Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to celebrate and be grateful with your kindergarten children. There are many fun and educational activities that you can do with them to make this holiday more meaningful and memorable. Here are some suggestions for 20 great Thanksgiving activities for kindergarten:
Kindergarten Thanksgiving Activities
- Make a thankful tree: Cut out a large tree trunk and branches from brown paper and glue them on a wall or bulletin board. Cut out leaf shapes from different colors of paper and have your students write or draw something they are thankful for on each leaf. Then, attach the leaves to the tree and admire your thankful tree.
- Make a turkey craft: There are many ways to make a turkey craft with your students, using materials such as paper plates, paper bags, pine cones, or handprints. You can also add googly eyes, feathers, or other accessories to make your turkeys more colorful and cute. You can find some examples of turkey crafts here.
- Read Thanksgiving books: Reading books is a great way to introduce your students to the history and traditions of Thanksgiving. You can choose from a variety of books that are suitable for kindergarten, such as The First Thanksgiving. You can also do some follow-up activities based on the books, such as making a bracelet, a puppet, or a comic book.
- Play Thanksgiving bingo: Bingo is a fun and easy game that can help your students practice their vocabulary, numbers, colors, or shapes. You can create your own bingo cards with Thanksgiving-themed words or pictures, or use some free printable ones. You can also use candy corns, popcorns, or cranberries as bingo markers.
- Make a cornucopia: A cornucopia is a horn-shaped basket that is filled with fruits, vegetables, nuts, or flowers. It is a symbol of abundance and gratitude. You can make a cornucopia with your students using a paper cone, a paper plate, or a waffle cone. Then, fill it with real or artificial fruits and vegetables, or have your students draw or cut out their own. You can find some examples of cornucopias here.
- Do a gratitude journal: A gratitude journal is a notebook where you write down things that you are grateful for every day. It can help you develop a positive attitude and appreciate the good things in life. You can make a gratitude journal with your students using a blank book, a binder, or a folder. Then, have them write or draw something they are thankful for every day until Thanksgiving. You can also decorate the cover and the pages with stickers, stamps, or drawings.
- Make pumpkin pie: Pumpkin pie is a traditional dessert that is often served at Thanksgiving. It is made with pumpkin puree, eggs, sugar, spices, and crust. You can make pumpkin pie with your students using either a real pumpkin or canned pumpkin puree. You can also use ready-made crust or make your own from scratch. You can find an easy recipes for pumpkin pie below.
Pumpkin Pie Ingredients:
- 1 ½ cups of canned pumpkin puree
- 1 cup of evaporated milk
- ¾ cup of granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 pre-made pie crust
Simple Pumpkin Pie Instructions:
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Stir well until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Place the pre-made pie crust into a 9-inch pie dish. You can find pre-made crusts in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores.
- Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pie crust, spreading it evenly.
- Carefully place the pie dish in the preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (175°C). Continue baking for an additional 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean.
- Once the pie is done baking, remove it from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack. Allow it to cool completely before serving.
- Optional: Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for an extra treat!
More Thanksgiving Activities
- Play turkey tag: Turkey tag is a fun and active game that can help your students burn off some energy and practice their gross motor skills. You will need some clothespins and some feathers for this game. Attach one feather to each clothespin and give one clothespin to each student. Then, have them clip the clothespin to their back of their shirt or pants. The goal is to collect as many feathers as possible by tagging other students and taking their clothespins. The student with the most feathers at the end wins.
- Make cranberry sauce: Cranberry sauce is another traditional dish that is often served at Thanksgiving. It is made with cranberries, sugar, and water. You can make cranberry sauce with your students using fresh or frozen cranberries. You can also add some orange juice or zest to give it more flavor. You can find an easy recipe for cranberry sauce
- Sing Thanksgiving songs: Singing songs is a great way to celebrate and learn about Thanksgiving. You can choose from a variety of songs that are suitable for kindergarten, such as Five Little Turkeys. You can also add some actions or props to make the songs more fun and interactive.
- Make a gratitude wreath: Cut out a large circle from a cardboard or a paper plate and cut out a smaller circle in the center to make a wreath shape. Cut out leaf shapes from different colors of paper and have your students write or draw something they are thankful for on each leaf. Then, glue the leaves around the wreath and add a ribbon or a string to hang it
- Make a handprint turkey: Trace your students’ hands on brown paper and cut them out. Use the handprints as the turkey body and glue them on a large sheet of paper. Cut out feathers from different colours of paper and glue them behind the handprints. Add googly eyes, a beak, and a wattle to the turkey face.
