Thanksgiving Archives | Play It Forward Therapy
Turkey Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Turkey Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Kids will enjoy making this twist on a classic grilled cheese sandwich!  It’s a Turkey Sandwich without the turkey…  but how can that be?!  Using a knife to make 3 simple cuts transforms your plain sandwich into a silly turkey that will be gobbled up in no time!

Plus, it’s a clever way to get in a balanced meal of grains, dairy and veggies. I made a ham and grilled cheese in this example.  You can always sub out the ingredients if your child has food allergies or make a completely different type of sandwich.  Make it your own!  This is an easy lunch prep idea that older children can help with.

Feeding Therapy Ideas

When it comes to feeding therapy, one of the first concepts of helping kids break out of restrictive food choices is to change the shape of the preferred food.  By enlisting kids help to assemble the turkey they will also be interacting with each of the ingredients.  Take a more scientific approach and talk with your child about the different shapes, colors, smells and textures of the ingredients.

Do the different colored peppers taste different or the same?  What do you like better, the crunchy cracker texture or the soft sandwich texture?  Do you like hot sandwiches or cold sandwiches?  Talking about preferences and learning about the different characteristics of food gives kids a sense of control and also exposes them to interact with different or non-preferred foods in a fun way.

Positive associations around meal times, snacks and eating are all part of helping kids with feeding problems and strategies to use with your typical picky eater too!


  • Whole wheat bread
  • Butter
  • Cheddar cheese slices
  • Mini bell peppers or baby carrots
  • 1 round wheat cracker
  • 2 sliced olives
  • Optional:  lunch meat


  1.  Make your sandwich.
  2. Cut into a triangle shape.
  3. Cut the 2 smaller triangles in half for the wings.
  4. Make the face:  Use 2 black olives for the eyes, a triangle slice of cheese for the beak and a small piece of red pepper for the gobbler.
  5. Cut the bell peppers and arrange into a feather pattern.


STEP 1:  Cut the sandwich.

STEP 2:  Build your turkey.

STEP 3: Gobble it up!

For more lunch ideas, you may also like Ghost Quesadillas

Thanksgiving Turkey Cookie

Thanksgiving Turkey Cookie

These tiny Turkey Cookies will be gobbled up in no time!

Use ready made ingredients to assemble this Thanksgiving Turkey Cookie craft.  There are several skills that your child will practice to make these adorable cookies, whether it’s a single treat or a flock of sweet turkeys to grace your Thanksgiving dessert table.

Your child will improve fine motor skills while using a a knife to spread and scissors to snip!  Learning to hold a knife properly to spread the frosting and snipping with scissors are fun ways to improve utensil use.  Challenge dexterity by placing 5 candy corns in the palm of the hand, then shift the candy corns from the palm of the hand to your thumb pad and index finger tip without help from the other hand.  This fine motor coordination skill is called palm to finger translation.

Picking up these tiny chocolate morsels is excellent for developing a pincer grasp (pinch between thumb and index finger). An alternative is to buy the ready made candy eyeballs, which will be easier for younger children to grasp.  To challenge and practice  fine motor skills, enlist your child in making several Turkey Cookies arranged on a plate as a colorful centerpiece at your next fall gathering!

Turkey Cookie


  • 1 Nilla wafer Cookie
  • 1 Mini Nilla Wafer Cookie
  • 1 Mini Marshmallow
  • 2 Mini Chocolate Chips
  • 5-6 candy corns
  • 1 orange slice
  • 1 dried cranberry (Craisins)
  • Chocolate frosting

Supplies:  Knife, scissors, toothpick (optional). 

Other Ideas:  Use red gummy candy or licorice for the gobbler.  If using an Oreo cookie for the body, stick the candy corn tips sandwiched between top and bottom half. Then place the head on top.


