Thanksgiving is a holiday with many icons from pilgrims, parades, feasting, and more. With help from parents and teachers, preschool children will be able to learn gratitude, history, and develop new skills during the changing autumn months.
Thanksgiving Math Idea for Toddlers
Many preschool teachers enjoy using manipulative math to help young children visualize math concepts. This sample math lesson can be easily adapted for use with turkey feathers, popcorn kernels, or raisins. By tying preschool math concepts into the holiday unit study kids will be more interested.
Thanksgiving Music Idea for Toddlers
Preschoolers can sing this cute rhyming song to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” about the first Thanksgiving.
On the Mayflower, Pilgrims sailed / Then America’s Plymouth hailed
Anchored there in 1620 / Food almost gone and hardships plenty
Indians shared seeds, meat and corn / That’s how the First Thanksgiving was born
Thanksgiving Science Ideas for Preschoolers
The settlers came over on the Mayflower, a small ship, across the ocean. Thanksgiving is a great chance to explore the concept of floating and sinking in the water.
Fill a large Rubbermaid tub of water and set it on the table, gathering up many items for the children to play with; sponges, cups, wood, paper clips, pencils, rocks, plastic pop tops, legos, popcorn kernels, and whatever else you can gather from around the room. Let each child pick an object and tell whether they think it will sink or float in the water before dropping it in. This hands on science activity is a great way to engage toddlers in fun learning activities.
Thanksgiving Art Lesson for Toddlers
This traditional art idea is a favorite for parents and children alike. Preschoolers can trace their hand, or have it traced for them, and create a paper turkey by adding beak, legs and wattle. Encourage the toddlers to list five things they are grateful for and write one item on each of the five “feather” fingers.
Thanksgiving Food Idea for Preschoolers
Snack time can also stay in keeping with the Thanksgiving theme by choosing from these fun food ideas. Popcorn is a favorite Thanksgiving snack and toddlers might enjoy putting together a popcorn ball – fun to create and eat.
Enjoy a cranberry smoothie drink to go along with the popcorn balls by blending a can of cranberry juice, vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, and unflavored, low-fat yogurt together.
Outdoor Thanksgiving Activities for Toddlers
For Thanksgiving fun outdoors try playing a Turkey Bean-Bag relay game. Preschoolers should be divided into equal groups and stand in single-file lines. The first child places a bean bag on their head and runs to the end of the course and back without letting the bean bag fall. If the bag falls the child must stop and replace the bean bag on their head before running again. Preschool children will often crane their necks when playing this game and rather resemble turkeys which is why the author always called the game “Turkey Bean Bag Relay” when playing with a group of kids.
Thanksgiving Themed Indoor Games
A new twist on “hot-potato”, use a big handkerchief and have all the children stand in a large circle. Preschoolers can help recite the rhyme:
“Thankerchief, thankerchief, round you go/Where you stop nobody can know.
But when you stop someone must say/what she is thankful for this day. “
Whomever is holding the “thankerchief” at the end of the rhyme says something they are thankful for from that day and steps out of the circle so all toddlers have a chance to play. Children outside of the circle help chant the words and clap their hands.