Preschool and Kindergarten Thanksgiving Activities, Crafts, Lessons, Folder Games, and Printables. Thanksgiving is a time for tradition, sharing, gathering with family, and giving thanks for what we have. The first Thanksgiving in the USA was a feast in 1621, shared by the Pilgrims to celebrate a successful harvest. Celebrate Thanksgiving, the pilgrims, and the harvest with our crafts, activities, games and many more resources for preschool and kindergarten.
To start your Thanksgiving unit, read the book Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes. Talk with children about what it means to be thankful. List some of the things that you are thankful for. Then, ask children to share some of the things that they are thankful for. Discuss that we are all thankful for our family and our friends at school. Hold hands and sing the song together.
Let's Be Thankful
(Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
Let's be thankful for this day,
For our friends and for our play.
Let's be thankful; let's be glad
For the food and things we have.
Let's give thanks for you and me
And our home and family.
On a white large napkin write the names of your family or of the children in your class. Decorate with glitter pens or glue on some sparkly gems. This will be your Thankerchief. Use it to play a game of Thankerchief.
Arrange children in a circle. Recite the poem and pass around the “thankerchief." At the end of the poem, the player holding the "thankerchief" shares a thing for which he/she is thankful for. Continue the game until each child had a turn.
Thankerchief, thankerchief, around you go
Where you’ll stop, nobody knows.
But when you do, someone must say,
What they are thankful for this day.
Handprint Flower Turkey
When all the leaves are off the boughs,
And nuts and apples gathered in,
And cornstalks waiting for the cows,
And pumpkins safe in barn and bin,
Then Mother says, "My children dear,
The fields are brown, and autumn flies;
Thanksgiving Day is very near,
And we must make Thanksgiving pies!"
Water or Sand Table
Add some corn husks, cornmeal, and kernels to your sand table. Provide measuring spoons, a strainer, and small containers. Let children use the spoons to fill the small containers with corn kernels and cornmeal.
Corn Investigation Station
Provide magnifying glasses, Indian corn, corn on the cob, and corn husk leaves. Let children use the magnifying glass to explore the different items. Add tweezers and let children take the corn kernels off the Indian corn.
Cranberry Spoon Race
Use real cranberries in a relay race game. If any cranberries fall of the spoon during the race the runner must start again.
Thanksgiving Dinner Game
Have players sit in a circle. The first player starts by saying, "At Thanksgiving dinner I like to eat turkey." The next player must repeat "At Thanksgiving dinner I like to eat turkey . . ." and add another dish. This continues all the way around the circle with each player reciting the dishes in the exact order they have been given and then adding a new one. If a player makes a mistake, he or she must slide out of the circle and the game continues. The person left who can perfectly recite the Thanksgiving menu wins.
Play music of your choice and encourage children to move like: BIG turkeys, little turkeys, tired turkeys, happy turkeys, scared turkeys, etc.
Handprint Flower Turkey
Have child make a print of his or her hand on a white piece of craft paper. Paint hand and fingers in different colors. Let dry. When dry, draw the turkey's head, feet, and beak. Use red craft paper to make the waddle. Cut a mum flower close to the flower head and put a generous amount of glue on the dry turkey. Finish decorating the turkey's head with a wiggly eye.
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