighbors, family and friends
This Thanksgiving turkey cookies craft is an absolute favorite in our house!
When my kids were younger, we made these turkey cookies every single year. My kids would make them in advance, and give them to their teachers, principals, secretaries and room moms.
We’ve also made them during class parties, and to keep kids busy during big Thanksgiving celebrations at home.
The beauty of these Thanksgiving turkey cookies is they are so easy to make!
They consist of simple cookies (my favorite chocolate chip cookies work well) dressed up with construction paper feathers and googley eyes. They’re adorable, and include a nice written message on the feathers.
Over the years, our turkey cookie recipients have really appreciated these!
How to Make my Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies Craft
This is a great Thanksgiving craft for kids because it gets them really involved!
Depending on how old your kids are, they can help make the cookie dough, wrap the cookies, cut out the shapes, and – of course – decorate the cookies!
Choose Your Cookies
First, you need some cookies. I’ve made variations of these turkeys over the years, and have found my ultimate chocolate chip cookies work really well.
I make them a bit bigger than suggested in the recipe, and also bake them for a little longer to ensure they don’t crumble.
I’ve also made them using peanut butter oatmeal cookies, which is the cookie pictured in the turkey cookie photos in this post.
Prepare Your Turkey Craft Pieces
Then, you need to prepare the turkey’s feathers, beaks, and snoods (the red hanging part of the turkey’s neck).
I use this same template year-over-year, which you can click on to print for free.
I print it on cardstock, let my kids cut out all three pieces of the template, and then they use it to trace and cut their feathers. If you have younger kids, you’ll want to cut the feathers out in advance.
Assemble Your Turkeys
Once the cookies are completely cool, we wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, and attach the feathers, beaks, snoods, and googley eyes with double-sided tape.
A tip after years of doing this: attach the feathers to the back of the cookie before your child starts writing their thankful message. Otherwise they will want to start at the tip of the feather, which means some of the writing will get hidden once you do attach the feathers.
Trust me, it’s just ingrained in them!
Write Your Thankful Message
We typically make these turkey cookies as a gift, and the feathers contain the thankful message.
Each feather gets its own word, which together makes a 5-feather turkey! The message we use each year is, “I’m thankful you’re my teacher/secretary/room mom/principal”. One year we even made these as a homemade gift for neighbors.
One thing I love about these thanksgiving turkey cookies is they don’t have to be perfect. Just like my Turkey Cake Pops for Thanksgiving, the homemadeishness of them adds to the charm!
Double sided tape
Child safe scissors (if your kid is cutting)
Variations on my Turkey Cookies
While I made these turkey cookies every year without fail, I thought I’d share another idea if you want to add your own spin on this fun Thanksgiving cookie craft.
Thankful Cookie Variations
Instead of giving the turkeys to others, you can focus on encouraging gratitude within your child.
In this variation, each feather can have a “I’m thankful for BLANK” statement, with your child filling out what “BLANK” will be on each feather (I’m thankful for my friends, I’m thankful for my house, etc).
With 5 feathers, your child will identify 5 things they are thankful for, which is really in keeping with the spirit of Thanksgiving!
- Premade Cookies
- Turkey Cookie pattern printed on cardstock
- Construction paper of various colors
- Double sided tape
- Googley eyes (2 per turkey)
- Plastic food wrap
- Child safe scissors (if your child will be cutting)
- Make a batch of cookies according to this recipe and allow to cook completely.
- Print out 1 turkey cookie pattern per child on sturdy cardstock, and cut out each piece.
- Use the pattern pieces to trace 5 turkey feathers per cookie, using different colored construction paper for each feather. Cut out the feathers.
- Use the pattern pieces to trace and cut 1 yellow turkey beak and 1 red turkey snood (the red dangly part) per cookie.
- Once the cookies are completely cool, wrap them tightly in plastic food wrap and attach 5 feathers to the back of each cookie using double sided tape.
- After attaching the feathers to the back of the wrapped cookie, let your child write their thankful turkey message on the feathers, with one word per feather: I’m thankful you’re my teacher/secretary/room mom/principal/etc.
- Let your child attach the turkey beaks, snoods, and googley eyes to the front of the cookie with double sided tape.
I tend to make the cookies slightly larger than suggested in the recipe, and bake them a few minutes longer so they are less crumbly for this turkey craft.
I also recommend attaching the feathers to the back of the cookie before your child starts writing their thankful message. After years I've experience, I've found kids will start writing at the very tip of the feather otherwise, which means part of the feather gets hidden when you do attach.