Thanksgiving Turkey Activities

Happy Thanksgiving! I’ve had turkeys and feathers on the mind…so I googled turkey activities and came up with some Thanksgiving turkey activity ideas for therapeutic horseback riding lessons!

Leaf & Circle Turkeys


  • Rider collects leaves and brown circles from around the arena. Discuss the color of each leaf and the shape and size of the circles.
  • Rider helps tape the items to make a turkey on a piece of paper or on the wall. Count how many leaves there are.
  • Alternately the rider can collect the leaves from outside before the lesson, if you have deciduous trees at your barn.
  • I like the idea of using leaves because it offers a great sensory experience!
  • Idea & Photo from “Leaf feather turkeys for Thanksgiving” by Marie LeBaron

Hand Tracings & Feather Turkey

turkey2 turkey3

  • Trace rider’s hand on a paper.
  • Collect feathers from around arena. The picture has fake colorful feathers, or you can use construction paper. I like how fake feathers offer a different sensory experience.
  • Tape the feathers on the turkey.
  • After the lesson, color the rest of the turkey in.
  • Or while rider is waiting for the lesson before hand, have them trace their hand and color it in.
  • Hand tracing photo from Instructables. Feather turkey from Amanda of Artsy Momma.

Thankful Turkey

turkey4 turkey5

  • Use the same activity ideas above, but incorporate what the riders are thankful for.
  • When the riders find each feather, have them write one thing they are thankful for on that feather.
  • If needed, have the riders discuss what they are thankful for with their volunteers during warmup to prepare.
  • Shorten this activity by having each rider find one or two feathers, write what they’re thankful for, then create together one turkey from all the feathers which you keep on the barn wall. Imagine a whole wall of thankful turkeys from the day’s lessons!
  • Hand turkey from a dead link on Pinterest. Paper plate turkey from Lindsay of Home with Lindsay.
  • For turkey templates to use for the body such as the second photo turkey, click here or click here

Clothespin Turkey


  • Find paper plates with turkeys on them.
  • Activity 1: Write numbers on each of the turkeys and hide clothespins around the arena. The rider must find that number of clothespins and attach them to the plate. For added help draw that number of dots on the turkey for a visual.
  • Activity 2: Each turkey has several clothespins. For warmups riders must transfer the clothespins from the turkey onto their horse or tack (their choice or a place you ask them to) then transfer them back. If that would take too long, have a volunteer put the clothespins on the horse or tack and the rider must put them on the turkey plate. For easy, do at the halt. For harder, do at the walk.
  • Idea and photo from “TURKEY MATH: FEATHER COUNTING ACTIVITY” posted by 

Pinecone Turkey


  • Activity 1: Similar to the above activities, you can have the supplies hidden around the arena: pinecone, feathers, google eyes, beak. The rider collects the pieces and puts them together.
  • Activity 2: Have volunteers make the turkeys the week before. In the lesson, riders must collect the turkeys.
  • Activity 3: Turkey Toss! Riders can collect the turkeys, or you can have them in a bucket ready for them. Toss the turkeys back and forth to volunteers, or into a bucket, or into a beanbag toss board.
  • Pic from Pay4SchoolStuff

Have you done any activities with turkeys in your lessons?


Note: This is not professional advice, this is a blog. I am not liable for what you do with or how you use this information. The activities explained in this blog may not be fit for every rider, riding instructor, or riding center depending on their current condition and resources. Use your best personal judgment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *