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THANKSGIVING THEME
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Thanksgiving Preschool Activities for Thanksgiving Preschool Activities

There are 4 black & white printable coloring pages available for this theme. Use your BACK button to return to this page.

  1. Turkey
  2. Pilgrim Turkey
  3. Pilgrim Man Puppet
  4. Pilgrim Woman Puppet

Literacy: "We're Going On A Turkey Hunt" Chant
Preschool and kindergarten youngster have fun with language and recognize rhyming color words as they chant this poem during this lesson from Caryn P.

Materials: Poem "We're Going on a Turkey Hunt", 
Construction paper (1 sheet of each color): yellow, black, brown, red, blue, pink, green and white. 

              We're Going on a Turkey Hunt
Refrain:  We're going on a turkey hunt just for fun,
               Don't need a bow and arrow and we don't need a gun.

Verse 1: We're going on a turkey hunt so up and out of bed,
               We need to find the turkey with its feathers painted_(red)
           Refrain
Verse 2: We're going on a turkey hunt and you can come too,
               We're sure to find the turkey with its feathers painted_(blue)
           Refrain
Verse 3:  We're going on a turkey hunt that bird's a funny fellow,
               We need to find the turkey with its feathers painted _(yellow)
           Refrain
Verse 4:  We're going on a turkey hunt I think I see a track,
                It must be the turkey with its feathers painted _(black)
           Refrain
Verse 5:  We're going on a turkey hunt we'll look all night,
                Until we find the turkey with its feathers painted _(white)
           Refrain
Verse 6:  We're going on a turkey hunt my eyes are so keen,
             We're sure to find the turkey with its feathers painted _(green)
          Refrain
Verse.7:  We're going on a turkey hunt  we'd better not blink,
           Or we're sure to miss the turkey with its feathers painted _(pink)
              Refrain
Verse 8:  We're going on a turkey hunt we'll look all around,
                Until we find the turkey with its feathers painted _(brown)

Ending: We went on a turkey hunt just for fun,
            And we found those turkeys, each and every one.

Description: Before the lesson.
Draw or trace and cut-out large turkeys from each piece of construction paper.  I use the Carson Dellosa turkeys to copy on to the sheets before I cut them out.  Hide the turkeys throughout the room or outside (just don't forget where they're hidden).  I try to hide them in the same order as the verses.

Lesson: Sit the children down and talk about the many types of foods we eat on 
Thanksgiving.  Focus on the importance of the turkey.  Depending on the age of 
the children you may want to talk about the first Thanksgiving. Tell the children that they are going to go on a turkey hunt (I explain that on this hunt we won't be using guns, etc.)
They are going to look for different colored turkeys.  They have to listen to each line of the poem and figure out which color word fits in the poem. Teach the children the Refrain of the poem so they can chant that line as they are walking around.

Start the hunt:
Stop the children in front of a hidden turkey and read the corresponding verse.  
Have the children guess which color word fits in that verse.  Choose a student 
to find that turkey.  Continue until all turkeys are found.

Follow up:  Have the children who found the turkeys give their turkeys to a 
child who didn't get to hunt.  Reread the poem and ask the new children to come up 
when they hear their appropriate line.  I ask the class to say "Gobble, Gobble, 
Gobble.." until I have the child's turkey in my hand.
 

Literacy: "A Tommy Turkey Story"
This interactive story from Susie W. helps youngsters recognize some colors.

Materials: Paper cut out turkeys in orange, red, green, and brown.

Description: Read the following story to the children and when you read the 
color the children with that color hold up their turkeys.

Tommy Turkey
Tommy was a beautiful, big, fat turkey, who lived on a farm.  One day just 
before Thanksgiving he went for a walk.  On the way he met a dog and the dog 
said:
Chorus: "Ha Ha!  Ho Ho!  He He!  You are the funniest Turkey that I ever did see."
Tommy Turkey:  "What's wrong with me?"
Dog:  "Look at your ugly color.  You would be much prettier if you were red."

So Tommy Turkey hurried home and dyed his feathers a beautiful bright red.
He  walked down the street and met a rabbit and the rabbit looked at him and said:
Chorus: "Ha Ha!  Ho Ho!  He He!  You are the funniest Turkey that I ever did see."
Tommy Turkey:  "What is the matter with me?"
Rabbit: "Whoever heard of a red turkey?  You would be much more beautiful if you 
              were green."

