Thanksgiving can be a terrific holiday in kindergarten. There are so many fun Thanksgiving activities for kindergartners, it can be hard to choose which ones to use. Here are some of our favorite Thanksgiving activities for kindergarten.
Thanksgiving Crafts for Kindergarten
We will start with some crafts because in my opinion, they are the most fun! Here are some of our favorite EASY crafts. You will need the usual supplies, such as colored construction paper, crayons, markers, and paint. A trip to the Dollar Tree to pick up some paper plates, paper bags, googly eyes and feathers will complete your supply list. These cute turkey activities for kindergarten are super cute and fun.
We always pair a fun book to read with each of our art projects. We have provided a link to Amazon if you would like to purchase any of these books. If you make a purchase, we will get a small commission with no additional cost to you.
Paper Plate, Sponge Paint Turkey with Googly Eyes
This adorable craft goes well with the book ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey. This fun and silly book is about how 8 children on a field trip to Farmer Mack Nugget’s farm react when they find out what is going to happen to the 8 adorable turkeys they have befriended. Not to worry, no turkeys are harmed in this book.
Pinecone Turkey with Feathers and Googly Eyes
The book A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman is about a clever turkey named Pete who has to outwit the people of Squawk Valley or else he will become the main coarse for their Thanksgiving dinner. This pokey pinecone turkey craft fits in well with the turkeys made out of spuds, clay, rope, oatmeal, paper and soap made by artsy-craftsy townsfolks of Squawk Valley.
Turkey Paper Bag Puppet with Construction Paper
Pair this cute puppet with one of our favorite turkey books Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano. Then watch the story come to life with this entertaining online read aloud by Marc Maron on Storyline Online.
This handprint Turkey is a nice addition to the beautifully illustrated book Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes. Children will relate to all of the things the characters in this book are thankful for.
Fun Thanksgiving Movement Songs
When teaching thanksgiving to kindergarten be sure to include some fun movement activities. The following are great Thanksgiving activities for preschool as well as kindergarten.
- Turkey Hokey Pokey -This is a version of the Hokey Pokey where the dancer is a turkey. It goes like this: You put right wing in. You put your right wing out. You put your right wing in and you shake it all about. You do the turkey pokey and you turn yourself around. That’s what it’s all about! Gobble, gobble! (Follow with left wing, right leg, left leg, beak, waddle, tail feathers, and finally whole turkey.)
- Turkey Dance Freeze by The Learning Station– Play this adorable movement song when your children are getting a little antsy.
More Thanksgiving Activities for the Classroom
Whether your students discuss, write about, or make a thanksgiving handprint with something they are thankful for on each finger, the focus of Thanksgiving in kindergarten should always be about being thankful. If you are lucky enough to be in a classroom (instead of online), have your children do the following movement activity as a fun way to share what they are thankful for.
Thankful Song (sung to the tune of Are You Sleeping /Brother John):
I am thankful. I am thankful.
How about you? How about You?
Let’s all find a partner. Let’s all find a partner.
Tell them now. Tell them now.
Students move about the room singing the Thankful Song. When they come to Let’s all find a partner, let’s all find a partner, they find someone close to them and stop. After singing Tell them now, tell them now, they each tell what they are thankful for, using the sentence stem, I am thankful for.
The First Thanksgiving for Kindergarten
Teaching about the first Thanksgiving to kindergartners or any young children can be difficult. One way to teach this topic is by reading and discussing picture books about the first Thanksgiving. The Very First Thanksgiving Day by Rhonda Gowler Greene is one such book. We have also created a great resource for kindergarten which explains the first Thanksgiving (and more) in kid friendly terms. Keep reading to find out more.
How to Teach Thanksgiving to Kindergarten
If you want a more academic Social Studies unit complete with google slides and printables, 4 Kinder Teachers created an engaging Thanksgiving Unit for Kindergarten. This 3-day unit focuses on The First Thanksgiving, How People Celebrate Thanksgiving, and Being Thankful. It is a great way to teach your students (Pre-k through 1st) all about Thanksgiving. Each lesson comes with its own adorable google slide presentation and Thanksgiving kindergarten worksheets which include differentiated writing templates. And, of course, Thanksgiving lesson plans for kindergarten are included in this resource. (This unit can be taught virtually for those of you on remote learning.) Throw in the craft of your choice along with movement activities and great children’s books and you’ll have one fun, engaging Thanksgiving!
More Fun Thanksgiving Products from 4 Kinder Teachers
Here are some more Thanksgiving projects for kindegarten to make your week extra exciting!
Giving Thanks Book and Thankful Book Craft
Giving Thanks A Native American Good Morning Message by Chief Jake Swamp, is a beautifully illustrated book with a message of thanks for all that Mother Earth provides. If you don’t own this book, here is an animated reading by the author. This book pairs perfectly with our Thankful Book which is also about giving thanks to our wonderful Earth, one of my favorite kindergarten Thanksgiving activies.
Thanksgiving Math Games
These two great Thanksgiving Math Games can easily be added to your math centers. In the game, Spin and Build a Turkey, students practice number sense skills to create a turkey. Guess My Number Turkey Squeeze is another fun math game in which students compare numbers to learn their partners secret number. Both games keep students engaged and having fun.
We offer a 3-day unit that focuses on The First Thanksgiving, How People Celebrate Thanksgiving, and Being Thankful.
Yes, they are included in our Thanksgiving unit.
Looking for more fun kindergarten activities that pair great with books? Read our blogs, 3 Steps to a Meaningful Read Aloud Experience, and, Make Every Friday Fun With Fun Activities for Kindergarten,