After having fun with a construction paper turkey craft, I wanted a version Veronika could more readily create all by herself. The solution? Play dough turkeys!
To start, I needed a batch of brown play dough and turned to an old favorite recipe for pumpkin pie-scented play dough that fit both color and season. It does require cooking, but is remarkably easy. In saucepan, combine:
2 and 3/4 cups flour
1 cup salt
4 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups water
Cook over low heat, stirring with a spatula, until the mixture pulls from the sides of the pan. Let cool on wax paper, then knead a few times and it’s ready to go!
I set out balls of the play dough on a tray along with: wiggle eyes, pipe cleaners (cut in half, which is an easier length for my toddler), bright feathers, and triangles cut from orange craft foam for beaks.
Veronika loved it when I showed her how to make balls for heads and bodies, then decorate like a little turkey. She very soon started her own version. “It’s Mr.Turkey!” she said, proudly.
From there, she was off and running with her own creations. She loved poking pipe cleaners and feathers into the soft dough.
The biggest hit, though, was adding wiggle eyes, which were “cheeks” and more, according to her narration.
It turned out the craft foam “beaks: could be used more like little turkey feathers, too!
Every once in a while she would lift the dough to her nose to inhale deeply. “It smells really good!” she said of the pumpkin pie spice.
For fun, I also made a flatter turkey body and head for her to decorate, and we added looped pipe cleaners and smaller feathers to this one.
After that, she kept playing with all the materials for a while… So long in fact that it kept her up past her normal nap time!