Thanksgiving Secret Message Bath Game

wash and learn fun bath times for kids

Here’s a simple Wash & Learn activity that your child will love: a Thanksgiving Secret Message Bath Game!  Break out your turkey basters for a little seasonal fun & learning in the tub!  Your child will work on learning (or reviewing) their letters and colors, while also practicing fine motor skills, having a blast, and getting squeaky clean!!

Play A Thanksgiving Secret Message Bath Game!

Thanksgiving Secret Message Bath Game


Materials Needed:
*Foam Turkey shapes
*Permanent marker
*Shaving cream
*Food coloring (optional)
*Paint brush
*Turkey basters


The Set-Up:
First I wrote a secret message onto the foam turkeys using a permanent marker.  I wrote one letter per turkey.

Next I whipped up some orange bath paint by mixing one drop of red and one drop of yellow food coloring into shaving cream.

I gathered up all my supplies and headed to the kids’ bathroom.  With the water running to fill the tub, I threw in all the turkeys to get them wet.  One by one I picked a turkey from the water, dabbed some orange paint on with a paint brush to cover the letter, and randomly stuck it onto the wall above the tub.  Foam sticks when wet.  I also floated the 2 turkey basters in the tub for the kids to find.  They were only $1/each at Dollar Tree and I know we will be using them a LOT for fine motor skills practice!

Thanksgiving Secret Message Bath Game

I didn’t time the set-up, but I’m guessing it took around 10 minutes total.  If you re-use the activity another time, it’ll take even less for future set-ups since the turkeys will already have the letters written on them!

Invitation to Play:
As soon as I had concealed all the letters with bath paint and had all the turkeys stuck on the wall, I called the eager kids into the bathroom.  They took a little while figuring out how the turkey basters worked, and I helped as needed, modeling several times until they started to get the hang of it.

Once they “got it” the kids started basting the turkeys with water from the tub.  The orange bath paint would run off the turkey back into the tub, and the kids would yell out the name of the letter they had just revealed!

Thanksgiving Secret Message Bath Game

Lilah especially was really excited each time she’d uncover another hidden letter!

Thanksgiving Secret Message Bath Game

When all the letters were finally uncovered, the kids pulled all the turkeys off the wall and into the tub.  Then I started calling out letters to spell a secret message!  I’d call out each letter, along with what color it was, and the kids would race to find the letter floating in the tub.  When one of them found it, they’d stick it to the wall.  Each time we finished a whole word, I’d read it to them.

Thanksgiving Secret Message Bath Game

In the end, here’s the secret message they discovered: “Happy Turkey Day!”

We talked about exclamation marks, too!

Extending the Play:
After the excitement over the secret message and the turkey basters died down, I gave the kids 2 paint brushes and the rest of the leftover orange bath paint so they could do the activity again on their own.  They happily repainted all the letters and then began re-basting those turkeys!  These kids will be expert turkey baster helpers on Thanksgiving!!

Thanksgiving Secret Message Bath Game


Clean-Up was super simple!  The turkey basting basically cleaned everything up nicely on its own.  Just to be doubly sure, we pulled all the turkeys off the wall and into the tub for a final rinse, and then stuck them back onto the wall to dry.  We stuck the basters where they could drip dry, and I toweled off the clean and happy kids.

Thanksgiving Secret Message Bath Game

Bath time done and happy memories made! 🙂

This was a really fun bath time for the kids.  Not only did it get them thinking ahead to Thanksgiving, it taught them words like basting and exclamation point, allowed them to practice their fine motor skills by using turkey basters and paint brushes, gave them some alphabet letter and color review, and got them clean at the same time!!  Gotta love that! 🙂

Thanksgiving Secret Message Bath Game
Originally published on Nov 19, 2012 
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Here are some other posts from the Wash & Learn Bath Time Fun Series:
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Bath and shower activities should be closely supervised by an adult at all times.  None of the products used in this post stained our tub or shower walls in any way, but please test before use to ensure you will obtain the same results.    

Have you created a Thanksgiving secret message bath game for your child yet?  What are you waiting for?!?

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Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book!

  • Lindsay says:

    Very cute hands on Thanksgiving activity! You can certainly use those turkeys again to practice alphabetical order or letter matching 🙂

  • Allison says:

    So cute-my boys love secret message games!

  • Such a fun idea! Love the idea of a secret message! Where did you get your turkeys? 🙂

  • Would love if you shared on The Sunday Showcase this week – if you haven’t already!!

  • What a wonderful idea! I love using a turkey baster for this activity!

  • So cute love this bath, very creative. My 2 love doing the learning bath. Pinned this. (Momma’s Fun World)

  • Kristina says:

    Such a cute and creative idea! My kiddos would love this, too!

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