Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving Activities for Preschoolers

In addition to our Turkey Paperbag Handprint Sitting  or Puppets craft and our Turkey Handprint Poem craft, we did a lot of other things during our Thanksgiving unit.

The main learning goals were to know something about:
  • Pilgrims
  • Mayflower
  • Plymouth
  • Native Americans importance to survival
  • Squanto and his history
  • 3 sisters planting
  • Reasons for feast
But we also just want to have fun!


We have played our Thanksgiving Feast BINGO game.

We played Where's The Turkey Hiding?

"Mr. Turkey, Mr. Turkey 
where are you hiding?
Come out, come out
to be dinner for Thanksgiving!"

I hid the turkey, they looked for the turkey. When they couldn't find him, which I tried to ensure, I gave them clues...
  • KITCHEN - Turkey was hungry so he went for a snack...
  • BEDDING - Turkey was cold and needing something to keep him warm...
  • WRITING - Turkey wanted to write a letter to tell everyone not to eat turkey on Thanksgiving...
  • BLOCKS - Turkey wanted to build a hideout...
  • PILLOWS - Turkey wanted a soft place to rest...
  • DRESS UP - Turkey is looking for a disguise...
  • STUFFIES - Turkey is trying to blend into the crowd...
  • LIBRARY - Turkey is reading up on the best hiding spots...

We read many Thanksgiving stories.

We watched some good Thanksgiving Videos. Unfortunately, the best ones on Squanto and the Pilgrims were on Scholastic, and they just shut it down with password protection...

One went with the story of the Pilgrim's voyage that I got from Kidssoup a few years ago.

The other I found through Youtube from Shelby Barone.

Mr. Turkey, Mr. Turkey, what do you see?
I see a [black] feather behind me!
[Black] feather, [black] feather, what do you see?
I see an [orange] feather sitting beside me.
[Orange] feather, [orange] feather what do you see?...
...[White] feather, [white] feather what do you see?
I see a colorful turkey all around me.

I did it first, then gave the feathers to the children to put up as the color was said, mixing it up from the prior round. Then we reviewed the colors with the toddlers and then again in Spanish with the preschoolers. I'm making color word labels. We had some, but I have no idea which curriculum unit they are buried in and filed. I also need to find gray felt for the last color needed. Didn't have any.


I came across this blank [most of them are not!] turkey printable for FREE on TPT that I LOVE. I put in some of our kindergarten level sightwords and made a find and color page for the preschoolers. You could also do colors, numbers, letters, addition facts, etc. or make a dice roll game where the children color in the number of circles they roll [which it was intended for]. Very versatile.

I would say the word and see who could find it, then sound out the word, then show the word card as necessary.

This classic poem is available from DLTK and makes a great finger play, gross motor play, or flannel board.

This minibook from DLTK is one we usually make. It is an excellent preschool-level reader. The words are simple: I like corn. I like pie...With large, easily colored graphics if you print the black and white version.

printable children's book

Thanksgiving is always a fun unit and there are so many excellent resources and crafts out there. For more ideas, you may want to check out my Thanksgiving Pinterest board.

Tags: Thanksgiving, holiday, preschool, kindergarten, childcare, child, care, daycare, theme, unit, holiday, craft, activity, activities, learning, educational, math, 


  1. Games offer a safety environment to test and learn through mistakes so the information becomes meaningful when students understand its use.

  2. I agree, Ashley. I think one of the errors of our school system is expecting and rewarding correct answers. It is through our mistakes that we learn, and grow our knowledge. A child that gets everything correct is a child that isn't being challenged. Or, it is a child that stresses themselves out to meet a level of perfectionism that isn't healthy. Mistakes are to be embraced and explored.