10 Fat Turkeys and a Craft

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This workshop was all about Thanksgiving, so we read 10 Fat Turkeys, a silly story just right for the occasion.  It’s a great ESL book – it’s simple, there is some counting and some rhyming and it’s just great all around fun.   And, what better craft to do than a gobble gobble wibble wobbling turkey:


  • construction paper
  • an empty thread spool (we didn’t have any- ours is jimmy-rigged, you can read the explanation lat the bottom)
  • a straw
  • paperclip
  • 2 rubber bands
  • goggly eyes
  • tape
  • colored pens

Here’s what you do:

Step 1: Trace your hand onto the construction paper.

Step 2:  Color and decorate your hand like a turkey (don’t forget the beak and the red wobbly thing on the nose).

Step 3:  Cut out your turkey (make sure that the bottom part of the turkey is flat) and glue on the googly eyes

Now comes the hard part:

Step 4:    Cut a piece of straw about 2.5cm longer than the spool. Put the paper clip onto one of the rubber bands and thread the rubber band into the straw (you may need a skewer or toothpick to help you do this).

Step 5:  Thread the straw/rubber band/ paperclip through the spool. Push through until the end of the straw with the paperclip is flush with the spool.

** MacGyver’d spool: we didn’t have any spools, so we used an awl to punch holes into milk bottle caps.  We took old paper towel rolls and cut them about the size of spools and glued the caps onto each end. Tadah -our makeshift spools.**

Step 6:  Secure the paperclip to the spool with a piece of tape.

Step 7:  Punch a hole into the FRONT of the turkey and slide it onto the straw/spool contraption.  Cut another piece of straw about 5cm long and through the rubber band.

Step 8:  Wind it up and watch your turkey wobble.

Thanks to Heather Swain Books for this fab idea!

The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie Memory Game and Crossword

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The IKAOLWSAP is a favorite story of ours – it’s fun, it’s silly and it’s a great way to learn about traditional foods for this holiday.  We’ve got two ways to learn to read and spell the words.  The first one is Memory, just print and cut out the cards. You can play just like regular memory, but matching pictures and words together (instead of two alike pictures).

And there is an IKAOLWSAP crossword puzzle:

Have fun.  Happy reading and spelling and most of all Happy Thanksgiving!  Gobble gobble!

How to Make a Super Catcher


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Our latest arts & crafts activity is a very simple toy that children all over the world have known and have loved for ages. It’s know by many different names, but the fun is always the same…we call it the Super Catcher!


  • 1 plastic water bottle
  • a few pages from a newspaper or magazine
  • decorative tape and stickers
  • electrical tape
  • 2 or 3 different colors of string about 50 cm long

Step 1: Cut the bottle in half and keep the part with the opening (this should be done by an adult).

Step 2: Cover the edge with the decorative tape (so that it won’t cut you) and decorate the bottle with more tape and stickers.

Step 3: Crumple up the newspaper or magazine pages into a small ball. Make sure you squish it tightly and then cover the ball with the electrical tape (it’s pretty elastic and will help maintain the ball shape).

Step 4: Take the string and tie it around the ball. Use some more electrical tape to fix it to the ball. Tie a double knot around the neck of the bottle to attach it.

..and now you are ready to play! Hold on to the neck of the bottle and try to catch the ball inside your Super Catcher! How many times can you make it in?

Monster Coat Hanger (or scarf hanger or note hanger or anything hanger)

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We read the story of The Gruffalo at this workshop, so time to do a craft was pretty limited – but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have fun.  The kids made these really silly monster coat hangers.

Here’s what you will need:

  • a piece of cardboard or wood panel
  • paint
  • a paint brush
  • a pencil
  • a clothespin
  • glue
  • a paperclip or something to hang your monster from

Step 1: sketch out your monster in pencil.  (We used cardboard for the sake of cost, but a small wood panel would work even better)

Step 2: glue on the clothespin.

Step 3; paint in the monster.

Step 4: after the monster is dry, attach your paperclip to the back and hang on a wall.

Pretty simple and yet still really cool!

Thanks to Mr Printables.com for this really fun idea!

How to Make A Whirligig

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This is a really great project to teach about shapes or even a fun way to teach the word ‘eat’. The kids had lots of fun making the big fish and watching it twirl around.

1. Supplies:

  • several different colors of construction paper
  • Things to trace big, medium and small circles (like plates and jar lids).
  • 1 plastic bottle caps
  • 2 skewers
  • 1 drinking straw
  • glue
  • colored felt tip pens
  • tape
  • hole punch
  • awl or something to make a hole in the bottle caps
  • ruler and a pencil

Pic 2 and 3: Use your plates and lids to trace and then cut out

  • 2 large circles (big fish body)
  • 4 medium circles (big fish eyes and small fish body)
  • 4 small white circles (big and small fish eyes)
  • 2 medium triangles (big fish fin)
  • 2 small triangles (small fish tail)
  • 1 large square (big fish tail/pinwheel)

Pic 4: use your medium sized circle to make a mouth on the large fish and cut it out from the two circles for the big fish’s body.  On one these circles place the straw and 1 skewer at a as shown (make sure the straw pokes out a but on both sides). Fix with a little bit of tape.  Put some glue on and sandwich close with the other half of the fish’s body. Let the glue dry.

Pic 5:  Assemble the big fish by adding on his eyes and fins.  Make sure you do both sides.  Don’t forget to add a little black dot to finish the eyes.

Pic 6:  Use the awl to make a hole in the center of the bottle cap (this should be done by and adult).   Slide the skewer through the straw (inside the big fish), leaving a small bit hanging out of the mouth and towards the tail.  Assemble the small fish with the skewer in the center of it’s body.

Pic 7:  Use a ruler to draw diagonal lines running from corner to corner of the square.  Use your medium circle to lightly draw a circle in the center of the paper.  Color the square.  Cut along the diagonal lines, stop when you reach the circle you traced.  (You don’t want to cut all the way through or you will have 4 separate triangles and your pinwheel won’t work).

Pic 7:  Use your hole punch to make a hole at the bottom right corner of each ‘triangle’ on the pinwheel.  Use the awl to make a hole in the center of the pinwheel.  This next part is really tricky: thread the skewer through the middle hole and then through each of the other holes on the pinwheel.  Thread the bottle cap to fix closed.  If there is a lot of excess skewer sticking out, push everything down so that the small fish is almost flush with the straw and then cut off the excess.

Now spin!

This fabulous idea came from:  littlewondersdays

Halloween Slam

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It’s Halloween Slam!
Preparation: print one copy of each card, laminate and cut out.

To play:  each player is dealt 3 small character cards and they are placed face up in front of him.  The dealer holds the big cards.  All players begin with their hands behind their back and then the dealer flips a big card face up into the center of the players.  The first player to see one of his characters on the big card, slaps his hand on top of the card and says ‘slam’  If the card is there, the player may turn his character card over.  If the player makes a mistake and slams his hand, but his character isn’t on the big card, he receives a penalty of another character card to look for.  Only the first person to slam down his hand may wind that round and turn over his character card.  The first player to turn over all his character cards wins the game!

Happy Halloween and Happy slamming!