Turning Turkey Art into Language Activities

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The holidays are a busy time, filled with running errands, shopping, cooking, and spending time with family.  They are also a wonderful time to spend some quality time with your child by completing this easy craft project with them! Our Turkey art is great for when all that food is in the oven cooking and will provide your child with many language learning opportunities!


  • Construction paper: Brown, Red, Orange, and Yellow
  • Pencil or marker
  • Googly eyes
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Visuals


When using the visuals, try to focus on the specific visuals that help your child:

  1. Understand
  2. Attend to the activity
  3. Create joint attention
  4. Participate within the activity
  5. Use their social communication language (i.e., requesting: “I want red paper,” taking turns: “My turn for scissors,” commenting: “Look”, etc.).
  6. Follow directions

Remember to point to the pictures as you talk.  Here are a few visuals that we use at the office for this activity to help our kids with the above skills:


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  • Have your child stand on the brown construction paper while you trace around his or her shoe or socked-foot. Having your child participate this way rather than tracing an empty shoe is not only FUN but also increases joint mutual attention within the activity!
  • Then trace your child’s handprints on the red, orange, and yellow papers.  Remember if this is hard for your child, sometimes it helps to sing a song, like “This is the way mommy traces my hand, traces my hand, traces my hand. This is the way mommy traces my hand, traces my hand.” (To the tune of the “Mulberry Bush”).
  • **Hint**If you want to target their fine motor skills as well, you can work on turn taking. First it’s “Mommy’s turn trace” as you trace their feet and then it’s “child’s turn trace” as they practice on you. You can put your hand over theirs and help guide them with this task. Again, singing can help with this difficult skill, like “I like to trace, trace, trace, trace hands and feet.” (To the tune of “Apples and Bananas”). When you’re finished you will each be able to make a turkey!
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  • Next have your child cut out their foot and handprints.
  • **Hint**Try to put music to it or simple language like “open, close. Open, close” or “up, down. Up, down,” etc.  Putting concrete simple language to match their actions really helps them understand and participate within the fine motor activity. If it is still a challenge, draw a square around the foot and handprints and have your child cut the square out. Then you can cut the actual shapes out.   
  • Next help your child dot a little glue to the palm of the handprints and glue them to the end of the footprint. Super cute turkey feathers! This is a great time to work on commenting, such as “it’s dry” and “it’s wet” when dealing with the glue! If you are each making a turkey you can talk about “Mommy’s big turkey” and “child’s small turkey.”
  • Last, help your child glue googly eyes (or draw eyes) on your turkey. Draw a small diamond on your left over orange paper and have your child cut it out. Folding it in half and gluing one side down makes a little beak. You can even use the red scraps to make a little waddle! Again, you can focus on a number of things here, like talking about colors, such as “orange beak” and “red feathers” or numbers, such as “two eyes” and “one beak.”


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Hang the turkey on your refrigerator or your child’s wall for a fun holiday decoration and to provide opportunities for showing and commenting such as “Daddy, look turkey!”   Another great idea is to add to the turkey family by having each family member make a turkey.  This is a great activity to work on before Thanksgiving or even during the Thanksgiving Day. 


We hope that you all enjoy this fun language centered activity.

~KidSpeak, LLC

The Picture Communication Symbols ©1981-2018 Tobii Dynavox are used under contractual agreement and were created by KidSpeak, LLC. All rights reserved worldwide.