Thanksgiving Fun & Learning

Here are some ideas to spice up your homeschool at Thanksgiving time.

Thanksgiving Trivia Game

Play a trivia game of pilgrim facts.  Read the questions out and see who can get the answers. You can play individually or divide into teams. Make it extra fun for little ones by placing the questions on the back of Thanksgiving pictures they get to choose from.  Here is a printable version of the questions.

Pilgrim People Craft

  1. For each figure, wrap a cardboard tissue tube with construction paper clothing and glue the paper in place.
  2. Draw the face on using a fine tipped marker.  We used Sharpies.
  3. For the hair, cut fringe along one side of a small paper rectangle. Roll the hair around a pen to make it curl up a bit, then trim it, and glue it into place.
  4. Cut and decorate headbands and feathers for the Native Americans and collars and an apron for the Pilgrims.  For the Pilgrim girl’s bonnet, just cut a band with a triangle at the front.  In the back, the ends can overlap. For the Pilgrim boy’s hat, cut out a black circle 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Roll and glue a black piece around another segment of toilet paper tube, then attach it to a circular brim.  Add a 1/2-inch band and square buckle and glue the hat to the boy’s head.
  5. The turkey head is the shape of a deflated balloon, with a triangular beak and small red wattle attached.  You can give the turkey a cute pilgrim’s hat if you’d like.  Also, don’t forget to add colorful turkey feathers.

For little ones, it’s easier if you have the pieces measured and cut out ahead of time, and then you can leave the coloring and gluing to their capable little hands!  Bigger kids will be able to do the whole thing themselves. . . just show them the picture and let their creativity take over.  Make one for each person who’ll sit at your Thanksgiving table and turn them into place cards by gluing a little name sign on to the front of each one.

It’s Tough To Be A Turkey Poetry Gratitude Activity

Read the poem, “It’s Tough To Be A Turkey,” then make your own Tom turkey craft. To make Tom, you’ll need to grab the printable Tom Turkey.  You’ll also need a variety of colors of paint chips, crayons, scissors, brads, and a hole punch.  Cut out Tom Turkey and color him. Next, put his paint chip tail on by punching holes in the bottom of the paint chips and also in the bottom center of Tom Turkey. If you’d like you can learn the rainbow colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) or learn about patterns as you do this.  Or you can just put up whatever colors you fancy that day. Then stick a brad through and fan his tail feathers out.  As you fan each feather out, tell a blessing you have that you are thankful for.

Pilgrims & Wampanoag Coloring Sheet

Here’s a Pilgrims and Wampanoag Coloring sheet for kids.  Let them color while you talk more about the First Thanksgiving . . . or while you make dinner.

Memorization Station: Turkey Poem for Little Ones

The Turkey Is A Funny Bird

The turkey is a funny bird,
Its head goes BOBBLE, BOBBLE
And all he knows is just one word,
And that is GOBBLE, GOBBLE!

Fun Facts About Turkeys

  • Eating turkey really can make you tired.  Turkey (and all other meats) contain tryptophan, an amino acid which triggers the production of serotonin.  Your Thanksgiving yawns probably also come just from a big day full of too much food.  You would feel just as tired if you ate all the same stuff with roast beef instead of turkey.
  • Turkeys have excellent vision.  Because their eyes are on the sides of their heads they have a huge peripheral range of sight.
  • That weird flap of skin that hangs over a turkey’s beak is called a snood.  Use it in Scrabble and amaze your friends.
  • Turkeys actually blush!  When they are angry, frightened, or emotional, the skin on their head can change colors.
  • Turkeys swallow small stones that they keep in their stomach to help them break down food since they don’t have teeth.

Pilgrims Versus Indians Football Game

This is a printable Pilgrims vs Indians Football Game for kids to play to test their knowledge about the first Thanksgiving, but mostly it’s just for fun. To play, first, print out the Pilgrims vs Indians Football Game.

pilgrims vs. indians football

Cut out the football and the question cards. Mix the cards up randomly and place them face down in a single pile. Divide into two teams. Assemble and place the football on the 50-yard line. Draw a card. If it has the Indian bow and arrow “mascot” then the Indians answer the question, but if it has the Pilgrim hat “mascot” then the pilgrims answer. The team that answers correctly moves ten yards toward their goal. If they answer incorrectly, no move is made. When you move the football into your end zone, you win. If there is no winner when all the cards have been used, re-shuffle the cards and keep going.

First Thanksgiving Video

More Thanksgiving Activities on Pinterest

Visit our Thanksgiving Pinterest Board for some more of our favorites. You’ll find learning opportunities, crafts, treats, and more.

Learning The Rest of the Year

To learn with your family all throughout the rest of the year, we invite you to check out the hands-on family school approach we take to homeschooling. Your whole family will be learning together, exploring together, and growing together. The first unit is free, so give it a try. Just click below to get your free unit.

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