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Miniature turkey game pieces
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Miniature Clay Turkey Game Pieces

What you will make:

It's easy to make playing pieces for your homemade games using Homemade Modeling Dough or commercial air-dry clay.  In this project, you'll make miniature turkeys modeled from dough or clay for the game of Turkey Trot. Or, make the turkeys for a diorama, or just for fun! Use the same idea to create playing pieces for other games, like racecars for the Racetrack Board Game.

This craft project requires few materials and is great for family, classroom or group craft time. The modeling dough can be made in advance and stored ready-to-use in the refrigerator.

Related crafts: Use Homemade Modeling Dough to make Pencil Toppers and Refrigerator Magnets.

Here's what you need:
  • Black and yellow acrylic paint
  • Paint brush
  • Optional: Nail polish or varnish

This project is rated EASY to do.

How to Make Miniature Clay Turkey Game Pieces

Read all of the steps before starting.
Step 1: Make Dough Brown, red, orange and yellow modeling dough

Make a full or half-batch of Homemade Modeling Dough. Use enough flour to make a rather stiff dough. Separate the dough into four balls and mix in food coloring to make yellow, orange, red, and brown balls.

Tip: You can also make the turkeys from air-dry clay that can be painted after it dries.

Step 2: Form Balls Balls for forming turkey

For each turkey playing piece, pinch off dough and form two brown balls—1/2" and 1/3"—for the turkey's body and head. For the turkey's wattle, make a 1/8" red ball.

For the turkey's tail, form two balls—1/2" and 1/3"—using two colors: red and orange, red and yellow, or orange and red. Vary the tail color combinations so that each turkey playing piece is unique.

Step 3: Shape Turkey Parts Ball and tapered pieces for turkey

Roll the smaller brown ball into a tapered shape, then form it into the head and neck of the turkey. Shape the larger ball to form the turkey's body, and attach the head/neck to the front end. Set the turkey on the waxed paper, and flatten the bottom so it sits nicely.

Join the body and tail partsFlatten both of the colored balls for the tail into fan shapes, and layer the smaller one on top of the larger one, aligning the bottoms.

Roll the red ball for the wattle into a teardrop shape—narrow at the top and with a bulge at the bottom.

Step 4: Join Turkey Parts Join the parts to make a turkey

Attach the tail to the back end of the turkey and press the wattle in place under the turkey's chin.

Tip: For a stronger hold, wet and roughen the surfaces of the parts before joining them.

Back of turkey's tailUse a toothpick or plastic knife to mark a few feathers on the back of the turkey's tail.

Make several turkey game pieces with different-colored tails. Set aside the turkeys to dry for a day or two. Place in a warm spot with plenty of air circulation to speed up the drying process.

Step 5: Finish Turkeys Use paint to add eyes and a beak

After the turkey playing pieces are dry, use acrylic paint to make eyes and a beak on each turkey.

Tip: You can make the game pieces more durable by coating them with acrylic varnish or clear fingernail polish.

That's it! Your turkey game pieces are complete!
Turkey playing pieces

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Before you start:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

Turkey Trot game board with playing pieces

Tip: The turkey game pieces are sized for the regular, four-part Turkey Trot game board. You will need to size them down to fit the small game board.

Turkey game pieces with different colored tails

Tip: Make each turkey game piece unique by varying the colors used to make the tails.

Glue turkey parts together

Tip: If the parts of the turkey come apart, glue them back together with white (PVA) glue. This is less likely to happen if you wet and roughen the surfaces of the parts before joining them. Finishing the game pieces with varnish will also make them more durable.

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