Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Turkey is a Silly Bird

Does anyone else watch Miss Nina? A year ago (or maybe two?) her weekly video featured a turkey song to the tune of Pop! Goes the Weasel:

The turkey is a silly bird;
His head goes wobble, wobble.
And all he knows is ju-ust one word:
Gobble, gobble, gobble!

Simple and rather silly, but it has remained a favorite in our household, and it is once again seasonal. And it was the inspiration for our Thanksgiving cards this year.

This is such a great activity for preschoolers and any mamas who don't want to put together anything too intricate (Beth or Kristi). All you really need is colored paper, coffee filters, and food coloring or markers.

In all my Pinterest browsing, I discovered one way to decorate coffee filters is to color them in washable marker and then spray them down with water. That didn't work so well for us. Maggie was only willing to color in about 1/1000 of the coffee filter, and so we didn't get much design. I only mention it in case someone wants to try this without food coloring.

Food coloring and the fine motor benefits of using squeeze bottles was the best route for us. And since we're not deterred by tail feathers in inauthentic colors, we used all four colors. According to Maggie, our turkeys have "rainbow tails." I think it helps to spray the coffee filters with water after food coloring application. It spread out the colors a bit more and helps them run together.

Two pieces of advice here:

1. The coffee filters actually dry much better on parchment paper. 

2. Be careful with your toddler while these are drying. He might think he can ingest them. Food coloring can't be healthy. And it stains skin.

 After we had dry turkey tails, I scalloped the edges and gathered them together with some hot glue.

We used the paper, ribbons, pipe cleaners, etc. we had on hand to decorate the cards. And traced inside messages, of course.

"I drew a picture of you, Mama. See your curly hair?"
Relinquishing control of these projects is always a bit of a challenge for me, I am sad to say. Not my best parenting trait. BUT, I think we've come up with a pretty good system. We run through our supplies first and choose what we will include (mostly me, but some her). And then she gets creative control over which materials are used for which card. I sometimes make suggestions such as using ribbon for borders or pipe cleaners for legs, but she has veto power. And she always gets first dibs on cutting and gluing work unless it's hot glue.

By the way, both my children have insisted on learning the hard way that the hot glue gun is indeed hot. I think they've internalized the concept now, though.

Oh, and here's our first version using a toilet paper roll. It's pretty flimsy and tends to fall of the mantel, which is why it's a little worse for wear. The youngest member of our family is hell-bent on destruction sometimes.


  1. Very cute. And the song is great - one of my daughter's favorites!

  2. This is great, and I appreciate the shout out. I think I could handle this project, However, what do I do if I don't have a hot glue gun? Hopefully regular glue will work too. Charlie will love using food coloring! We got our cards, and they are amazing as always!

    1. I bet regular glue would work fine. I'm glad you liked your turkey!

  3. Hey you DO know me! I think even I could do this. When I first saw the photo, I thought that the feathers were made from cloth and figured it'd never happen. I can't tell you how excited I was when you said that it was coffee filters! I could do this! Also the photo of your son is priceless. So much stuff "stains skin" sadly. Have I ever told you how much I enjoy bourbon on the rocks? Just one more thing we have in common :D
    You rock.

    1. Hey, I'm glad you stopped by and saw your shout out. You and Tucker should totally make those turkeys.
      It is funny how many people connect with that photo and the line about bourbon. Next time you're on the north side of DC, I'll pour you a glass. :)

  4. I could totally picture both my girls not being patient enough to wait for that to dry, because when I did chocolate covered Peeps months ago they both were more then andy and impatient waiting for the chocolate to become solid again and we had a few tears here, as well on that one. So cute though and thank you for sharing!! :)

    1. They actually dry surprisingly fast, Janine! I'm going to link up soon. Not quite done.


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