The Candy Turkey

There are tons of ways you can deal with the insane amount of candy your child is likely to come home with during the month of October. Even if you don’t trick-or-treat, there are school functions, birthday parties, and fall festivities, all of which seem gung-ho on watching kids get a sugar buzz. Some families “sell” their candy to the dentist. Some send it to the military troops overseas. Some parents let their kids do a one-hour binge, eating as much as they can before the timer runs out, then tossing the rest in the trash.

We have a candy turkey.

TurkeyThe Candy Turkey is a sneaky dude. He loves Halloween candy, and only lets the girls eat one piece a day… but he’s hidden it somewhere in the house and makes them figure out a clue (written on the back of each one of his feathers) in order to get it. But he only does this until Thanksgiving, when he makes a mad dash out of the house before we eat him for dinner. 🙂

If you’re looking for a fun way to ration out that Halloween candy, provide practice for your child’s deductive skills, and teach them how to be thankful, this is a great way to do it!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Paper – I use a mix of solid cardstock and patterned scrapbook paper
  • Glue
  • Permanent marker
  • Ink pen


Here’s how to make your candy turkey:

  1. Cut out your pieces
    You’ll need one feather for each day leading up to (and including) Thanksgiving, a body, beak, eyes, and the wattle – that’s the dangly thing hanging from the turkey’s beak. 🙂
  2. IMG_2680Make your cheat sheet
    I always plan out all my hiding places in advance so that I don’t repeat any during the month, and I write them down on a “cheat sheet.” This also makes it easier for the Candy Turkey to know where he’s supposed to hide the candy each day.
  3. IMG_2677Write out your clues
    Number the back of each feather, and write the clue you want on the back below the number. It’s up to you how tricky you want the clues to be! I recommend keeping your words near the top of the feather, since you’ll need to glue at the bottom.
  4. IMG_2684Assemble the face
    Glue the eyes (don’t forget to draw the pupils!), beak, and wattle to the front of your turkey.
  5. IMG_2681Glue on the feathers
    Turn your turkey over. Beginning with the highest numbered feathers (in this case 21-27), glue them around the back of the turkey so that the written clues are on the back. These are the clues you’ll be pulling off last, so you’ll want them closest to his body.
  6. IMG_2685Layer your feathers
    Keep using the highest numbers first – around the back of your turkey so that when you are finished the lowest numbers (clues 1, 2, etc.) will be the top layer.


And here he is!


Each day, pull off the number that corresponds to the current date (November 1st, pull off feather 1, etc.). Read the clue on the back and send your kiddo(s) off on a candy hunt!

When our girls find their candy we use the opportunity to say a little prayer of thanks to God for something related to where the candy was hidden. Under the pillow? Thank you, God, for a warm bed to sleep in at night. In the bathtub? Thank you, God, for the clean water in our home. In the carseat? Thank you, God, for keeping us safe as we ride in the car.

And there you go – an educational and fun way to spread out that sugar – and practice thankfulness too! 🙂

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