Holiday Project Ideas

Thanksgiving Day Turkey Planter

This adorable Thanksgiving Day Planter utilizes a tracing of children's own hands to create colorful construction feathers.  It teaches children about crafts, and science at the same time.  After creating the planter, children place popcorn into a plastic bag, set it in the sun, and watch it grow.  After the popcorn begins to take root, children can transfer the sprouting plant into their Turkey Planter.  Makes a great Thanksgiving Day decoration or permanent enhancement for the outdoor balcony or apartment window.  The unique feather fingers make this an especially appropriate gift for parents or grandparents.
Materials Needed

Construction Paper- One l/2 sheet of Orange & Small Square and Triangular Pieces for Turkey Beak, Feet, and Feather Decorations
2  Doll Eyes
3 Pieces of Popcorn
l Plastic Bag (Small, Sandwich Size) l/4 Filled with Potting Soil
3 Craft Feathers
l Clay Pot
l Piece of Jute about l Foot Long
Optional:  Crayons

Step 1-Give each child l clay pot, 3 craft feathers, l strand of jute.
Ask the child to look at the bottom of the clay pot and find an opening.  Fold the jute in half, forming a loop.  Thread the jute, through the opening, and tie a large knot.  The long strings will be the legs and feet of the turkey.  Loosen and separate the ends of the jute at the bottom to form claw like feet.

Step 2-Give each child l sheet of construction paper.  l/2 sheet of regular size.  Trace and cut.  Cut the fingers and thumbs from the construction sheet hand.  The fingers will be colored with crayons, or construction squares used to decorate.  The thumb will be the turkey gobbler.

Step 3-Illustrate & guide children in gluing the 2 craft feathers and 4  construction "finger" feathers to the back of the clay pot.  Glue l feather and l construction paper  "thumb" gobbler to the front of the clay pot.  Glue and attach eyes to the upper portion of the turkey face, and glue the red triangular square to the end of the gobbler.  Paste beige triangular squares to the lower part of the jute string for turkey "feet."

Step 4-Tell children to "plant" the 3 popcorn seeds into the plastic lunch bag.  Give them a spray bottle to water the seeds, and instruct them to place the seeds into the sunlight and water them as needed.  They will be able to see the popcorn grow.  Children will be able to move the popcorn sprouts when they begin to see them go into the clay pot.

Step 5-Share each of the planters with the group and celebrate the differences in the various styles of planters that have been created.

This project has worked with children from 5 to 15 successfully, but younger children need extra help.

(c) l999 vc

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