Dollar Store Thanksgiving Craft for Preschoolers


The fall season is the time for a fun and easy Thanksgiving Day craft for young children. As we prepare for the warmth of Thanksgiving dinner, let’s add a sprinkle of creativity to our holiday festivities. In the spirit of easy and affordable DIY projects, I stumbled upon a fantastic turkey craft idea that’s not only a blast for toddlers and preschoolers but also won’t break the bank. 

Picture this: a wooden turkey that your little ones can proudly display on the front door or as a charming piece of home decor. This is a great way for kids to create a fun craft with some clever finds from our favorite local dollar store. So, grab your dollar tree DIYs, and let’s dive into the world of dollar store Thanksgiving crafts.

painted wooden turkey

The Joy of Painting for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Engaging toddlers and preschoolers in painting activities isn’t just about creating cute crafts; it’s really about the developmental benefits and endless fun. Picture those tiny hands clutching paintbrushes, eagerly dipping them into vibrant colors – it’s a sensory explosion and a fantastic learning experience rolled into one.

Creativity Unleashed

Painting provides a canvas for young minds to unleash their creativity. As they mix colors and experiment, toddlers and preschoolers are building the foundation for self-expression and imagination.

Fine Motor Skills Development

The act of holding a paintbrush (or even just finger painting!) and manipulating it across a surface may seem simple, but it’s a crucial step in fine motor skills development. These activities help refine hand-eye coordination and enhance the precision of those little fingers.

Sensory Exploration

The tactile experience of touching and smearing paint introduces toddlers to different textures and sensations. It’s not just about seeing the colors; it’s about feeling the cool smoothness of the paint and understanding the concept of cause and effect. Read all about it here.

little hands covered in paint

We know a lot of parents and teachers find the thought of painting with young children stressful. So, as you embark on the dollar store Thanksgiving craft of painting a wooden turkey, relish in the knowledge that you’re not just creating a delightful piece of home decor. You’re providing your little ones with developmental benefits and, most importantly, a whole lot of fun!

Gathering Dollar Store Supplies

Head on over to the local dollar store to look for all the supplies you’re need! The most important part is the wooden turkey that we found near the front in the Thanksgiving Day decorations. We also found some other fun animal cutouts to add in, like a fox! 

wooden turkey, paint, paint brushes

Next, head to the craft aisle to find paintbrushes and washable paint. We don’t use acrylic paint because it’s too difficult to wash off after children tend to get it on their clothes or themselves. Make sure you have brown paint and some fun, bright colors for the feathers. 

In this same aisle, you can check for googly eyes as a cute, but optional add on. We add our googly eyes on last with hot glue, but you can also use craft glue.

Dollar Store Painting Tip for Kids

Our best tip for this project and all painting crafts for young kids is to buy the plastic table clothes at the dollar store. This is a super frugal way to keep the paint projects contained and not all over your table or counter. You can reuse each table clothe a few times, and then get a new one since they’re only a dollar. 

Painting Your Turkey Craft

little hand painting a turkey brown

The first thing you want to do with your turkey is have your child paint the whole thing brown. For my son who’s still very young, we only put out brown paint at first. Then, let the brown paint dry. If you’re limited on time, you can paint the turkey brown yourself in advance. 

Then, let your child start painting the feathers with all the bright, fun colors you picked out! This is the time to remind yourself that painting for young children is not about the end product or it even looking like a real turkey. 

little hands painting a wooden turkey

Lastly, you can add the turkey’s eye with the googly eyes you picked up. 

Fun Ways to Paint

Here’s a crafty twist to elevate the painting experience for your little ones and hone those fine motor skills – swap out the traditional paintbrushes and opt for the fluffy cotton balls. This not only enhances sensory exploration but also requires a different level of precision, encouraging the development of fine motor skills. It’s a fun variation that adds a tactile dimension to the project. 

Another fun way to paint is by using other utensils or toys that are not paintbrushes. You can read all the best ideas here, but this playful exploration with kitchen tools, food, and toys not only fuels creativity but also encourages adaptability-not to mention children love it! 

​An Easy Thanksgiving Centerpiece

And there you have it, folks – a delightful and budget-friendly turkey craft that’s perfect for bringing a touch of homemade charm to your Thanksgiving celebrations. The local dollar store, perfect for craft supplies, has once again proven to be great for Thanksgiving crafts. 

As we gear up for the festive season, let’s not forget that a fun DIY project doesn’t have to be complicated. So, head to your local dollar tree, gather your dollar tree supplies, and start the easy Thanksgiving crafts. Whether adorning your front door or gracing the Thanksgiving dinner table, your toddlers and preschoolers are sure to beam with pride at their handiwork. 

Happy crafting, and may your Thanksgiving be filled with joy, laughter, and a touch of creativity!

little boy finger painting

More Craft Ideas

Check out all these amazing, easy craft ideas to try for Thanksgiving Day! There’s everything from toilet paper roll turkeys to candy corn crafts to a turkey puppet! Tons of ideas for this holiday season that your kids will love. 

More Thanksgiving Fine Motor Activities

If you’re looking for a great way to incorporate fine motor skills for your children without paint, try this awesome activity! Make these fun, little turkeys with your little one for Thanksgiving this year!

sign that says gooble, gooble, gooble

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