These preschool Thanksgiving activities are just what you need for your Thanksgiving theme.
Be sure to add these ideas to your list of holiday ideas for kids so you can save them for next year.
Planning for Your Thanksgiving Theme
Yes, quite a bit about American Thanksgiving is fraught with controversy. And some of the topics aren’t appropriate for young children.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t teach a Thanksgiving theme in preschool.
It just means that you need to break the holiday down into a focus that preschoolers can understand.
Like anything else in preschool, it’s about keeping your preschool Thanksgiving activities age appropriate.
Why Teach a Thanksgiving Theme?
For starters, because it’s a holiday that your students are likely going to be celebrating with their families.
They’re already hearing about family coming in for the holiday weekend. Or they’re making plans to go visit relatives.
When it comes down to it, Thanksgiving is about things that preschoolers can understand – family, friends, love, being thankful.
And all of those things are definitely age appropriate!
(If you’re here from a locality that doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, or you have students who don’t celebrate, you can still find some great ideas to use below.)
Materials to Have On-Hand for Thanksgiving Activities
If you’re a regular reader of Fun-A-Day, you already know that I’m a fan of using what you have first.
So don’t go rushing out to grab anything new for your preschool Thanksgiving activities if it’s not in the budget!
If you are looking to add a few new materials to your teacher stash, here are a few items I’d suggest:
- Corn kernels
- Pipe cleaners (orange, brown, yellow)
- Pumpkin seeds
- Brown play dough
- Googly eyes
- Pumpkin manipulatives
- Pretend play food
Preschool Thanksgiving Activities
Below you’ll find a variety of Thanksgiving activities for preschoolers.
I have to say, these ideas would be great for kindergarten kids too, and some older children might get a kick out of some of the activities.
Be sure to save this page, as I’ll be updating it as we add more preschool Thanksgiving activities to Fun-A-Day.
Thanksgiving Crafts and Art for Kids
Click on the photos for more information about each of the Thanksgiving craft and art ideas.
Here’s a list of clickable text in case you’d prefer that:
- Turkey hat craft
- Turkey tracks turkey art
- Pumpkin seed turkey Thanksgiving art
- Corn mosaics preschool Thanksgiving art
- Thanksgiving bulletin board for preschool
- Feather fall weaving in preschool
More Preschool Thanksgiving Activities
Below are a few more Thanksgiving ideas for your preschoolers! You’ll find a mix of sensory, literacy, and math activities to try.
Click on each photo for more information about the activities.
If you’d prefer clickable text, here’s a list for you:
- Turkey sensory bottle ideas
- Thanksgiving printable emergent reader
- Foam turkey Thanksgiving math
- Fine motor turkey math in preschool
More Thanksgiving Theme Ideas
Of course there are so many other things you could include with your preschool Thanksgiving activities.
A Few More Preschool Thanksgiving Activities to Consider
- Thanksgiving turkey activities for kids
- Set up an invitation to make Thanksgiving “dinner” with play dough
- Turn your dramatic play center into a family’s Thanksgiving dinner
- Have the kids make a class book about favorite Thanksgiving traditions
- Teach a friendship theme in November
- Teach a family theme near Thanksgiving
Articles to Read about Thanksgiving
As I mentioned above, American Thanksgiving has become a bit controversial. One of the biggest reasons revolves around stereotyping of Native Americans.
Here are two good articles to read, if you’re interested:
- Do American Indians Celebrate Thanksgiving? from The Smithsonian Magazine
- Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education from NAEYC
Thanksgiving Books for Preschool
As with all preschool themes, I feel like you need to start with a base of great books to read with the kids.
Here are a few to consider adding to your preschool Thanksgiving activities:
What are some of YOUR favorite Thanksgiving books to read with your preschoolers?
Thanksgiving Songs for Preschoolers
Now that you have your preschool Thanksgiving activities, as well as book ideas . . . it’s time to talk songs!
Most preschoolers love to sing and dance, and songs are a great way to connect with the kids.
Plus, singing and dancing can teach the children so much and keep them engaged throughout the day.
Here are some Thanksgiving songs to try with your preschoolers in November:
10 Little Turkeys from The Learning Station
A sweet and simple countdown song all about turkeys.
Rhyming words and cute graphics abound.
Turkey Pokey from The Kiboomers
This song is a fun and silly Thanksgiving-themed version of The Hokey Pokey.
The kids will have fun singing and dancing along.
Gobble Gobble Turkey Wobble from Koo Koo Kanga Roo
Oh my word, this one might be my favorite one! Simple words and movements, which definitely appeal to the kids.
Add in the fun peeks into a variety of people dancing along and you’ll get a lot of laughter!
Thanksgiving Feast from The Learning Station
This song focuses in on the family meal at Thanksgiving.
Repetitive words and delicious foods will have the kids singing along! This would also be a great one to pair with a shared reading pocket chart activity.
Thanksgiving Lesson Plans for Preschool
If you’d like to save yourself some time and stress (and who wouldn’t?!) this holiday season, pop over to Preschool Teacher 101.
We have so many preschool resources done and ready for you:
To save yourself even more time and energy, I highly suggest looking into The Pack from Preschool Teacher 101. It’s a membership that will transform you from an overworked, stressed out teacher to a calmer, more organized, and happier preschool teacher.
Do you feel super prepared to teach your Thanksgiving theme now?! I definitely hope so!
Feel free to leave a comment here with some of your favorite preschool Thanksgiving activities. I love hearing with other teachers are doing in their classrooms.