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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

The Grateful Gobbler

What you need:

  • Scratch paper
  • Pencil
  • 9x12-inch construction paper in brown, orange, yellow, red, green
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Black pen
  • Small brown paper lunch bag
  • Ruler
  • Newspaper or scrap paper to fill bag
  • Stapler.

What you do:

Have your child use scratch paper and pencil to write a list of at least ten things she or he is thankful for. This is the gratitude list.

Place child’s hand on red paper, keeping fingers together and thumb out (like a mitten). Cut out hand outline from paper. Turn it upside down. Hand is the turkey’s head; thumb is the wattle.

Cut small triangle (quarter-size) out of orange paper. This is the turkey’s beak. Glue it just above where the thumb comes out from the red hand cutout.

Measure about 1 inch from beak to inside of hand cutout. Using black pen, draw small circle for the eye.

Glue turkey’s head to front of lunch bag, about 2–3 inches from top, just under fold. For feet, cut out two orange triangles about the same size as beak. Glue them to bottom front of bag. Lay flat to dry (about 15 minutes).

While glue is drying, use ruler to measure up vertically 2 inches from horizontal edge of colored paper. Make a line with pencil. Continue to measure 2 inches from top of each line until you reach end of paper.

Cut on lines. Make at least 6 strips of paper in different colors.

Now, measure about 3-4 inches from bottom of strip of paper (about half way) and make small line with pencil. (This mark will be a guide for looping strips.) Use black pen to write a word from gratitude list on strip of paper. Repeat this on each strip of paper.

One by one, loop strips of paper in half using pencil mark as reference. Don’t fold them; only make loop. Make sure words from gratitude list are on outside bottom so you can read them. Line up ends of paper and staple them. Repeat this for all feathers.

Crumple newspaper. Open up lunch bag and stuff it with newspaper until it is about 3/4 way full. Make sure to leave a little room at top. Fold top of bag down about 2 inches, or two 1-inch folds, and staple closed.

Staple each feather to back of lunch bag (turkey body) at top fold. Evenly space loops so gratitude words can be read. Repeat this so that feather loops fan out for turkey’s tail.

Sign and date bottom of bag. Your Grateful Gobbler is ready to display at Thanksgiving dinner. When friends and family look at it, ask them what they are thankful for.  

Jessica Snowden lives in northern California. She is a mom of two and an artist, writer, teacher, and volunteer.