Thanksgiving Activities


Family Pictures
Find magazine picture of people.  Find picture representing each family member and glue the picture on construction paper. Title the picture: I am Thankful for my Family.
Variation: Find food pictures to glue and label the picture: I am Thankful for Food .

Thanksgiving Placemats
Search magazines or old cards for pictures of animals, flowers, mountains, rainbows, people, etc. Glue the pictures of things you are thankful for onto construction. Title your placemat; “I am Thankful for…”Cover the placemat with Contac paper.

Paper Plate Thankful Wreath
Cut leaf shapes from colored construction paper. Write on each leaf what the child is thankful for. Glue the leaves around the edge of a paper plate. In the center write “(child’s name) is thankful for:”.

Pine Cone Turkey
Press the side of a pine cone into the small ball of clay or play dough for a stand. Glue a precut paper turkey head (wiggly eyes, beak, wattle) on the small end of the pine cone. Glue feathers, folded chenille stems (pipe cleaners) or colored paper on the other end of the pinecone for feathers.

Paper Cup Turkey
Paint a paper cup brown. When dry, glue a large pom-pom to the bottom of the cup. This will be the head. Add triangle beak, a red wattle, and wiggly eyes. Glue real or paper feathers to the other end of the cup.

Cornucopia Centerpiece
Cut a large triangle shape from colorful paper such as scrapbooking paper or construction paper.  Glue the paper into the shape of a cone.  Fill with popcorn, dried fruit, and pretzels. Place on your Thanksgiving table.

Pumpkin Pie
Materials: pumpkin pie spice, orange construction paper, scissors, glue, cotton ball.
Copy circles on orange construction paper and let the children cut them out. Next, “paint” glue on the circle and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice on top of the glue. Finally, glue a cotton ball to the middle of the pie to represent the whipped cream and pull it out a bit to puff it up. If you cannot find pumpkin pie spice you can mix nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon.

Home Made Butter
Large glass jar, heavy whipping cream, salt
Pour whipping cream into the jar, a bit less than half full.
Sprinkle in some salt.
Cover jar and have the children shake continually (they can help make one jar together or you may be shaking 16 jars yourself!). After about 5 minutes of shaking, the water will separate from the cream and the cream will become more solid.
Pour our the liquid and continue shaking.

This would be great on your homemade bread!

Nut Sorting
Provide a bowl of unshelled nuts to sort by color, type, or size. Count the nuts in each pile. Arrange the nuts from largest to smallest.

Thanksgiving Obstacle Course
Pretend you are Pilgrims, turkeys, or traveling to grandmother’s house. Follow the slippery, zig-zag path (masking tape), walk on the log (blocks), jump the river (jump across 2 pieces of yarn or tape), crawl through the cave and under bushes (crawl under covered table). Walk on tip-toes, hop, or gallop.

Grocery Store Visit
Visit a grocery store to look at or buy Thanksgiving food.  Note colors, sizes, textures. Find vegetables such squash, onions, potatoes, celery, carrots. Look at white eggs and brown eggs, chicken, duck, and turkey eggs. Find fruits such as cranberries, pineapple, different types of apples, kiwi, dried fruit and fresh fruit. Buy a pomegranate to peel and eat.

Catch the Turkey
Purchase a small toy plush turkey or use a sock ball (rolled socks) as a pretend turkey.
Play catch with the turkey. Start by standing close together. Each time the turkey is caught, take one step backwards, increasing the distance. Person tossing the turkey says, ”Catch the turkey,” before the turkey is tossed.

Sailing to America
Pretend you are the Pilgrims sailing to America on the Mayflower. Use a large box or basket as a boat.

Sink or Float
Place a variety of objects in a tub of water. Before placing the object in the water, predict if it will sink or float. Try objects such as nail, rock, wood, cork, Styrofoam, plastic spoon, metal spoon, paper, feather, bar of soap.

We are Thankful (Tune: Are You Sleeping?)
We are thankful, we are thankful,
For our food, for our food.
And our many blessings, and our many blessings,
Let’s give thanks. Let’s give thanks.

