Let’s Go Turkey Bowling
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year. The smell of the Fall leaves and the turkey baking in the oven brings me back to my youthful years. Every Thanksgiving my entire family, traveling from multiple states, would gather at my grandparents’ house to enjoy a day of good eating and storytelling. Laughter spread throughout the house as we celebrated each other’s company. The dessert table was as big as the main course table. Vegetables were picked from the ½ acre garden which was served with the traditional Portuguese sausage stuffed turkey. And of course, after gobbling all that food, the women would clean up (a dishwasher was not one of my grandmother’s kitchen appliances) while the men slept through it all. The children loved to play outdoors, run around the house, or play hopscotch on the walkway, but sometimes the weather kept us indoors. Our parents would keep us entertained by playing turkey bowling which is a tradition that has passed from generation to generation.
Matching colors Counting
Fine motor development
5 toilet paper tubes
Construction or hard stock paper (yellow, orange, red, brown, green OR 5 different colors of your choice) Newspaper
Miniature size pumpkin, (try to pick one that is round in shape).
Feather template (to trace)
1. Fill a piece of a newspaper inside each of the toilet paper tubes
(picture shown -2)
1. Trace and then cut out feathers on construction or hard stock paper ( 1 red, 2 yellow, 3 orange, 4 green and 5 brown). I like to use these colors to represent the Fall Season. You can pick any color feathers of your choice.
3. Glue the feathers to the back of the toilet paper tubes (1 red feather on one tube, 2 yellow feathers on the next tube, 3 orange feathers on the 3rd tube and so forth)
(pictures shown- 4 – Glue feathers to the rolls )
4. Decorate each turkey using the googly eyes. Another option is to have your child draw a face on the roll.
5. Cut 5 turkey wattles from a red paper and a beak from the orange paper and glue them to the front of each of the paper tube.
(picture shown -6 – Glue turkey beaks and wattles)
6. Cut out approximately 4 inch diameter circles, one of each of the above colors. You may want to use a rim of a cup or a small bowl to trace the circles.
(picture Shown -7A. Tracing circles, 7B. Cut out circles)
7. Place turkey pins on circle matching the color circle with the feathers (3 in the back and 2 in the front) – (picture shown -8 – Match colored feathered turkeys with circles)
1. Stand approximately 6-8 feet away from the turkey bowling pins holding the miniature pumpkin with the dominant hand.
2. Step with the opposite foot forward, bend at knees and waist and roll the pumpkin towards the pins.
3. Maintain good eye contact with the pins and reach the rolling hand forward towards the pins as you release the pumpkin.
4. Ask your child to count how many turkey pins he knocked over.
5. Roll the pumpkin again attempting to knock the others over. (picture shown -9 – Turkey Bowling Game)
6. Ask the child to set up the pins by matching the color of the feathers with the same colored circle. (video shown -10 –Matching colors during game)
7. Repeat several times
WHAT IS BEING LEARNED
Learning how to recognize color by matching the turkey’s feathers with the same colored circle.
Learning how to count the feathers on the turkey as well as the number of pins that fell after each roll.
Developing scissor grasp when cutting out the feathers and circles.
Developing pincher grasp while gluing the pieces together.
1. Parents and child can keep score by placing the number of pins knocked down after 2-3 rolls each on a piece of paper. Add up the score after 10 rounds (frames)
2. Sit on floor and push the miniature pumpkin towards pins.
3. Roll the pumpkin while standing on one foot.
4. Gobble like a turkey while you bowl.
5. Lie on belly and bowl.
6. Bowl backwards through the legs.
7. Start bowling close to pins and each time the child knocks a pin down, ask him to take a step back.
1. Set up the pins on the table if a child used a wheelchair or is not able to sit or stand on the floor independently.
2. Parent may want to clap hands or place a metronome beeper behind the pins if child has a visual limitation or has a difficult time focusing.
3. Use pop bottles instead of toilet roll tubes for greater success.
4. Use a larger size pumpkin for greater success
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This post originally appeared on our November/December 2020 Magazine