Gobble Gobble! Thanksgiving is on the horizon and we are having lots of fun preparing for this special day. Check out our Thanksgiving ideas below to see what our students are doing.
If you’ve been reading our blog for awhile then you know we love to change our sensory table often, especially for different seasons and holidays. A Thanksgiving sensory bin was a must for us. After lots of searching and pulling ideas from different places we settled on deer corn and turkey die cuts.
The turkey die-cuts have different letters on them, some capital and some lowercase. The students are tasked with finding the matching capital and lowercase letters.
While playing with this sensory bin the kids are not only getting the sensory input they desire, but also building literacy skills by matching letters. All of the kids have really been enjoying playing with this sensory bin.
Thanksgiving Turkey Handprint
The turkey handprint has become a tradition for most early childhood teachers and parents. No matter how many times we’ve done the turkey handprint, it never gets old.
To create the handprint we used various colors of tempera paint. The palm of the child’s hand and thumb were painted brown to create the turkey’s body and head. Their fingers were painted four different colors of the child’s choosing to represent the turkey’s feathers.
Once their hand was painted it was placed on a piece of manila paper. Afterwards the child wrote their name at the bottom of a Thanksgiving poem which was then glued on the paper next to the handprint.
The final step is to add the legs, beak, eye, and wattle. This is drawn on after the paint has dried.
The finished product is a keepsake families love to receive!
Turkey Family Project
One of our main goals over the course of the school year is to have families participate in their child’s education as much as possible. During this time of year we send home a special Thanksgiving project for families to complete with their child.
Each child gets an outline of a turkey to take home. Attached to the turkey is a note which asks the parents to help their child create a unique turkey.
The only rule we ask of the families is that they are creative. The absolute cuteness of the finished turkeys never fails to amaze us!
Here are a few examples of some of the wonderful turkeys we have received this year.
In doing this family project we strive to help build connections not only between home and school, but within the family as well.
Thanksgiving Friendship Fruit Salad
Each year we have a special Thanksgiving celebration in our classroom. Due to laws regarding food in school and parties, we are not allowed to have a traditional Thanksgiving celebration. However, we have a special friendship fruit salad to celebrate Thanksgiving with our school family.
A note is sent home asking parents to send their child’s favorite fruit to school. We always get a wide variety of fruit including canned fruit and fresh fruit. On the day of our celebration all the fruit is cut up and placed into a big bowl to make our friendship fruit salad. As a class we discuss how it took everyone to create our fruit salad. Without the help of our friends each child would have only had one single fruit, but when we work together we are able to make a delicious treat for everyone to share.
Friendship fruit salad is always a huge hit with the kids. Most of the children end up eating multiple bowls of it!
Thanksgiving Turkey Headbands
During our friendship fruit salad celebration each child wears their special turkey headband. For years we made pilgrim hats and bonnets, but it always seemed as if the students didn’t really understand what they were wearing and why. Last year was the first year we switched it up and started making turkey headbands. This idea originally came from Parents Magazine.
To create the turkey hat we began by cutting a paper plate in half. Be sure to use the cheap paper plates that have the grooves around the edges.
Once the plate is cut in half the kids color the middle part brown. We used a brown marker to outline the area so the kids knew how far to color. After this, the kids then use markers to color in the grooves of the plate different colors.
Once they are finished it is time to glue. The turkey face, beak, wattle, and legs were all pre-cut and then glued on by the child when they are ready. The final step is to measure the child’s head with a sentence strip and staple it onto the plate.
The kids love wearing their turkey headbands and can’t wait to take them home to show their families.
That rounds out our thoughts on Thanksgiving. We hope you have found a new idea or activity and are inspired to try it with your kiddos. If you use any of these ideas or have some of your own, please share with us. We love to hear from our readers!