I love Thanksgiving! It’s a time of friends, family, and food that ushers in the Christmas season (which is my all time favorite!) and is just so cozy. There’s nothing quite like gathering around a table, breaking bread with those you love, and sharing what you’re thankful for. In a world of increasingly entitled young people, it’s so important that we teach our children to be thankful for God’s blessings, not just during the month of November, but throughout the year. When we voice our thanks as adults, it sets the model for our children to be thankful adults as well. A super easy way to do this is by giving thanks to God at meals throughout the year and before bed! We always pray a prayer of thanksgiving out loud with our kids as a family before dinner each night, and also before they go to sleep. Here are some other activities you can do throughout the week to encourage thankfulness in your home- and of course I had to include all things feast and turkey to go along with it because- preschool! Don’t forget to pop over to my toddler post “Gobble Gobble” for more sensory and art activities kids of all ages will love, like our Thanksgiving feast sensory bin and making a Thanksgiving placemat!
-Thanksgiving poems/songs: I rewrote the words to “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” (first poem on the chart) and “Are You Sleeping” (second poem). Then we added them to our daily calendar routine all week!
-Corn bin ABC hunt: I spread out our magnet letters in our sensory pan, then poured unpopped popcorn on top. I had my little search for the letters, identify them, then match them on a letter page. I got this idea from Pocket of Preschool.
-Paper plate name turkey: First, I had my little practice color mixing with paint (yellow, green and red) to make brown. Then he used the brown to paint a paper plate (we just mixed the colors on the plate before using them to paint the whole thing!) Next, he cut out a feather for each of the letters in his name. I had him use the feather colors to make a pattern (yay for throwing in a little math!), then he wrote one letter at the top of each feather. Finally, I glued the feathers on the back of the plate and we added a beak and some eyes to make a turkey! MODIFICATIONS: Depending on where your little is at- you can have them trace their letters instead, or write the letters for them then have them use the letters to spell their name. I got this idea from Growing Book by Book.
-Y is for yummy: I used dots to make a Y practice page, then tucked it in a sheet protector and had my little practice writing Ys with a dry erase marker!
-Stuff the turkey counting practice: I printed out a cartoon turkey and taped it to an empty water bottle. Then I had my little completely fill it with pom poms while counting them as he put them in. This takes ALOT of pom poms (I think he got to 60 something), so it’s great practice for higher numbers. If you want to practice lower numbers, you can also have your little roll a ten sided dice, identify the number, then put that many pom poms in the turkey and repeat until it’s “stuffed”! I got my inspiration from Little Learning Club, but added to it to make it a math activity
-Pie slice number practice: Draw and cut out two circles from pieces of orange construction paper- make sure your circles fit in the bottom of a pie pan. Cut one of them into sixths and one into fourths, then label the smaller slices 1-6 and the larger ones 7-10. Place the slices of “pie” into your pie plates in a random order. Have your little choose a piece of pie, identify the number, then add that many dollops of “whipped cream” (aka cotton balls) to each slice! I got this adorable idea from The Printable Princess!
-Turkey tail number recognition: I printed out these cute fall number cards for free on Teachers Pay Teachers then made a turkey out of playdough and some googly eyes. I had my little choose a card, identify the number, then put that many feathers in the turkey’s tail (or…ya know…on its head! LoL) I got this idea from Early Learning Ideas.
-Turkey connect the dot: I printed this turkey then said and pointed to the numbers as my little connected the dots.
-Nausamp: maple cranberry porridge: I thought it would be fun to try out some “traditional” Thanksgiving food this week with my littles (read: things they made at the first Thanksgiving) and this one was quick and easy so we gave it a shot! It’s Native American porridge and was actually quite tasty! You just simmer 1 1/2 cups of coarsely ground cornmeal with 2 1/2 cups of water and 1 cup of fresh cranberries until the porridge thickens. Then add in 1/3 cup of real maple syrup or honey and sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Technically this was listed as a dessert, but we totally made it for breakfast! LOL The sweetness of the syrup and tartness of the cranberries was really yummy! I got the recipe from Rise and Brine– their post has a whole list of traditional Thanksgiving foods too if you’d like to try more!
-“The Pilgrims of Plymouth”: We read the National Geographic book “The Pilgrims of Plymouth” and talked about how pilgrim life was different from life today, as well as how it was the same.
-“I am thankful” turkey craft: I printed this “I am thankful” turkey craft from Teachers Pay Teachers (for free of course!) then my little and I worked together to color and cut out all the pieces. Then he glued the feathers on the back of the turkey body and told me all the things he’s thankful for so I could write them on the feathers.
-Make a feast food groups lesson: We talked about the 4 main food groups- fruits and veggies, carbohydrates/grains, protein and dairy and what types of food go in each group- I used the Melissa and Doug food group playset just because we had it on hand, but you could also use food in your pantry or refrigerator to make it more exciting! Then my little hunted through magazines and cut out one example from each group to glue on his “feast” plate (grocery store ads would be great for this too!) I got this idea from Pocket of Preschool.
-The Turkey Wobble: Ok- so dance is an art form, right? Right! And The Turkey Wobble by Koo Koo Kangaroo is definitely a hilarious and fun dance you can do all week long…and then perform for your family on Thanksgiving Day! They have an instructional video on YouTube (see the link I posted above)…trust me, it’s a total hoot!
-Turkey hat craft: I drew the shape of a turkey body on a piece of construction paper and had my little cut it out and decorate it. Then I had him pick out ten colorful feathers (might as well add in a little counting practice, right!? LoL) I used hot glue to attach the feathers to a strip of brown construction paper. Then I glued it in a circle to fit his head (with the feathers on the inside of the circle), and added the turkey body to the front! I got my inspiration for this idea from Kids Craft Room.
-Hand and foot turkeys: I traced my little’s foot on brown paper, then his hand on folded over yellow, orange, and red paper (so you get two hands per color). He cut out the foot, and I cut out the hands then he glued the hands on the foot and decorated the front with a beak, legs and googly eyes to make a turkey!
-Disguise a turkey: I printed out this turkey, then told my little we had to make him a disguise so the farmer couldn’t find him and cook him for Thanksgiving (I related it to the book “Run, Turkey, Run!” to throw in some literacy!) Then I asked him how he’d like to disguise his turkey- he said to make him look like the red power ranger. I asked if he’d like to use construction paper or color the turkey to disguise him and he chose to color him- here’s his outcome!
- paper plate
- ABC magnets
- unpopped popcorn
- easel paper roll
- water bottle
- pom poms
- pie plate
- “Pilgrims of Plymouth”
- coarsely ground cornmeal
- maple syrup (preferably real…or honey)
- sunflower seeds