Patient Referral

Activities for Dementia Patients: Thanksgiving Turkey Craft

thanksgiving turkey craft

Engaging in craft activities with a loved one who has dementia holds profound therapeutic value, fostering emotional connections and enhancing their overall well-being. The act of crafting provides a sensory-rich experience, stimulating various cognitive functions and promoting a sense of accomplishment.

Crafting serves as a powerful tool for communication when verbal abilities may be compromised by dementia. The shared activity creates a nonverbal dialogue, allowing for meaningful connections and expressions of creativity. This shared experience transcends the limitations imposed by cognitive decline, offering a pathway for emotional connection that goes beyond words.

The tactile nature of crafting can be particularly soothing for individuals with dementia. The textures, colors, and motions involved in crafting engage the senses, providing a calming and enjoyable experience. This sensory engagement can contribute to a reduction in anxiety and agitation, common challenges faced by those with dementia.

Family members who do not often interact with their loved one with dementia may not know the best way to engage with their loved one. Crafts like this easy Thanksgiving turkey are a good way to connect over an activity anyone in the family can enjoy.

Thanksgiving Turkey Craft

What You’ll Need: 

  • Thin Wood Circle
  • Brown foam paper or cardstock
  • Scrapbooking paper or cardstock in three different patterns
  • Red, yellow, and black cardstock
  • Googly eyes
  • Clear glue
  • Scissors
  1. Draw and cut the body of the turkey.
  2. Cut an assortment of feathers from the scrapbook paper.
  3. Cut a beak from yellow paper and a wattle from the red paper.
  4. Cut a pilgrim hat from the black paper and a buckle from the gold paper.
  5. Glue the feathers in an alternating pattern, fanning out to cover the circle.
  6. Glue the body to the center of the feathers.
  7. Glue the hat and buckle to the top of the turkey.
  8. Add the wattle, beak, and googly eyes.

See more activities for dementia patients.

 Caregiver Tips

  1. If cutting the elements is too challenging for your loved one, you can cut them out in advance and then just glue them to the wooden circle.
  2. While doing activities with a loved one with dementia, engage them in conversation. Play music they enjoy softly in the background to create a positive mood.
  3. Even though your loved one may not remember names or things that happened in recent days, they may still remember their childhood. Ask about favorite colors or clothing they used to wear or how they celebrated holidays as a child.
  4. Activities for people with dementia have the best chance of success early in the day when your loved one is well rested. If they don’t want to participate or get frustrated, don’t force it. Try again another time.
  5. Remember that the goal is to have an engaging activity with your loved one with dementia. Don’t worry about the end result.


Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to support patients with dementia and their families. Please call us at 1-888-564-3405 to learn more about how our unique care programs help provide a higher quality of life for dementia patients while helping caregivers avoid burnout.

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Copyright © 2023 Crossroads Hospice. All rights reserved. 


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