Preschool Thanksgiving Activities
This Preschool Thanksgiving Activities theme has many ideas including, of course, turkey ideas! It is that time of year! This theme is endless in the possible activities and adventures your preschoolers can participate in!
This Preschool Thanksgiving Activities Theme page is filled with preschool activities and ideas for all areas of your classroom. Although teaching about the First Thanksgiving is typically a focus in Kindergarten, you can incorporate many of the books and stories you may find into your theme this week!
Let the Preschool Thanksgiving Activities Theme planning begin!
You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your Preschool Thanksgiving Activities Theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.
Materials Needed: small pumpkins (one for each child), pretraced or precut feather shapes (out of colored construction paper), craft glue (works better than white school glue for this activity), precut turkey head and neck (a pear shape), scrap paper, wiggly eyes.
The children cut out their pretraced feathers or you can have them trace their own and cut them out, based on the abilities of your children. You could also have them use white paper and then color their feathers on their own.
Using craft glue, they glue their feathers onto the turkey.
Help them to decorate the turkey's face and glue that to the front of the pumpkin.
Pine Cone Turkey
Materials Needed: clay (small amount for each child), one pinecone for each child, colored paper and scissors, googly eyes, glue
Press the pinecone into the small ball of clay as a stand.
The children cut pieces of paper and glue them all over the pinecone to make feathers.
The children glue googly eyes and a red piece of paper for a wattle on the top for the face.
Paper Bag Turkeys
Materials Needed: newspaper, white paper lunch bags, paint, feathers (real or paper), craft glue
The children stuff their bags and you staple them closed.
Let the children paint their turkey bags however they want. Glue on feathers.
You can also add orange paper feet to the bottoms and googly eyes!
Coffee Filter Feathers
Materials: coffee filters, turkey shapes cut out of brown paper, markers, glue, spray water bottles or pipettes (eye droppers).
The children color their coffee filters with markers and then spray or drop water on them to spread the water out.
While the filters are drying (they dry very quickly!), the children use the markers to draw faces on their turkeys.
Glue the filter on the turkey as feathers. (Fold accordian style and then glue--we've actually had to staple them on!).
Handprint Turkey Card
Materials Needed: Fingerpaint--brown and other colors; white paper, markers
Paint the child's palm and thumb with brown paint. Paint the other fingers colors of their choice.
Press their hand on white paper for a turkey print! When dry, use markers to add face and wattle.
Corn Cob Painting
Materials: Use corn on the cob and Indian corn to roll in paint and then roll on paper. We've used finger paint for this as it washes easier!
Have the children cut out (or you can precut) corn on the cob shapes onto sturdy cardstock paper.
Provide dried peas and beans or unpopped and popped popcorn to glue on.
Add crepe paper to look like husks.
Add a magnet to the back for a refrigerator magnet.
Materials: Set up your farm toys in block area. Each child may build their own house and then tend their own little farm!
Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your theme!
How Do Turkeys Move?
Have the children act out this poem several times at circle!
I have a turkey, big and fat.
He spreads his wings...
And walks like that.
His meal of corn he would not miss.
And when he talks he sounds like this........
Five Little Turkeys
Five little turkeys standing in a row. (Hold up 5 fingers)
First turkey said "I don't want to grow." (Wiggle thumb)
Second turkey said "Why do you say that?" (Wiggle first finger)
Third turkey said "I want to get fat." (Wiggle middle finger)
Fourth turkey said "Thanksgiving is near." (Wiggle ring finger)
Fifth turkey said "Yes, that's what I hear." (Wiggle little finger)
Then the five little turkeys that were standing in a row,
All said together "come on, let's go!" (all fingers run away!)
EXTENSION: Make finger turkey puppets to act this out for the children by printing out a small turkey shape, copying it 5 times, color them and then tape them either to your fingers or to a glove.
Ten Fat Turkeys
Ten fat turkeys standing in a row. (Hold up 10 fingers)
They spread their wings and tails just so. (Fan out your fingers)
They strut to the left.
They strut to the right.
They all stand up, ready to fight. (Fingers up straight and not moving)
Along comes a mean, he was just one. (Hold up just 1 finger)
Gobble, gobble, gobble--just watch him run!
Materials Needed: Make a paper chain with the number of days until Thanksgiving. A child tears one off each day and counts with the group together.
Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific Thanksgiving theme questions while making these fun snacks!
Ingredients and Items needed: Apples, cheese and toothpicks.
Slice apples. One slice is the sailboat.
Place a toothpick in the apple.
Place a triangle shape of cheese on the toothpick for a sail.
Ingredients and Items Needed: pineapple-orange-banana juice(64 ounces); lemon-lime soda(32 ounces); frozen limeage concentrate tha tis thawed (6 ounce can); frozen peaches and strawberries; a couple of bananas and a couple of oranges.
Have the children help you to peel and slice the fruit and place it in a large punch bowl. Add the juice and soda. Enjoy!
