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Gobbling Turkey Craft

Rachael Yunis | October 23, 2023

Create a gobbling turkey craft this Thanksgiving!

Learn about the science of sound with this fun science activity.

Explore the science of sound with this fun gobbling turkey craft! Kids will create a talking turkey with common household items.Supplies for turkey craft:

• One plastic cup
• One paper clip
• 22” piece of string
• Construction paper or Tissue paper
• Tape (or glue)
• Scissors
• Ruler
• Paper towel
• Water
• Any additional craft items you wish


1. Cut a piece of string 22” in length.
2. Tie the string to the long side of the paper clip. Make sure it is securely tied because you will be pulling hard on the string.
3. Punch a hole in the bottom, middle of the plastic cup. Ask an adult to help if you are young.
4. Thread the open end of the string through the hole and pull the string through the hole until the paper clip rests on the bottom of the cup.
5. Tape the paper clip in place.
6. Use the construction paper, tissue paper, and any other additional craft items you want to create your turkey.
7. Cut a piece of paper towel approximately 3” by 6” wide.
8. Dampen the piece of paper towel. Do not get it soaking wet.
9. Hold the cup in one hand and the string with the damp paper towel in your other hand. The cup should be upside down with the string hanging toward the ground.
10. Use the damp paper towel to pull down on the string in jerky motions to make a turkey gobbling sound!

Explore the science of sound with this fun gobbling turkey craft! Kids will create a talking turkey with common household items.Take It Further:

  • Tape the paper clip on the inside bottom of the cup rather than the outside. Is the sound different? Is it louder? Is the sound more directed?
  • Vary the type of string. Try a nylon string, yarn, and twine. How do the sounds vary with each type of string?
  • What happens if you add extra paper clips?
  • What if you used a different type of cup that isn’t plastic?

Discussion Points:

Question: Because air is invisible, it is sometimes hard to remember that it is made up of matter. Other than sound, when might we also realize that air has matter?

Answer: Feel the wind, see leaves blowing around on trees, watch clouds move in sky…

Question: Sound waves are 3D. They expand in all directions. When we create a water wave, the wave ripples out in a circular motion on the surface of the water. With sound waves, those waves are moving up, down, forward, and backward. How can you tell this is happening?

Answer: If sound waves only went in one direction, you wouldn’t be able to hear someone if they were in front of you and facing away from you when they talked. The world would be a different type of experience if we only “caught” sound waves directly in our paths. There would be less bird chirping, airplanes passing overhead, and conversation. Sound waves will continue to move in all directions until something blocks them.

Question: Why were you able to create a sound like a turkey?

Answer: Sound is just a sound wave moving through the air. If you can create a sound wave that is similar to that of any vibrating object, you can sound like it.