Fun Thanksgiving ideas for kids including activities like: Thanksgiving turkey crafts, dances, turkey handprint poem, Thanksgiving games, and free printables!
It’s hard to believe the holidays are soon approaching! There is certainly a lot to be excited about, but between the craziness at school (classroom celebrations, holiday performances, special crafts and activities) and all the extras outside of school (cooking, relatives, travel, parties, shopping…) the holiday season can easily become a very stressful season! 😬
I want you to be able to enjoy this special time with your students, as well as your family and friends! In hopes of taking a little off your plate this holiday season, I’ve decided to share with you a series of holiday round-up posts where I’ll gather engaging videos, games, crafts and activities you and your students can use to celebrate the holidays.
In this first round-up post I’m sharing all things Thanksgiving.
When thinking about how to celebrate Thanksgiving with our students I have chosen activities that focus on gratitude (and silly turkeys!) rather than the story of Thanksgiving we were likely taught when we were in school.
We know now that to many Native Americans, Thanksgiving represents loss of their land and the death of many of their people. If your students are of an appropriate age, it could be a great opportunity to examine different points of view. If not, I think focusing on giving thanks is a wonderful way to celebrate!
So let’s take a look at what I’ve found….
The Learning Station has a great Thanksgiving playlist for children!
It’s includes dances, action songs, rhymes and more. While it is almost 27 minutes long, you can easily jump from song to song once your students discover their favorites! It’s a great way to get some holiday energy out!
Kids will sing, dance, and shake their maracas as they give thanks for everything they have!
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is (in my opinion!) one of the BEST Thanksgiving Day traditions!
The book Balloons Over Broadway is the story of Tony Sarg, the puppeteer extraordinaire who invented the giant, amazing balloons that would become the trademark of the parade.
Your students will be entertained and inspired as they watch and listen to the story being read aloud here.
Another great Thanksgiving read-aloud is Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano.
It’s the story of a Turkey who fears that he will be the centerpiece of the holiday meal and thus begins his quest for the perfect disguise! It’s a silly story filled with fun wordplay, puns and animal sounds that kids will love. They can watch and listen to the story being read aloud here.
Thanksgiving Craft Ideas
Gratefulness Rocks Students use smooth rocks to write out what they are thankful for, using paint pens or paint. It would be sweet to leave them hidden in the school playground or garden.
Turkey Leaf Luminaries make a great decoration for the Thanksgiving table and could be a perfect gift for students to give to their families!
Directive Turkey Drawing Directed drawings are a step by step approach to drawing something. They require students to focus on listening and following directions.
The outcomes are always so fun to see! These turkey drawings would make perfect classroom decor for the month of November! Get the step by step directions from my friend Elyse over at Proud to Be Primary.
Roll a Turkey A simple holiday game and a great way to use up some of those leftover Halloween m&ms!
Get the directions and free download here.
Traffic Yam– in this silly game, students race across the room and back holding the yam on their spoon (like an egg race). It’s a fun one to get them up and moving around!
Thanksgiving Activities for Primary Students
Finally, I want to share with you my very own Thanksgiving Resource! It is filled with the best loved Thanksgiving activities I have used in my classroom! Take a peek at what is included in this resource!
• Thanksgiving Disguise a Turkey Project (EDITABLE parent letter) This is a longer project you’ll assign about 10 days before Thanksgiving. Students will work with their families to make a plan to disguise the turkey and save him from being eaten!
• Thanksgiving Handprint Poem – an endearing gift to send home to families!
• How to Make a Turkey Sequence Writing- an activity that can be used in centers, as morning work or for homework! Students write the order of events to make a turkey handprint!
• Thanksgiving I am Thankful writing craft- makes a perfect bulletin board display or holiday table decoration!
• Thanksgiving I am Thankful flip-book- a wonderful way to get students thinking a bit more about gratitude. They’ll share the people, places, food, hobbies and memories they are thankful for! I’ve also included seasonal letters for a We are Thankful bulletin board set!
• Thanksgiving Riddles and Word Search – these printables are perfect for morning work, inside recess, or as a Thanksgiving Day center. Print them for free below!
DOWNLOAD the Free Thanksgiving Riddles and Word Search here
I’ve made it super easy by including all of these activities in one resource! Check out what other teachers have to say about it and grab it for yourself by clicking the link below!
So while I can’t make keep you from overcooking the turkey (or keep your crazy Uncle Jim quiet!) this Thanksgiving, I do hope the resources I’ve gathered and shared will help make November in your classroom a little easier for you and a lot more fun for all!
Head to the next round-up post where I’ll share videos, activities and games perfect for December!