Thanksgiving is a holiday that our family focuses on spending a lot of time together. I almost think it is a near obsession to me- to have this holiday be our biggest family bonding time.
While our immediate family is larger, our extended family is close to nonexistent. Or to put it bluntly, we don’t have extended family. It doesn’t matter to me that extended family isn’t involved with us. What does matter is that I try to make my family as strong as I possibly can.
Each year I focus on activities that we can do as I family. This year I did not stray from that, but I did focus a bit more on simple activities for the younger ones. One of the tasks that I gave myself was to give them an educational spin to the activities.
Which surprisingly was easy to find, especially when you use a bit of imagination. Take a look at the 25 themed activities that I feel are a good fit for the criteria I set.
One of my favorite things to make for the younger kids are sensory bins. You will find a few of them amongst the list below. This year will be the first year my granddaughter will be able to play in one. Sensory bins are a blast to make, with all the different materials and ideas you can use.
Your imagination is your only limit with these bins. The kids also have a lot of fun helping create the perfect bin. Each one we have ever done, they have amazed me with thier ideas.
You will also see links to Tot Schooling. This has been one of my all-time go to sites for new ideas and quick activities for the kids. I highly recommend visiting the site beyond the links to see all that it has to offer.
Here are the 25 Thanksgiving ideas that made our list this year: Enjoy, Share, & Have Fun!
Spelling Games- Thanksgiving Words from JDaniel4s Mom: You will be amazed at the amount of words that Deirdre was able to come up with using just the word “Thanksgiving”. Personally I adore file folder games. They are easy to make, kids love them, and easy to store without taking much room.
She also gives great examples on how to play spelling games. Towards the bottom of her post you will find links to other games, which I also enjoyed bookmarking for another time.
Turkey Feathers Number Matching Game from Tot Schooling: This is a simple and cute printable that helps with counting, number recognition, and matching. There are suggestions on how to go about making the game more stable for multiple usage, also for attaching the pieces. This could easily convert into a file folder game.
Thanksgiving Word and Picture Tracing from Tot Schooling: Perfect for little ones to begin refining thier writing/fine motor skills. The pack includes 10 pictures to choose from. Again suggestions are made for making these sheets easily converted for multiple usage.
Thanksgiving Alphabet Puzzle from Tot Schooling: As stated earlier Tot Schooling is one of my favorite go to sites. And here is another example of a printable available for young ones. This printable has adorable graphics, and there are two versions to choose from. Each version created for your child’s skill level.
The thing I love most about these kinds of printable puzzles is that the child can correct themselves if a mistake is made. The pictures are the “correcting” feature that helps them along.
Turkey Counting Mats from Tot Schooling: This printable includes 12 sheets specifically numbered. The idea used for using feathers for counting is genius in my opinion. I can see the little ones really enjoying this counting activity.
Thanksgiving Word Search from The Typical Mom: This printable is for the older kids. Word searches have always been an easy activity to give the kids, especially as a time-filler when getting ready for another activity. I think this will be something that I give them to do as they wait for the turkey to be served.
Thanksgiving Turkey from Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes: This post has sweet pictures of ideas kids can do for the Thanksgiving. It also includes a simple “class book” printable that can be used in many different ways.
Native American Pattern Headbands from Cutting Tiny Bites: Using materials most of us already have in our craft bins or junk drawers, this craft helps with pattern creating/pattern identification. In our local schools the kids use IPads to create patterns, I love the idea of reinforcing patterns with hands-on activities like this one. I believe that the kids retain more knowledge with hands-on activities.
Eye Dropper Indian Corn from Cutting Tiny Bites: This is a fabulous activity! The end result is so pretty to me. The materials can be substituted easily, and I finally found a use for all those medicine droppers I kept from when the kids were sick.
Feather Letter Turkey from Growing Book by Book: This is simple activity can be created as is, or you can challenge the kids to make different letters to adorn the Turkey. Instead of just spelling thier own name, you can create a feather for each letter and challenge them with your own word list.
Easy Thanksgiving Necklace for Kids from Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds: Not only is this a craft to make necklaces, there are ideas to help with counting. Younger kids could be entertained for quite a while before making thier necklaces.
Pete the Cat Thanksgiving Activity from Sight and Sound Reading: Pete the Cat is a favorite book in our home. Coming across this activity is going to thrill the kids. Besides making an origami Pete the Cat there are many other activities to choose from to help tie-in to a reading element.
Textured Sensory Turkey Pre-Writing Activity from The Preschool Toolbox Blog: Any time the kids get to create with different textures is a fun time. This activity will keep them busy for hours, along with learning about different materials. I let the kids find thier own textured objects, and then we explore the different textures when they are finished.
FREE Turkey Alphabet Center from Mrs. Jones Creation Station: This alphabet center is ADORABLE! It can easily be created into a file folder game, as well as the use of centers. This is one of those special gems and I highly recommend snagging it.
Pilgrim Children Chores Sorting from Mrs. Jones Creation Station: This spin on a sorting activity is unique and fun. Using calling cards kids sort chores between what Pilgrim kids did and what kids do today. This activity will really bring about some discussions on other topics.
Colorful Beaded Turkey Patterns from School Time Snippets: Using a styrofoam ball this activity is something I know the kids will have fun with. This is a very creative approach to counting and patterns.
The Giving Tree Family Thanksgiving Unit from Every Star is Different: There are way too many wonderful ideas here to list. The Montessori approach is one that I have been trying to focus on with my granddaughter now that she just turned one.
Gratitude Stones from Fireflies and Mudpies: This is a project that I love seeing. It is a craft that is tailored to your own family. I can’t wait to do this one and use it many times over.
Thanksgiving Sensory Bin from Every Star is Different: Besides the sensory bin, this post is full of Montessori based activities.
Thanksgiving No Cook Dough for Sensory Play from Little Bins for Little Hands: Who can resist making mock playdough? I know I can’t. I love the no-cook versions the best.
Circle of Thanksgiving – Bracelet Craft from The Preschool Toolbox Blog: Beading activities are great for young ones. It really reinforces fine motor skills. This post shares a few ideas on using beads for learning activities.
Upcycled Turkey Craft for Thanksgiving from The Natural Homeschool: These are so very cute. All of materials can be found at home. Afterwards the kids can put them on the table for centerpieces.
Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt from Peace but Not Quiet: Such a fun idea for the kids to do while waiting for Thanksgiving dinner, or for after Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone loves a scavenger hunt.
Pumpkin Weighing Activity from Something 2 Offer: While I know this could be done at Thanksgiving. Our family will be doing this next year right before we carve pumpkins for Halloween. Unfortunately, the kids have a mother that couldn’t bake a pumpkin pie from scratch if her life depended on it.
Pumpkin Science Experiment from Thriving Stem: This looks like a very interesting activity. I do love that you have the option of using canned Pumpkin Puree. I can’t wait to see what happens when we add certain elements to our experiment cups.
Do you know of any wonderful crafts, activities, or learning lessons? We would love to see them.
Please share in the comments below, so that we can add them to our list. Maybe by next year we will have 100 or more Thanksgiving activities to choose from.