Ten Wild Turkeys: A Thanksgiving Skip Counting Rhyme

Did you know that wild turkeys sleep in trees? They just fly on up and go to sleep as a means of camoflauge from night predators! Cool, right?

We just saw a rafter of turkeys crossing the road near our house yesterday, which led us to explore what we could about wild turkeys. (First things first… googling what a group of turkeys is called. Hence, a rafter of turkeys.)

We also found out that even though we mostly see wild turkeys waddling around, they can actually fly, too. So since we saw some wild turkeys, and it is November, the kids and I came up with a fun wild turkey rhyme to sing. 

Fortunately I had some felt turkeys lying around (yes I know, odd but true), but this could easily be done with cutout paper turkeys, too! All I did was add some numbers to my turkeys with puffy paint.

Numbered felt turkeys

The rhyme we created utilizes skip counting by two’s. Most rhymes for toddlers and preschoolers follow a counting by one’s scheme (1-5 or 1-10), but we thought we would switch it up a bit with the turkeys. Skip counting isn’t typically taught until first or second grade, but if you follow my blog you know we don’t follow those guidelines and like to explore mathematical concepts as they arise. Skip counting is fun for little ones and is a great early multiplication skill. 

For the rhyme you will need: 10 felt or paper turkeys and a felt or paper tree.

I just used some scraps I had to create my tree.

Before
After

It isn’t a masterpiece but my toddler said “tree!” when she saw it, so in my eyes it is a success! For the rhyme, simply hold up the turkeys (or have the children do it) and have them fly up the tree two at a time. At the end point to the turkeys as you skip count from two to ten! Now onto the rhyme… 

TEN WILD TURKEYS

1. TWO wild turkeys, A tom and a hen

Are getting quite tired (yawn!), So then 

They fly up a tree, And go to sleep

Now TWO wild turkeys are sleeping in a tree

2. Two more wild turkeys, a tom and a hen

Are getting quite tired (yawn!), So then

They fly up a tree, And go to sleep

Now FOUR wild turkeys are sleeping in a tree 

(Continue and repeat)

3. Now SIX wild turkeys are sleeping in a tree

4. Now EIGHT wild turkeys are sleeping in a tree

5. Now TEN wild turkeys are sleeping in a tree

TWO, FOUR, SIX, EIGHT, TEN! (point to turkeys)

For more turkey info check out The National Wildlife Federation. (You will also learn that male turkeys are called toms and female turkeys are hens!)


2 Comments

  1. What a cute poem and activity, Elizabeth. Skipping counting is such fun. I remember when my daughter informed me she could count in twos and went ahead and did it. We can count the number of hands, feet, eyes and ears of everyone in the group too. Hand prints of everyone in the group, each pair in a different colour, is a fun way of counting in twos as well. It helps children see the two-ness to match the words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Norah!! Your comments always have so many great add ons!! I love handprint activities that incorporate math. We continued our turkey skip counting today with simple handprint turkeys and colored popsicle stick “feathers.” It was fun!

      Liked by 1 person

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