So Tommy turkey hurried home and dyed his feathers a beautiful green. While he 
was out walking he met a cow who said:
Chorus: "Ha Ha!  Ho Ho!  He He!  You are the funniest Turkey that I ever did see."
Tommy Turkey: "I am? What is wrong with me now?"
Cow: "Whoever heard of a green turkey?  You would be much more beautiful if you 
           were orange."

So Tommy Turkey hurried home and dyed his feathers a beautiful orange and said: 
"Now I am the most beautiful turkey in the world."  But soon he met a man and a 
woman who looked at him and said:
Chorus: "Ha Ha!  Ho Ho!  He He!  You are the funniest Turkey that I ever did see."
Man and Woman: "Look at your color.  You would be much more beautiful if you 
 were brown.  Come home with us and we'll turn you into the most beautiful  turkey in the world."
Tommy went with them and before you could say Roy Rogers he had turned into the most beautiful golden-brown ROAST turkey you EVER ATE.

Comments: The children really like to be involved in the telling of the story.
 

Cooking: Pumpkin Pudding Cones
Teachers can introduce measuring to preschoolers with this cool cooking recipe from Deborah C. who says, "This is so much fun and so delicious!"

 Materials & Ingredients
1/3 can of pumpkin with spices
8 oz. whipped topping
2 packages of instant  vanilla pudding
3 ½ Cups milk
Ice cream cones (cake variety)
Large Bowl
Wire whisk
Plastic spoons (one for each child)

Description: Let the children help mix the pudding with the milk.  Then add the 
pumpkin mix and stir well.  The children then spoon the mixture into ice cream
cones.  "Frost" the tops with whipped topping.  This is enough for 10 children.

Don't forget to take a look at the Food and Nutrition Theme.

Thanksgiving art and craft projectThanksgiving Quilt
When preschool and kindergarten children create this quilt by Linda G. they are reminded about being thankful.

Materials: 12" x 12" square from a brown paper sack, fabric squares (4 per each child), thanksgiving stickers and markers.

Description: Ahead of time cut out the 12" x 12" squares and make a nine square 
grid for the quilt for each child.  Have the children place the fabric squares 
on the the brown paper square to resemble a quilt.  With the square remaining 
have the children draw things they are thankful for.  Last they can decorate the 
quilt with stickers.

Comments: You can add a string of raffia to give this project a hanger.

Thanksgiving Greeting Card
Teachers help youngsters create a Thanksgiving greeting card during this art project by Lori S.

Materials: Construction paper and paint.

Description: Have the children dip their hands in the paint and place the hand 
prints on the right and left side of the construction paper. Let dry and then 
glue this poem in the middle. You could also include a picture of the child. 

The Poem:
Dear Mommy and Daddy,
These aren't just turkeys
As anyone can see,
I made them with my hands,
Which are a part of me,
This comes to you with lots of love,
Especially to say,
I hope you have a very Happy
Thanksgiving Day!
   Love, (the child's name)
Thanksgiving Dinner
Kindergarten and preschool children create a Thanksgiving place mat while discussing the meaning of this special day during this craft activity by Carla.

Materials: Construction paper, napkins and glue.

Description: A special way to discuss thanksgiving with your students is to ask 
them what they are most thankful for. This project is perfect for them to share 
with mom and dad. It is a thanksgiving dinner place mat.

First take a regular piece of construction paper and use this as your place mat. Then you can cut out of paper a fork, knife, and spoon. When you have all the pieces ready glue your place setting together. But you're not done yet, you need a plate. Cut one large circle for the plate and on each plate have your students write what they are most thankful for.
If they are too young to write then have them tell you and you can write it for them. You can add a napkin and maybe designs on the plate for authenticity. 

Thanksgiving songMr. Turkey Song
Jacqui G. shares this action song for Thanksgiving.

Tune of "Shortnin' Bread"
Children hold out arms to show a big, fat, turkey body,
and wobble back and forth from foot to foot.

I am Mr. Turkey, turkey, turkey,
I am Mr. Turkey, big and fat.
Turn around and show hands backwards on behind with fingers pointing up like feathers.

On my tail are feathers, feathers, feathers
On my tail are feathers, now what do you think of that?
wobble again
When I walk I wobble, wobble, wobble,
and when I talk I gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble!!
 

