Themed lessons and unit studies are a great way to explore all kinds of topics with your preschoolers. Preschool themes help engage reluctant and shy kids in learning activities with the group by making them fun and exciting. There are all kinds of fun preschool Thanksgiving activities, books to read, printables, crafts, and handson learning fun you can have with your preschoolers this November.
I can’t wait to show you all the cool crafts and printables I’ve included with these Thanksgiving theme ideas for your preschool classroom or homeschool lessons. Keep reading to learn more about my fun Thanksgiving activities for preschoolers and get yours today.
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Thanksgiving Theme Ideas
I’ve designed this preschool Thanksgiving theme to keep your kids learning for at least two entire weeks with math, reading, fine motor, and craft activities for them to enjoy and learn. You can add these awesome Thanksgiving printables, read alouds, and activities to your lesson plans for November. Need a plan? Just follow my lesson plans for a week filled with learning and fun before the holiday break.
Keep reading to discover preschool Thanksgiving activities all about turkeys, the Mayflower, pilgrims, pumpkin pie, and even the Macy’s Day Parade! You’re going to love these fun ideas and Thanksgiving printables.
Hands On Thankful Activities for Preschoolers
Are you looking for hands on thankful activities for preschoolers to explore and learn from this November? It’s the perfect season to help your preschoolers build social emotional skills with acts of gratitude and kindness. Try a Thanksgiving acts of kindness challenge with your kids for a fun lesson in gratitude and thankfulness.
In my Thanksgiving activities lesson plans, I’ve included lots of fun hands on learning activities for preschoolers. Check out some of my favorites next.
Preschool Thanksgiving Activities
Get ready to get up and moving with this fun language arts Thanksgiving activity for preschoolers. You can hang these Thanksgiving printables around the room or set up stations and let your preschoolers walk to each spot to count out the syllables in these Thanksgiving theme words.
Practicing syllables with preschoolers is a great way to help them get ready for reading in the future. Learning to count syllables helps preschoolers master dividing words into sections, a skill that will help them break down and decode words when they begin reading.
Need a more sit at your seat type of activity? This is another fun way to practice syllables. Your students will love adding the syllable feathers to the right numbered turkey. I’ve also included a syllable worksheet so you can do a preschool assessment, if you wish, as your students practice their cutting and gluing skills.
Why wonder what channel the Macys Parade is on when you can have your own Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade at home! This beginning sound phonics parade is sure to be a hit with kids in preschool and Kindergarten.
This Thanksgiving Day activity is simple but jam packed with fun. Simply grab two matching lettered wheels and pair it with the correct beginning sound float.
When you’re done, dress up and create your own DIY parade. Do you need some ideas for parade floats? My kids always love creating theirs out of card board boxes. Just hand over the markers and scissors and let your little ones create a DIY parade float. It would also be fun to make a smaller parade float out of a shoe box.
Turkey Trot Freeze Game
Adding movement games to your preschool Thanksgiving activities is a great way to get your kids up and moving around this November. When kids engage in movement activities in the classroom, they create important brain body connections that aid in critical thinking and problem solving.
This Thanksgiving, try playing the Turkey Trot Freeze Game together for a fun way to get your preschoolers out of their seats. Plus, it’s a great way to practice following directions and building gross motor skills.
Then, check out some of our other favorite Thanksgiving songs:
- Gobble Gobble Turkey Wobble by Koo Koo Kanga Roo
- Gobble Gobble by Matthew West
- A Turkey Dance by The Learning Station
Don’t forget to check out the Turkey Trot measuring activity and Turkey Trot to 10 Thanksgiving counting activity I’ve included in this printable set. They are great ways to practice counting, addition, ten frames, and measurement with a cute Thanksgiving theme or turkey theme.
Preschool Thanksgiving Activities and Crafts
Ready for some adorable November art projects and Thanksgiving crafts for preschoolers? I’ll admit that cute crafts are part of why I love doing a Thanksgiving theme so much. Sharing these sweet Thanksgiving crafts with visiting friend and family is just one more fun thing to do this season.
Incorporating Thanksgiving crafts and art activities into your lessons and preschool themes is one of my favorite ways to help preschoolers build fine motor skills. Sometimes fine motor skills get overlooked in the classroom in favor of language arts and math skills. However, it’s important to spend time focusing on building these important skills with your kids this November.
Strong fine motor skills help kids with important daily tasks like buttoning and zipping clothing, brushing teeth and hair, and tying their shoes. Academically, the strong finger muscles built while practicing fine motor skills make it easier for kids to learn to write numbers, letters, and other words too.
