Gobble up the fun on Turkey Day with family members and friends, as you gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, by offering a Thanksgiving turkey piñata after your turkey feast. Although the original Plimouth Pilgrims probably didn’t play with piñatas (The piñata is actually a Latin American tradition.), the piñata has become a popular American party pastime.
Why not build your own Thanksgiving turkey piñata for Thanksgiving Day? Fill it with bountiful sweets and treats, and your whole crowd will be swinging along in no time.
This quick and easy art and craft project is fun for children and adults to do together. Be sure to allow enough time for your Thanksgiving turkey piñata to dry overnight.
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The Thanksgiving turkey piñata makes a fun family tradition.
In our clan, we have enjoyed making a Thanksgiving turkey piñata on the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving for many years. Usually, the children are dismissed from school after a half day for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. We share many happy memories of building Thanksgiving turkey piñatas on Thanksgiving Eve.
Of course, these holiday memories are followed by sweet sentiments of smashing our adorable Thanksgiving turkey piñatas on Thanksgiving Day. This fun family activity offered young and old alike an opportunity to stretch bodies and move around a bit after the fine festive Thanksgiving feast.
Follow these simple instructions to make your own Thanksgiving turkey piñata. Perhaps this will become an annual tradition in your household as well.
First, gather these materials to make the Thanksgiving turkey piñata.
- Papier-mache mixture
- Newspaper strips
- 1 large round balloon
- 1 small round balloon
- 1 rubber band
- Scissors or a sharp knife
- Acrylic, poster, or craft paints
- A handful of feathers
- Construction paper
- Sturdy tape
- 1 large bag of individually wrapped candies
- 1 baseball bat or broomstick
- Blindfold (optional)
Follow these easy Thanksgiving turkey piñata instructions.
Cover a table, counter, or other flat working surface with old newspapers or a wipe-off tablecloth before beginning the holiday piñata craft project.
Old clothes or smocks are a great idea, as the gloppy messiness of papier-mache is a key element of the fun, particularly for younger participants. (On warmer Thanksgiving Eves, we like to gather in the backyard to make our Thanksgiving turkey piñatas. We use a plastic children’s outdoor picnic table for our work surface, so we can simply hose it off when we are finished.)
Gather several old newspapers, and tear or cut them into individual one-inch-wide strips.
Next, create the papier-mache mixture (Find papier-mache instructions here: 3 simple papier-mache recipes to try.). Choose wallpaper paste-based, glue-based, or flour-based papier-mache recipe.
Blow up both balloons. The larger balloon will form theThanksgiving turkey piñata’s body. The smaller balloon will become the head. Tie both inflated balloons closed, and fasten them together by joining the two knotted parts with a rubber band.
This balloon creation serves as the mold for theThanksgiving turkey piñata.
One by one, drag a newspaper strip through the papier-mache mixture until it is completely saturation with the paste. Gently slough off extra glops of paste by hand. Completely cover thr entire Thanksgiving turkey piñata mold. Add extra papier-mache strips all over thr Thanksgiving turkey piñata mold, until it is sturdy and solid.
Allow the Thanksgiving turkey piñata papier-mache to dry overnight.
Complete and decorate the Thanksgiving turkey piñata.
On Thanksgiving morning, the Thanksgiving turkey piñata may be finished and filled with treats..
First, an adult can cut a secret trap door in the bottom of the Thanksgiving turkey piñata (with scissors or a sharp knife) for inserting the candy. As the first cut is made (in the belly of the Thanksgiving turkey piñata), the largest balloon will pop, creating an inside body cavity.
Stuff the Thanksgiving turkey piñata with individually wrapped candies, gum, and other treats.
Finally, paint the Thanksgiving turkey piñata. Use non-toxic acrylic, poster or craft paints. Add tail feathers, if desired. Real feathers or homemade construction paper feathers work well. If you are extra creative and crafty, you can add the beak and wattle (under the turkey’s chin); fashion it from construction paper.
Tape the belly trap door securely to keep the treats stored inside your Thanksgiving turkey piñata.
Hang up the turkey piñata for Thanksgiving fun.
Lots of families choose to dangle their Thanksgiving turkey pinatas from their garage ceilings on Thanksgiving Day. For such fun, no one seems to mind parking outdoors on Turkey Day.
Usually during the halftime break of the biggest Thanksgiving Day football bowl game, the whole clan lines up, from youngest to oldest, to swat at the turkey pinata with a plastic baseball bat. Blindfolds are optional.
Once the Thanksgiving turkey pinata is smashed, the candies rain down all over the ground or floor, amid frenzied shrieks of delight from everyone. As the Thanksgiving turkey pinata gives up his loot, cameras flash, along with smiles of all ages. After all, what could be more fun on Thanksgiving than gobbling up sweets from a turkey piñata on Turkey Day?
A do-it-yourself turkey pinata makes a swinging sensation for Thanksgiving Day.