Tommy Turkey Lost His Feathers
Preschool and kindergarten children practice matching colors with color words, and counting the numbers of each color of feather, during this activity by Sue M.

Materials: Wall sized turkey without feathers.  Several large feathers in all primary colors.  Neutral colored cards with the color names on them.  Colored cards with the matching color name printed on them.  Large, individual number cards.

Description:
Each child is given a large colored feather.  The teacher says "Tommy Turkey has lost his feathers.  Can you help him find them?"  Teacher then holds up the neutral colored card with a color name printed on it and asks, "Who has this color of feather?"  Those children who can read the color name, bring the matching feather up and it is attached to the wall turkey.  If no one recognizes the color name, the teacher holds up the colored card with the color name printed on it, and the child who recognizes the color then brings his or her matching feather up and puts it on the wall turkey.

Once the feathers are in place, the teacher asks, "How many red feathers, green feathers, blue, etc. does Tommy Turkey have?"  The teacher reinforces the children by pointing to the colored feathers.  When the children have responded correctly, the teacher asks for a volunteer to come up and point to the the numeral that says the number of feathers of a particular color.

Comments: Good way to involve diverse abilities.

A Turkey Named BERT
Johnette W. shares this rhyme for Thanksgiving. 

There was a turkey named Bert thought he'd make
 up a dance. A dance for the king.
hold hands above head to make a pretend crown
And queen
everyone hold out your arms and curtsey like a queen
And if he did a good job they wouldn't eat him,
Because that would be mean.
He went slide, close
slide and close your feet
Slide, close
slide and close your feet
Flap your wings
pretend to flap wings
And touch your toes.
He went slide, close, slide, close
Shake your tail
shake your booty
And wiggle your nose
place finger on your nose and wiggle it
Comments: It's really cute and my kids just LOVE it!

Literacy: Thanksgiving Activity
Promote sequencing, memory and vocabulary skills with this activity form Kristen who works with autistic children ages 6-12, but shares this project for Pre-K through 1st grade.

Materials: Thanksgiving book, boardmaker pictures, velcro, binder and clear inserts. Also laminating supplies.

Description: Find a cute Thanksgiving book that you don't mind tearing out the pages. Buy a binder (any size) and a package of clear insert pages. On the top of the inserts, put a strip of velcro. Tear out the pages of the book and put them in the inserts. Using key words, laminate pictures and velcro them to the top of the corresponding page.

As you read the story, have the kids take the pictures off the page and put them on a flannel board. After the story is over, you can retell the story using only the pictures. Use the pictures as vocabulary work, make them into a memory game, or go-fish. Let children try to sequence the pictures to make the story. Make them into a Bingo board. By the end of the unit, they should have lots of new Thanksgiving vocabulary words.

Thanksgiving bulletin board ideaBulletin Board Idea: Thankful Turkey 
Johnette W. shares this Thanksgiving idea.

Materials: Red, green, yellow, blue, and brown construction paper. Scissors and a black SHARPIE marker.

Description: Cut out a turkey body (facing you) out of brown Bulletin board paper. Then cut feathers out of the different color construction paper. Have each child tell you what they are thankful for and write their word for word responses on the feather of their choice. Arrange feathers behind the turkey body. I titled my bulletin board, "I am Thankful for.."

Natural Thanksgiving Centerpiece
Encourage preschool and kindergarten children to be thankful for their environment with this early childhood activity by Debby.

Materials: Pine cones, cranberries, sticks, leaves, small rocks and glue.

Description:
To make a natural turkey you can go and buy the above items at a craft store or if you are lucky to have natural resources out your door then take your class for a walk and find different items on the ground that nature has given us. Lay the pine cone on it's natural side to stand, you can also glue it to a small board .  Have the children glue the leaves and sticks into the "top" of the pine cone making the feathers.

To make the face, glue a cranberry on the under part of the other end, glue small rocks (you can paint these) for eyes. Be creative with what your area as to offer you this very colorful time of year.

Classroom Cornucopia
Children create a classroom project using ideas learned during the Thanksgiving Theme during this activity by Erica.

Materials: Construction paper, markers, glue, crayons and what ever you can gather to get those creative wheels turning in your little ones heads.

