Thanksgiving Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten
Looking for some Thanksgiving activities for preschool and kindergarten? If so, I’ve got some practical lists of Thanksgiving resources and activities to get you started.
Whether you are looking on building a full Kindergarten Thanksgiving unit OR you are simply looking for some ideas you can do with your preschoolers at home, I hope you find this resource helpful and inspiring.
Before we get into the lists, let’s talk about Thanksgiving and a few things we can highlight about this holiday for our kids.
What can my child learn about Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving is a great holiday to enjoy, as well as, study with our kids. From learning about why we celebrate this holiday to fostering an attitude of gratitude, a week of learning about Thanksgiving will be well worth the effort.
Here are some element of Thanksgiving we can highlight with our preschoolers and kindergarteners:
Things to feature about Thanksgiving for preschool and kindergarten:
- The history of Thanksgiving
- Pilgrims and indians
- Harvest time
- Food and cooking
- Season of Autumn
- Sharing and giving
- Family and good relations
- Experiencing feelings of togetherness
Objectives for a preschool & Kindergarten Thanksgiving unit
After you’ve decided what you want to focus on about Thanksgiving with your preschooler or kindergartener, take a few minutes to write our some objectives or learning goals.
Here are a few examples of my Thanksgiving learning Goals for my preschooler:
Thanksgiving Learning Goals for Preschool or Kindergarten:
- Learn the history of the Thanksgiving holiday
- Differentiate Thanksgiving then and now
- Foster qualities of sharing, giving, and hospitality
- Build preschool and kindergarten skills through Thanksgiving-themed music, crafts, activities, math, language, and imaginative play.
Now that we’ve got our goals put together, lets get into the practical lists and Thanksgiving activities for preschool and kindergarten:
Picture books about Thanksgiving
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It’s no secret, I love picture books! And picture books about Thanksgiving are no exception! I like to keep a book basket in our living room where our kids can easily access the books I’ve selected for the season. Here are a few of our favorite book choices for Thanksgiving:
Picture Books about Thanksgiving for preschool and kindergarten:
- Sharing the Bread by Pat Zietlow Miller
- Cranberry Thanksgiving by Harry Devlin
- A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting
- Over the River and Through the Wood by Lydia Maria Child
- The Thanksgiving Door by Debbie Atwell
- The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh
- In November by Cynthia Rylant
- Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes
- Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson
- Thanksgiving is Here by Diane Goode
Printable Thanksgiving Poem
l like to add a memory piece to our units. Here is our Thanksgiving poem download if you would like to add it to your Thanksgiving unit as well.
Note: Poetry reading a memorization is terrific for building vocabulary and early reading skills!
Thanksgiving toy and prop ideas
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Pretend play is still such an integral part of learning and development for this age group. With that being said, here are some simple Thanksgiving toy and prop ideas that preschoolers and kindergarteners can enjoy.
Thanksgiving toys, props, and costumes for preschool and kindergarten:
- Plastic figurine Indians (historical figurines)
- Pilgrim costumes
- Play kitchen set
- Thanksgiving photo booth props
- Turkey stuffed animal
- Pilgrim hats
- Kids table and chairs set
- Kids play dish set and utensil setting (table setting)
Music and videos about Thanksgiving
Along with Thanksgiving-themed books and pretend play, its also a splendid idea to incorporate music and videos that teach about thanksgiving. Here are a few thanksgiving songs and videos for preschool and kindergarten.
Thanksgiving music and videos for preschool and kindergarten:
- Five Little Turkeys (song)
- Thankful (children’s Thanksgiving song)
- The Story of Thanksgiving (video)
- Easy Pumpkin Pie (how-to-video for kids)
Thanksgiving craft ideas for kids
Kids love crafts and it’s a wonderful way to teach kids about the traditions and customs that surround the holiday of Thanksgiving. These simple preschool thanksgiving craft ideas are a great place to start!
Thanksgiving crafts for preschool and kindergarten:
- Make Thanksgiving Day placemats
- Turkey tracks painting
- Pilgrims and Indians made from toilet paper rolls
- Native American headbands
- Beaded pipe cleaner Indian corn
Preschool Thanksgiving activities
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Here are some fun preschool thanksgiving activities you can do with your little ones that will really give them the full holiday experience.
Kindergarten and preschool Thanksgiving activities:
- Practice setting the Thanksgiving table
- Thanksgiving conversation cards
- Make a thanksgiving dish together
- Thanksgiving Bingo
- Make Marshmallow turkey dessert treats
- Make easy Oreo turkey cookies
Thanksgiving Math activities
Are you also wanting to work on Math with your preschooler? If so, here are some Thanksgiving math activities to include in your studies:
Thanksgiving math activities for preschool and kindergarten:
- Pumpkin Pie Number Sense activity (free printable)
- November Preschool Activity Binder
- Thanksgiving turkey shape matching activity (free printable)
- Turkey do-a-dot colors and counting (free printable)
- Pilgrim shape matching craftivity
- Turkey feathers roll and count
- help measure ingredients out for thanksgiving meal
Thanksgiving literacy and writing activities
Along with math activities, you can also include some of these fun Thanksgiving literacy and writing activities.
Thanksgiving literacy activities for kindergarten and preschool:
- Word family turkey sorting
- Turkey feather name practice
- Thanksgiving alphabet matching (free printable)
- Retell a story from the book list
- Thanksgiving color and write pages (free printable)
- November Preschool Activity Binder
Printable Thanksgiving Emergent Readers
These printable, half-page emergent readers focus on sight word practice, as well as, word tracing, letter recognition, repetition, coloring, and reading complete sentences.
- The First Thanksgiving Helpers
- I like Thanksgiving Dinner
- I am Thankful
- Counting Pumpkins 1-10
- Apple Colors Fall Emergent Reader
Dramatic play ideas for preschool Thanksgiving unit
Along with pretend play, you can also set up a dramatic play station that encourages creativity and play around the Thanksgiving theme. Here are a few dramatic play area ideas for Thanksgiving:
Thanksgiving Dramatic play station ideas:
- Pie making play dough station
- Play kitchen for making Thanksgiving dinner
- Setting the Thanksgiving table
Free Printable Thanksgiving unit study plan
For my homeschool moms and teacher friends, I’ve complied all these ideas into a printable resource. This unit builder includes everything in this post and also leaves room for you to add material lists and notes.
Whether you are creating a Thanksgiving-themed lesson plan for preschool or kindergarten or just thinking of adding some Thanksgiving activities into your homeschool preschool unit later this year, this is a great printable resource to reference, with a lot of ideas to choose from!
Download the Thanksgiving Unit Study Plan
This printable is part of the Inspire the Mom free resource library. If you are already a member, hop on over to the free resource page. If not, fill out the quick form below and join for access to this freebie as well as other great content.
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How do you make Thanksgiving fun for kids?
Wanting to know how you can make Thanksgiving fun for kids? Involve them. Let them get their hands messy, let them help set the table and prepare the food, let them experience Thanksgiving first-hand.
Each person has their own unique way of learning, but we can all benefit from an experience. Each book, activity, video, or recipe that you let your child experience will help them to grow and develop in a positive way.
What would you add to a preschool unit about Thanksgiving?
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