- Play pin the feather on the turkey: Draw or print a large turkey picture without feathers and tape it on a wall or a bulletin board. Cut out feather shapes from different colors of paper and write numbers, letters, shapes, or sight words on them. Give each student a feather with some tape or a pin and blindfold them. Have them try to pin the feather on the turkey while you give them some clues or directions
- Make a thankful book: Give each student a blank book or a stapled booklet of paper. Have them write or draw something they are thankful for on each page. You can also give them some prompts or categories to guide them, such as family, friends, school, food, toys, etc. You can also have them decorate the cover and the pages with stickers, stamps, or drawings.
- Make a popcorn necklace: Pop some popcorn and let it cool down. Give each student a long piece of string or yarn and a needle. Have them thread the popcorn onto the string to make a necklace. You can also add some cranberries, beads, or other items to make it more colorful and festive. You can also have them count, sort, or pattern the popcorn as they make their necklace.
- Make a thanksgiving placemat: Give each student a large sheet of paper and have them draw or write something they are thankful for on it. You can also give them some magazines, newspapers, or catalogs to cut out pictures of things they are thankful for and glue them on their paper. You can also have them decorate their paper with crayons, markers, stickers, or stamps. When they are done, laminate their paper or cover it with clear contact paper to make a placemat.
- Play thanksgiving memory game: Print out two copies of thanksgiving-themed pictures, such as turkeys, pilgrims, pumpkins, etc., and cut them out into cards. Shuffle the cards and lay them face down on a table or floor in rows and columns. Have your students take turns flipping over two cards at a time and try to find matching pairs. If they find a match, they keep the cards and take another turn. If not, they flip the cards back over and let another student take a turn. The student with the most pairs at the end wins.
- Make thanksgiving hats: You can make different types of hats with your students, such as pilgrim hats, native american headdresses, or turkey hats. You can use materials such as paper plates, paper cups, cardboard, construction paper, feathers, or pipe cleaners. You can find some examples of thanksgiving hats [here]
- Make thanksgiving cards: Have your students make thanksgiving cards for their family, friends, or teachers. They can use paper, crayons, markers, stickers, or stamps to make their cards. They can also write or draw a message of gratitude or appreciation inside their cards. You can also have them decorate envelopes or make origami envelopes to put their cards in.
- Play thanksgiving charades: Charades is a fun and active game that can help your students practice their vocabulary, communication, and acting skills. You can create a list of thanksgiving-themed words or phrases, such as turkey, pilgrim, corn, thank you, etc., and write them on slips of paper. Put the slips in a bowl or a hat and have your students take turns picking one and acting it out without speaking. The rest of the students have to guess what it is.
- Make thanksgiving puzzles: Puzzles are a great way to challenge your students’ problem-solving and fine motor skills. You can make your own puzzles with thanksgiving-themed pictures, such as turkeys, pilgrims, pumpkins, etc. You can either draw or print the pictures and cut them into pieces of different shapes and sizes. Then, have your students put the pieces together to form the picture. You can also have them color or paint the picture before or after cutting it.
- Do thanksgiving scavenger hunt: Scavenger hunt is a fun and exciting game that can help your students explore their surroundings and find hidden objects. You can create a list of thanksgiving-themed items that are hidden in your classroom, school, or playground, such as feathers, acorns, leaves, etc., and give each student a copy of the list. Then, have them look for the items and check them off their list as they find them. You can also give them clues or hints to help them find the items.
- Make thanksgiving cornucopia snack mix: Snack mix is a delicious and easy treat that you can make with your students using different kinds of snacks, such as popcorn, pretzels, cereal, dried fruits, nuts, chocolate chips, etc. You can also add some spices or seasonings to give it more flavor, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin spice. You can mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and then serve them in small cups or cones to make them look like cornucopias.
- Read The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing: Read this book with your students and follow the story of a family who prepares for thanksgiving dinner. The book has rhyming text and colorful illustrations that capture the excitement and chaos of the holiday. You can also do some follow-up activities based on the book, such as making a list of things to do before thanksgiving, writing a thank you note to someone who helped with the dinner, or acting out some scenes from the book.
- Play thanksgiving I spy: I spy is a simple and fun game that can help your students practice their observation, counting, and memory skills. You can create or print out a thanksgiving-themed picture that has many different objects in it, such as turkeys, pilgrims, pumpkins, etc. You can find some examples of thanksgiving I spy pictures online. Then, have your students take turns saying “I spy with my little eye something that is…” and describing an object in the picture. The rest of the students have to guess what it is. You can also have them count how many of each object they can find in the picture.
- Make thanksgiving leaf prints: Leaf prints are a beautiful and natural way to create art with leaves. You can make thanksgiving leaf prints with your students using leaves, paint, paper, and brushes. First, have your students collect some leaves from outside or use artificial ones. Then, have them paint one side of each leaf with different colors and press them on paper to make prints. They can also use brushes to add details or patterns to their prints. You can also have them cut out their prints and glue them on another paper to make a collage or a wreath.
We hope you found some inspiration in our list of suggestions for 20 great Thanksgiving activities for kindergarten.