Bread in a Bag
Ingredients and items needed: For one loaf you will need:
2 cups all purpose flour; 1 package of rapid rise yeast; 3 tablespoons sugar; 3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk; 1 teaspoon salt; 1 cup hot water; 3 tablespoons vegetable oil; 1 cup whole wheat flour; 1 gallon sized ziplock freezer bag.
Combine the all purpose flour, yeast, sugar, dry milk and salt in the freezer bag. Seal (forcing air out first) and shake bag until blended.
Add Hot water and oil to bag. Reseal and mix by working with your hands.
Add whole weat flour. Reaseal bag and mix again.
Add more all purpose flour as needed until the dough pulls away from the bag.
Flour a flat surface, knead dough 2-4 minutes until it is a smooth dough.
cover with a towel and let sit 10 minutes.
The children will love checking this as it rises!!!
Roll dough to a 12 X 7 inch rectangle.
Roll up from one short end. Pinch the edges to seal when rolled.
Place in oiled oaf pan.
Place a 9 X 13 inch pan on a counter out of the reach of children.
Fill half way with boiling water.
Place a cookie sheet on top of this pan.
Place the loaf pan on top of the cookie sheet.
Cover loaf pan with towel and let dough rise 20 minutes (or until it doubles in size).
Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees farenheit.
We have made cards for each ingredient and had each child make their own loaf and then sent it home to be baked and enjoyed. This may take extra adult helpers to do!
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 home made bread!
Cut out a large traingle shape. Have the children decorate...you could drizzle with glue and add glitter or they could color with markers.
When dry, roll traingle shape into a cone.
Glue ribbon, lace or crepe paper streamer around the opening. Fill with popped popcorn. Make a ribbon hanger to staple on as a holder.
You could place this outside for the winter animals or send home to hang on their own trees at home!
With so much shopping happening at home in preparation for the holiday, a Preschool Thanksgiving Activities Theme is a great time to make your own grocery store! Provide boxes of all kinds from your recycling for the children to shop for! Don't forget grocery bags, cash registers and money as well!
Materials Needed: Feathers and paint!
The designs that feathers make in paint are wonderful when used on a large piece of paper at the easel!
Feather Tossing Time
Materials- craft feathers
You will be giving the children instructions to act out. Tell them you will toss a feather high up in the air and they need to do the instruction before the feather touches the ground. We've made the rule that only the teacher picks up the feather (to avoid them bonking heads! and for them to focus on the action instruction).
Pat someone's back and thank them for being a friend.
Rub someone's shoulders and say "Are you ok?"
HOld someone's hand and jump with them 3 times.
Clap your hands 5 times.
You can let the children each take a turn giving an instruction and tossing the feather.
Materials: Premade turkey footprints...enough for one for each child. Tape them to the floor or carpet. Play music while the children dance. When the music stops, they need to find turkey footprints to stand on.
Book Suggestions for the Library
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson
One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims by B. G. Hennessy
Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland
This Is The Turkey by Abby Levine
What Is Thanksgiving? by Harriet Ziefert (great flip the flap book!)
How Many Feathers
Materials: Shoe Box, number cards, feathers
Make a shoe box into a turkey! Cut small holes on the cover of the shoe box.
Have the children choose a number card. They tell you what number they have. They then count out that number of feathers and place them "into" the turkey by placing the feathers into the hole you cut.
Materials: Just feathers!
Put out a variety of feathers--different colors and shapes. Let the children sort them by different attributes.
Materials Needed: Beads (with holes) and lacing string.
The children can make patterns of all kinds using these beads. Be prepared....they will want to take their necklaces home. I would recomend introducing this activity at circle time and letting them know that when they are done, ALL of the beads and strings need to stay at school so you can enjoy using them another day!
The Chicken Dance!
This song is on many children's CD! GREAT time of year to use it as any!
Play some music and have the children act out the following:
Be a BIG turkey.
Be a small turkey.
Be a happy turkey.
Be a sleepy turkey.
Turkey Hokey Pokey
The same as the Hokey Pokey but with turkey parts! Wings, tail feathers, wattles!!
Add some leaves, cornmeal and unpopped popcorn kernals to your sand table today! Really, try it!
Provide lots of boats and people and talk about the journey of the Pilgrims a long time ago.
Materials: unpopped popcorn, ziploc baggies, soil, water
The children place dirt in a ziploc baggie.
Add water to make the dirt moist (but not soaked!)
Add a few kernels of popcorn.
Seal baggie. Have children mix.
Tape to a sunny window. There should be signs of growth within a week.
Materials: Provide magnifying glasses, Indian corn, corn on the cob, feathers, etc. to a table for science exploration.
Materials Needed: A premade large paper tree trunk to tape on the wall.
At the writing table, encourage the children to trace and cut out their handprints.
Throughout the day, ask them what they are thankful for. Write what they say on their handprint. Encourage them to print their own name on it also.
Hang their handprints on the Thankful Tree.
I am thankful for...
Have the children draw what and whom they are thankful for. Write down their descriptions to display or send home as well.