Montessori holiday buttoning activity – Turkey-Lurkey

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Laura over at My Montessori Journey posted the cutest felt turkey last year that she made into a practical life buttoning activity for her class.  Well, I saw it last year and marked it, but then it got lost in my legions of crafting bookmarks.  Well, thankfully she recently re-posted it and J’s teacher saw it and forwarded it to me!  I worked on it last night while watching HP Order of the Phoenix (have to brush up before the DVD release of Half-Blood Prince next month – already on pre-order, yes, I’m one of those people), and then finished it up this morning before taking J to school.  We were a few minutes late, but I think his teacher forgave us when she saw the turkey!  And we were thankfully there in time for J to respond with a chipper “Bonjour!” when she called his name at circle, although he was still at his cubby putting on his inside shoes.

It’s made of wool and wool-blend felt that I had in my stash.  I hand-sewed on the facial features with a basic running stitch and just used whatever buttons I had on hand that were approximately the same size (so the kids could put the feathers on in any order).  I made it with two layers of felt for the turkey body, and the feathers.  So I sewed those together with my machine.  It would have been nice to hand sew those, but that would have taken considerably longer and this is just as durable and nice.  Especially considering it’s an activity that will only be out on the shelf for a few weeks a year.  The feet are just one piece of felt, and I made sure to go over them twice with my sewing machine just to make sure they wouldn’t get loose.  Hmm….I probably should have used brown thread in my machine.  Oh well!

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It turned out great and I really can’t emphasize enough the difference it makes when you use wool and wool-blend felts.  It’s so much nicer than using acrylic felt.  It just has a better textural quality, both in terms of working with the materials, and using them.  100% wool felt is pretty expensive, but the wool felt blends that you can buy at places like Prairie Point Junction and Felt-o-Rama are also quite nice.  The green and red feathers are actually scraps from my advent calendar from last year.  I keep every minute bit of wool felt scraps, LOL!  The black eyes are some tiny scraps of recycled wool sweater (felted in my washing machine).

8 Responses

  1. Cute! I think I might make one of these for a friend’s kids. They would love it!

    • I’m currently making turkey number 3. The other two primary teachers at my son’s school saw him, and they all wanted one. And I have a problem saying no to our wonderful teachers!

  2. I LOVE this and you did a great job. It’s wonderful being able to use some of those scraps we treasure 🙂 I’m linking to this post on WFA’s FB! LOVE it!

  3. […] I start talking about Christmas….if you missed it last year, this Montessori practical life buttoning felt turkey was a huge hit with all the kids in my son’s Montessori school (age 3-6 classes) last year.  […]

  4. This is awesome!! I bookmarked it last year too and am making three – one for our house, one for my niece, and one for my daughter’s preschool! : )

    Your turkey is ADORABLE.

    My older daughter is also one of “those people” we’re having a Harry Potter birthday party for her this year — I already found her a beautiful golden snitch locket from an etsy artist!

    pink and green mama,

  5. I may have my dd make this as a fun beginning sewing project. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I just finished making this for my daughter. Thanks for the idea!

  7. Very cute!

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