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Thanksgiving Math for Kids: Turkey Math Problems, Worksheets, Games, and Printables

Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.

There are so many possibilities for math with paper turkeys during November.

There are so many possibilities for math with paper turkeys during November.

Thanksgiving Math Options


Math Sheets


Math Problems

Math Games

Other Materials

This November, change up your standard math routine at school or home with turkey math ideas. Although it may seem silly, using timely materials can increase student interest and motivation. There are a wide variety of Thanksgiving topics that you can incorporate into your curriculum. However, turkeys are a natural choice for many kinds of math lessons.

Many of these math materials are intended for specific grade levels, but it is not difficult to modify most of them for additional grade levels.

Thanksgiving Song for Kids: What are you thankful for? Genki English

This article includes the following math skills.

 Skill Sets 

Addition and Subtraction

Fact Families

Word Problems

Color by Number

Odd and Even


Counting by 1's, 5's, and 10's



Switch up the regular math routine and use turkeys for teaching addition and subtraction.

Switch up the regular math routine and use turkeys for teaching addition and subtraction.

Addition and Subtraction

  • Label a paper turkey's belly with an addition problem. Students must glue two different colors of feathers to the turkey's body to illustrate the given math problem.
  • Label a paper turkey's belly with a single number. Students must write addition and/or subtraction problems that have that number as the answer on the feathers that they glue to the turkey. You can take it one step further and have students include feathers with a picture for the number (i.e. 5 red dots for the number 5) and the word form.
  • Write addition problems based on a picture of a turkey. For example, if the turkey has 4 red feathers and 6 blue feathers, the addition problem would be 4 + 6 = 10. Consider turning your turkey math facts into books.

Color by Number

Turkeys have lots of parts, which makes them an ideal choice for a Thanksgiving color by number. Seek out color by numbers with the standard numbers or with addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division problems that students have to solve before they can complete the coloring.

Counting Turkey Roll Game

Have students roll dice to build their turkeys. The teacher who blogged about this idea used candy for the turkey components, but you can customize this any way that you like.

Incorporate your turkey math activities into your current math bulletin board.

Incorporate your turkey math activities into your current math bulletin board.

Counting by 2's, 5's, or 10's

Glue paper feathers to turkeys that have numbers on them so students can practice counting by 2's, 5's, or 10's. You can assemble this ahead of time and simply have students practice counting or you can give students additional practice by having them assemble the turkeys and write in the numbers themselves.

Counting to 10

There are so many ways to use turkeys to practice counting skills. Many teachers use the feathers while others opt for manipulatives, such as Unifex cubes, as is featured in the turkey number game linked on the right.

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Counting Up the Turkey Parts

  • Draw turkey families and then have students fill in sentences about their turkey families, such as: "My turkey family has 10 eyes." or "My turkey family has 30 feathers."
  • Alternatively, keep it simple and just count the feathers or have students draw or glue a particular number of feathers on a turkey.

Fact Families: Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division

Write in the numbers for the fact family on the turkey's belly. Use one feather for each component of the fact family and attach them to the body. There are a number of ways that you can have students complete this activity, depending on their skill levels.

Teacher Tipster (Odd and Even Boots)

Odd and Even Turkey Game

Download this free turkey game that works on odd and even math skills.

There are so many options for using pattern blocks in math lessons.

There are so many options for using pattern blocks in math lessons.


Build turkeys out of pattern blocks or create the feathers with pattern blocks. Students can work on colors, shapes, counting, patterns, and much more with this activity.

Thanksgiving Dinner Math Word Problems Powerpoint

Word Problems

You can use turkey pictures or paper turkeys to construct turkey math problems, such as: "This turkey has 2 yellow feathers, 6 white feathers, and 5 purple feathers. How many feathers does the turkey have altogether?" You can also seek out or write your own word problems that are simply about turkeys. If you can't find turkey word problems that fit your students' skill level, look for word problems online that are at the right level you can modify to be about turkeys.


More Thanksgiving Resources for Kids


Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 24, 2012:

Thanks, Bill! I wholeheartedly agree with both of those points.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 24, 2012:

Great ideas Rose! I love creative teaching ideas, and I love to see people (teachers) thinking outside of the box.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 22, 2012:

I agree that it can definitely help with that issue.

agusfanani from Indonesia on October 21, 2012:

One of children problems in learning math is how to get their interest and motivation. I think learning math using this method will help overcome that problem.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 21, 2012:

Thanks so much, Pamela!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 21, 2012:

You are some great ways to make learning more fund for children. I think that really creates enthusiasm in children, which is half the battle. Very good hub! +++++

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 19, 2012:

Thanks, Dianna! You're right that changing up the math teaching methods can help keep students engaged, especially young students.

Dianna Mendez on October 19, 2012:

I love this hub. I can see many teachers enjoying these ideas as we are just around the corner from Thanksgiving. Math is one area hard to teach young children when you use traditional methods, your fun learning ideas will make it enjoyable. Voted up and shared.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 19, 2012:

School should not be a bore. It's too bad when teachers don't find more ways to challenge their smartest students, which they often don't. I agree that there are so many ways to make subjects more interesting that aren't challenging and keep kids motivated.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on October 19, 2012:

This is great. I was a straight A math student but I can truly say it was one big bore. The most fun I had in high school was my last year of math when I was allowed to help others and take tests, no homework! I think all subjects could be made more interesting to kids and these are great ideas to make it fun, therefore interesting.

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