Bear Says Thanks – Karma Wilson
Give Thanks to the Lord – Karma Wilson
What is Thanksgiving – Michelle Medlock Adams
Thanks for Thanksgiving – Julie Markes
Biscuit is Thankful – Alyssa Satin Caapucilli
A Turkey for Thanksgiving – Eve Bunting
Happy Thanksgiving – Jill Roman Lord
Thank you Prayer – Josephine Page
The first Thanksgiving: a lift-the-flap book – Nancy Davis
Thanksgiving is for Giving – Margaret Southerland
I Know an Old lady Who Swallowed a Pie – Allison Jackson
Thank You God – Kathleen Bostrom
Squirrel Says Thank You – Mary Manz Simon
Lots of Thanks: a Little Book About Being Thankful – Thierry Courtin
Thanksgiving Day Thanks-Laura Malone Elliott




Paper Bag Turkeys
Stuff a brown lunch bag with paper until about half full.  Twist and tie the bag closed with yarn. Cut strips from the edge of the bag down to the yarn. The strips will be tail feathers. Attach a precut head to the other end of the bag. Add wiggly eyes and beak. Paint the tail feathers vibrant colors.

Handprint Turkeys
Paint fingers and palms brown and press onto paper. Add turkey facial features and legs.

Turkey Headbands
Cut a 1-2 inch strip of brown construction paper to fit child’s head. Staple or tape closed. Add precut colorful strips of construction paper for feathers or attach real feathers with tape.  Wear the turkey headband while reciting the fingerplays and singing turkey songs.

Turkey Feather Painting
Dip feathers in craft paint and paint on paper.

Apple (Potato) Turkey
Stick miniature marshmallows, gumdrops, or fruit chews on toothpicks. Stick the toothpicks in the apple for tail feathers. Attach to the opposite side of the apple, with tape or a toothpick, a precut paper turkey head.

Play Dough Turkeys
Make play dough turkeys with turkey cookie cutters.

Combine in a pan:
1 cup flour,
½ cup salt,
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon oil,
1 cup water,
Food coloring
Mix ingredients well. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until mixture pulls from sides of pan and forms a soft lumpy ball. Knead, play, enjoy, and when cooled, store in an airtight container.

Feed the Turkey
Attach a picture of a turkey to the side of a box or basket. Feed the turkey by throwing “sock balls” (rolled socks) into the turkey.

Count the turkeys
Attach stickers of turkeys to strips of card stock or construction paper. One sticker on the first strip, two on the second, three stickers on the third, and so forth. Write the number on the back of the card. Count the turkeys. Place the cards in sequence.

Pin the Feather on the Turkey
Attach a picture of a featherless turkey to the wall. Children will close (cover) their eyes and “pin” their paper or real feather on the turkey.

Turkey Trouble- Wendi Silvano
10 Fat Turkeys – Tony Johnson
Over the River: a turkey’s tale – Derek Anderson
A Plump and Perky Turkey – Teresa Bateman
A Turkey for Thanksgiving – Eve Bunting
Run, Turkey Run – Diane Mayr
Sometimes It’s Turkey, Sometimes It’s Feathers – Lorna Balian
‘Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving – Dav Pilkey
One Tough Turkey: A Thanksgiving Story – Steven Kroll
Farmer Goff And His Turkey Sam – Brian Schatell
5 Silly Turkeys (board book) – Salina Yoon

Five Fat Turkeys are We-e-e
Five Fat Turkeys are We-e-e  (hold up 5 fingers)
We slept all night in a tr-e-e   (with hands together, rest on side of head, as sleeping)
When the cook came around we couldn’t be found (hand cupped above eye, searching)
And that’s why we’re here you se-e-e (bent arms at elbow, palms up)

We Eat Turkey (Tune: Are You Sleeping)
We eat turkey, we eat turkey.
Oh, so good, Oh, so good.
Always on Thanksgiving, always on Thanksgiving.
Yum,yum, yum. Yum, yum, yum.

Verse 2: We eat green beans. We eat green beans.
Oh, so good, Oh, so good.
Always on Thanksgiving, always on Thanksgiving.
Yum, yum, yum. Yum, yum, yum.

Addition verses: Add desired food: mashed potatoes, buttered rolls, pumpkin pie

Turkey Pokey (Tune: Hokey Pokey-Sing using turkey body parts)
Put your left wing in, put your left wing out
Put your left right in and shake it all about
You do the turkey pokey and turn yourself around
That’s what it’s all about. (clap)

Other verses: strong beak, right foot, tail feathers, whole self

The Turkey
The turkey is a funny bird.  (Hook thumbs together and spread fingers).
Its head goes wobble, wobble.  (Wobble head back and forth.)
And all it knows is just one word:  (Hold up one finger.)
“Gobble, gobble, gobble.” (Make mouth shape with hand, opening and closing it.)

 Gobble, Gobble
Gobble, Gobble is the sound  (Place hands by mouth for sound)
Of the turkey fat and round, (Move arms in a wide circle around self)
Thanksgiving Day will soon be here
Then he will dis-a-ppear   (Bend arms at elbows, extend hand, palms up.)

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