Description: I do a lesson plan on fruits and vegetables the week before Thanksgiving, and on Friday I place various art media out on the art table and tell the children that they can use what ever is available to create their favorite fruit or vegetable.

When we are done I draw a basket and place it on the wall. The children hang their fruit or vegetable on the wall pouring out of the basket. Our gift of harvest to the other classrooms at our center.

Turkey Bowl Centerpiece
Help preschool children develop fine motor control with this Thanksgiving theme activity by Tracey J.

Materials: Margarine containers, construction paper, glue, scissors and googly eyes.

Description: Cut out feather shapes for turkeys feathers, a head, wings and let children decorate them. Glue them on to the margarine containers in the proper places and add eyes. These can be used as centerpieces at Thanksgiving.
Comments: Adding a few goodies makes this a treat!

Thanksgiving Turkey Centerpiece
Preschool and kindergarten children make their own turkey centerpiece while experiencing painting, coloring, and gluing during this Thanksgiving art project by Maria T.

Materials: Small brown lunch bags, various colors of tempera paint (Fall colors), large paintbrush or roller, turkey face and feet, glue, and old newspapers for "stuffing" the turkey.

Description:
1.  Measure 5 1/2 inches from bottom of bag, measure all around and inside the folds also.  Paint this section in various colors. This will make the feathers for the turkey.  Cut on the seam of the bag down the 5 1/2 inches.

2.  Stuff the bag with old newspaper and tape tightly closed. This will form the turkey body. Now fan the colored feather tail.

3.  Glue the turkey face on the bottom of the bag which is now really the front. Glue the feet on the underneath side of the bag.  You can find patterns for the face and feet in teacher's idea books or coloring books.

4.  Makes a great centerpiece!!

Thanksgiving Place Mat
Leah K. tells how to create a Thanksgiving place mat, that can be laminated and kept as a treasured keepsake, using a child's hand print to make a turkey.

Materials: White construction paper, (5) primary paint brushes, (5) fall color tempera paints i.e.. red, yellow, orange, green & brown. Beige (or color of choice) paper cut in leaf shapes approximately 3"x3", pen or marker, a couple of dried, flattened leaves or leaf shapes cut out of Autumn leave print paper (found at a craft store) and wipes. 

Description: Using primary paint brushes, paint each finger (except thumb) using fall colors; i.e.. one finger yellow, next red, next orange, next green.  Lay child's spread out fingers onto white paper and carefully lift up.  Have the child make a fist (thumb end facing up) and paint the curled up baby finger and side of hand using brown paint.

Carefully lay painted hand surface down onto paper with fleshy hand part under previous finger prints.  Lift up and you will see a turkey with a brown body (from fleshy part of side of hand) and head (curled part of baby finger) with four colored feathers above it's body.

Using red paint, paint end of thumb and put thumb print right under the turkey's head to make the "gobbler".  Use wipes to clean the child's hand. 

On cut out leaf print, write "I am Thankful for" and have child fill in or tell you what they are thankful for.  Once filled in, tape with double sided tape or glue onto white paper.  May decorate with real leaves that are dried  and flattened (between pages of a thick book) or with leaf shaped  papers cut from leaf printed paper. Put child's name and date on back and laminate it to use as  a Thanksgiving place mat and keepsake.
Comments: Talk about the color that the leaves are turning as you paint the fingers.

Sensory: Easy "Hand Print Turkeys"
Even toddlers will enjoy this easy Thanksgiving activity by Debbie.

Materials: Child's hands, brown, yellow, orange, green and red paint.

Description: Paint the palm of the child's hand and thumb brown. Then paint each finger a different color. Add to bottom of the thumb print a little red "gobbler". When dry add feet to hand print.  A Hand print Turkey!
Comments: The children love getting their hand painted.  Its also a great sensory project.  Talk to the kids about how the paint feels on their hand.

Poem: The Turkey
A pre-k thanksgiving rhyme for very young children.

The turkey is a funny bird
His head goes wobble, wobble,
(move head from side to side)
The only word that he can say
Is gobble, gobble, gobble.
(children walk with a wiggle 
and repeat the last line)
If you're looking for rhymes and fingerplays for Thanksgiving take a peek at
Rhymes for Special Occasions

Related Theme: Food & Nutrition

Printable Page: Pilgrim Turkey


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

E-mail GayleE-mail Gayle  to include your favorite Thanksgiving activity
in this theme!
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