In this preschool Thanksgiving theme lesson plan, I’ve included lots of opportunities to build these essential skills with your kids while having fun too. Check out some of my favorite Thanksgiving crafts for preschoolers:
Thanksgiving Themed Turkey Tear Art
I love tear art for preschoolers. It’s easy for them to do and filled with opportunities for creativity, self expression, and building fine motor skills too.
In this Thanksgiving themed turkey tear art activity, your preschoolers will use:
- Construction paper
- A paper plate
- A toilet paper roll
- Googly eyes and
First, cut the paper plate in half. Then, glue the googly eyes to the toilet paper roll.
Next, use red and orange construction paper to cut out the shapes for your turkey’s beak and gobble. This will be the body of your turkey and it will help this cute little Thanksgiving craft for preschoolers stand on its own. Did I mention these make really cute centerpieces for your Thanksgiving table?
After building the body of the turkey, preschoolers can tear the rest of the construction paper into small pieces. They’ll be building strong finger muscles for better fine motor control as they tear up the red, orange, and yellow construction paper for their turkey tails.
Finally, have preschoolers glue the torn paper pieces to the paper plate and glue the paper plate to the toilet paper roll. Voila! An adorable turkey Thanksgiving craft for preschoolers you can show off at the family feast this year.
Handprint Poem Thanksgiving Activity
One of the sweetest keepsakes to make with preschoolers is a handprint craft. Parents and grandparents will enjoy this sweet handprint poem Thanksgiving activity for years to come. Turkey handprints are so colorful and cute! It’s the perfect way to remember those tiny preschool hands.
Plus, you can read the poem aloud and practice reciting it with your preschoolers for even more learning fun this November. Exposing preschoolers to poetry helps them to build memory skills and teaches them about rhyme and rhythm.
Mayflower Thanksgiving Craft for Preschoolers
Finally, you can add a little history lesson into your Thanksgiving activities with preschoolers this November using my latest adorable craft. It focuses on the Mayflower, the ship the pilgrims traveled in across the ocean to the Americas.
Along with creating your own little Mayflower crafts, preschoolers will enjoy learning about the journey the Pilgrims made to America in The Very First Thanksgiving Day by Rhonda Gowler Greene and Susan Gaber.
Another favorite first Thanksgiving story is Laura Krauss Melmed’s The First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story. In this cute Thanksgiving tale, preschoolers will celebrate with the Pilgrims and their Wampanoag Native American friends as they count the traditional Thanksgiving items on each page.
While you’re reading about and studying the first Thanksgiving with your preschoolers, try this fun pilgrim craft and writing activity. Your preschoolers will get to create their very own pilgrim and Native American friends as well as write about them with these cute crafts.
Preschoolers can give their new crafty friends names and write about them or follow a prompt. Here are some fun preschool Thanksgiving writing prompts to try:
- I am thankful for…
- If I were a Pilgrim…
- If I were a Native American…
These cute crafts are great for preschoolers who aren’t yet writing independently too. Write words on each page for preschoolers to practice tracing skills and pre-writing strokes for extra practice with early handwriting. Wouldn’t these look adorable on your fall bulletin board this autumn?
More Thanksgiving Printables for Preschool
The best part about this Thanksgiving theme for preschool is that there are tons of activities and Thanksgiving printables for you to use in the classroom and at home this November. Check out some of the other fun printable Thanksgiving activities your preschoolers can enjoy:
This cute activity asks preschoolers to count the items in the printable cornucopia. You can use the printable item cards for a no-prep activity. Preschoolers will get to practice counting skills and one to one correspondence with this cute Thanksgiving activity.
For even more fun, count pieces of candy corn and have a sweet treat when you’re done. After all, kids always get excited about counting candy!
Learning to recognize and identify shapes is an important early math skill for preschoolers. Once your kids know their shapes, they will be able to identify and sort a variety of objects by shape. Sorting will come in handy with bigger math equations in the future.
This Thanksgiving activity focuses on sorting cartoon turkeys with all different kinds of shapes for bodies. Some turkeys have triangle bodies, some are squares. Preschoolers can practice shapes by matching their turkey to the turkey shape outline on these Thanksgiving printables.
Thanksgiving Pattern Practice
Another important early math skill for preschoolers to practice is patterning. Preschoolers can prepare for more complex mathematics by learning to identify patterns and anticipate what comes next.