  1. Body: Spread the frosting over the Nilla Wafer Cookie.
  2. Head: Stick the Mini Nilla wafer on the bottom half of the body.
  3. Feathers: Place 5 candy corns in a semi-circle shape above the head.
  4. Eyes: Using scissors, cut a marshmallow in half and put the sticky side down for 2 eyes.  Add chocolate chip to the center of each eye. Press the pointy side of the chip into the marshmallow.
  5. Beak and gobbler: Cut a small triangle shape from the orange slice and a thin strip of dried cranberry for the gobbler.  Place the gobbler next to the beak.

You may also like a pretty Pressed Leaf Placemat

Fine Motor Clothespin Turkey

Fine Motor Clothespin Turkey

Clip-on clothespin feathers are the perfect accessory for this turkey’s dressing!  This cute and clever Thanksgiving craft is perfect for preschoolers to strengthen their fine motor skills. It also involves following directions and is excellent practice for fine motor skills such as cutting, coloring, gluing and pinching.  Pinching clothespins helps strengthen the muscles important for developing dexterity.

Pinching is a necessary fine motor skill to help support your child’s independence during every day routines such as pulling up a zipper, pinching buttons to poke them through the hole or when grasping a crayon or pencil.

Clothespin Turkey


  • Small paper plate
  • Construction paper: brown, orange
  • Markers
  • 9 clothespins
  • Googly eyes
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Watch the video to follow these simple directions.



You may also like a pretty Pressed Leaf Placemat

Pressed Leaf Placemat

Pressed Leaf Placemat

Q:  Why do leaves fall from dogwood trees?

A:  They’re afraid of the bark.

Q:  How do leaves get from place to place?

A:  They use Autumn-obiles.

The season of Fall brings a smile to my face (as do corny jokes and pumpkin spice lattes!). 

You’ll enjoy the beauty of Fall all year round with these Pressed Leaf Placemats or Pressed Leaf Bookmarks… 

Fall is the perfect time of year to go for a nature walk and bring the beauty of the outdoors… indoors.  These Pressed Leaf Project ideas address a variety of developmental skills.


Top 5 Reasons To Enjoy Nature While Boosting Development

  1. Physical health and mental well-being:  Being outdoors or going for a nature walk is good for your physical health and mental well being.
  2. Improved mood:  Research studies have shown that being in nature can improve your mood, emotional well being and decrease stress.
  3. Sensory processing development:  Gathering different types of leaves is a rich sensory experience.  The touch system benefits from feeling the different textures of the leaves (smooth, bumpy, dry or wet).  The visual system helps you to discriminate or pick out the different shapes, colors and sizes of leaves.  This also is good practice to for increasing attention span and learning to focus. The olfactory system is essential for noticing the different scents of trees such as the piney smell of evergreen trees or the faint, floral scent of cherry trees.
  4. Fine motor skills: Picking up leaves and holding tiny stems improves finger dexterity and fine motor precision.
  5. Connecting with nature and quality time:  Time spent in nature connects us to the outside world and can inspire feelings of love and empathy for each other. (

Check out the video tutorial for how to make pretty a  Pressed Leaf Placemat or Pressed Leaf Bookmark

Pressed Leaf Placemat or Bookmark

You will need

  • Leaves
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Cardstock or construction paper
  • Laminator with laminating sheets or clear contact paper
  • Black permanent pen


  1.  Collect a variety of leaves on a nature walk.  Bring along a container to collect your leaves.
  2.  Lay them in between 2 paper towels to dry.  Place a heavy book on top and allow to dry overnight.
  3.  Glue the leaves on the paper.
  4. Cut out rectangles for bookmarks or arrange leaves on a large piece of paper for a placemat.
  5. Laminate or cover with clear contact paper and trim to fit.

Pro Tips: 

  • Play “I Spy” on the nature walk.
  • Practice visual attention, focus and discrimination by trying to find a certain color or type of leaf in the background.
  • Take some deep breaths of fresh air.  Breath in slowly for a count to 3, Hold, then breath out slowly to encourage a calm body and mind.

And for the last joke of the day before you “leave”…

Q:  Why were there so many people hanging out by the tree?

A:  It was a Poplar Tree!


You may also like Pumpkin Fidget

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