With these cute Thanksgiving printables, your preschoolers will get to create their very own patterns with turkeys, pies, and corn. They can complete the patterns you create for extra practice too.
Literacy activities are always a favorite to this reading specialist and this one does not disappoint. This is a great one to put in a sensory bin or you can do things a bit differently this go around and create a turkey using a strainer.
If you choose to use a strainer, just tape the turkey to the front and stick the feathers in the holes. Then have your students pluck the feathers and trace the letters they pick. Of course, you can always ditch the colander and complete the activity as pictured as well.
We’re going on a turkey hunt
I’m sure you’ve heard of the song We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, but have you had a turkey hunt? This fun write the room activity is perfect for when you’re wanting to get your students up and moving and mix in academics as well.
Just take the worksheet with you as you count the number of feathers on the turkeys and color in the correct number. Will you go on a turkey hunt this fall?
Counting Turkey Feathers
Counting is a vital skill for preschool and kindergarten aged kids to learn and this is a fun way to do it. This Thanksgiving activity for kids is simple to do in a preschool or Kindergarten classroom.
Thanksgiving Activities for Preschoolers
I think this is one of my favorite Thanksgiving activities for preschoolers because it uses so many different types of mathematics in one activity. To play this, choose if you want your students to work on making 5 or 10. There are two different mats, depending on the amount you want each kid to do.
This activity comes with two sided pilgrims. To make 5, place 5 pilgrims in a cup and shake them around. Then, dump them onto the Mayflower mat. After that, have your students check to see how many landed on the girl side and boy side.
The students can then make a 5 frame using the pictures they got. If you have a stronger mathematician, you can even teach them how to make the equation.
Native American Counting Game
Here’s another counting activity that can easily be differentiated on your students skill level. To play, roll the dice and identify the number that’s rolled. Then, count out that many Native Americans and place them in the village.
If you want to increase the difficulty of this activity, roll the dice again and add more Native Americans in the village. A great extension would be to teach your little learners how to write an equation with the two numbers rolled.
Thanksgiving Books for Preschoolers
I always add beautiful picture books to our preschool lesson plans and activities. Reading aloud to kids is the very best way to open their eyes and minds to the wonder of books. You can help your preschoolers fall in love with reading while expanding their vocabularies and learning all kinds of interesting things with these Thanksgiving books for kids:
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson
This hilarious book is a big favorite with my preschoolers! They’ll love the silly story all about an old lady who eats all kinds of goofy Thanksgiving themed items. You’ll love the opportunities to teach your preschoolers about rhyming and story sequence.
Plus, I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie lends itself to lots of fun preschool Thanksgiving activities. You can use my Pumpkin Pie Letters activity to extend the lesson.
Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson
This cute story is perfect for your preschool story time this November. Bear Says Thanks is a great way to focus on teaching gratitude and kindness to your kids this season.
You can extend the lesson by talking about what Bear decided to do for his friends to say thank you. Since Bear decided to throw a feast for his friends, you can work together with your preschoolers to plan a special Thanksgiving snack time.
Incorporating themed snacks into your preschool lessons helps kids remember what they’re learning. For a sweet treat, you can make Thanksgiving cookies together using fun Thanksgiving themed cookie cutters.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the read alouds included in my preschool Thanksgiving activities and lesson plans. I know you’re going to love these great books!
Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet
Is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade part of your family’s Thanksgiving tradition? It’s one of my favorites! Balloons Over Broadway is an adorable picture book that takes kids on an adventure with Tony Sarg, the puppeteer and inventor of the iconic balloon floats.
For more learning fun, make Thanksgiving puppets with your preschoolers and have a parade. You can parade through the classroom, the halls at school, or even the backyard.
Free Thanksgiving Printables
I decided to try something new this fall and created a few free Thanksgiving printables. My daughter has been really enjoying putting these puzzles together and I’m loving the math foundations we are building by playing with them each day. I just know your kids will love this free Thanksgiving printable too!DOWNLOAD THE FREEBIE!
If you are needing more of a challenge for your mathematicians, grab this addition mystery puzzle for free!
Need more Preschool and Kindergarten activities?
I hope you’re as excited about all these hands on learning Thanksgiving activities and Thanksgiving printables for preschoolers as I am. What activities are you most excited to share with your preschoolers this November? Tell me all about it in the comments. I can’t wait to read your great ideas! To see what else is included with these turkey activities and preschool thanksgiving activities, head to my shop and check out more pictures and details.