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Thanksgiving Activities for Preschoolers

Updated on November 5, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

Thanksgiving activities for preschoolers can keep the younger set busy while the grown-ups prepare the meal or make the last few days before school lets out extra special. Hands on activities help younger children understand and retain information and it is fun.

Here are some hints for to keep things moving smoothly:

  • Have an older child or adult present to help supervise the activity.
  • Give the children blunt edge scissors for cutting.
  • Make sure there are enough supplies for everyone.
  • Keep projects age appropriate
  • Keep projects short in duration
  • Be willing to extend lots of help as needed

Cute turkey cupcakes. Image via Betty Crocker (link below in text)
Cute turkey cupcakes. Image via Betty Crocker (link below in text)

Homemade Thanksgiving Placemats

Thanksgiving projects for kids are almost as much fun for the adults that are helping. Placemats are easy and they allow creativity to reign in the classroom.

There are several ways to make placemats. Be sure to laminate them so that they will be a lasting memory. You can use either a small laminating machine for home use or take the projects to the craft store. Many stores have large laminating machines for this purpose. You can also find laminating paper that is sticky and does not require the machine.

Start with constructions paper in an autumn color such as:

  • Red
  • Gold
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Brown
  • Green

Once the children have chosen the colors for their placemat there are many ways to decorate it. The can also make place cards to match. Here are a few ideas:

  • You can encourage the children to draw Thanksgiving themed images on the placemats with crayons.Themes might include scenes from the first Thanksgiving, images of what they are thankful for, etc.
  • Coloring pages can be glued to construction paper and laminated for a quick Thanksgiving activity for preschoolers.
  • Hand out stickers with an autumn or Thanksgiving motif for them to use to decorate the placemat.
  • Gather colorful autumn leaves. Arrange them on the construction paper and stick them down carefully with a little doublestick tape or glue. Use several colors and types of leaves for visual interest.

If you want to do a Thanksgiving craft for kindergarten, with slightly older kids, use some of these same techniques to create homemade greeting cards.

Thanksgiving Blessing Mix

The first winter was a hard one for the pilgrims and for awhile they had to exist on three (or five, depending on the story-teller) kernels of corn a day each. The story goes that when they celebrated the harvest the next year William Brewster served everyone three kernels of corn to remind them of the abundant blessing they had been given and what they had been through.

This snack is fun to make and fun to give. You can wrap it up in brown or orange tulle and attach a ribbon and hang tag to share the story.

Pilgrim's Blessing Mix

  • 2 cups Bugles corn snacks -represents the cornucopia and symbolizes abundance
  • 2 cups pretzels- represents the many arms folded in prayer during those long winter months
  • 1 cup candy corn – represents the sacrifice of the pilgrims during the first winter
  • 1 cup candy pumpkins represents the abundant harvest
  • 1 cup dried fruit represents abundant harves
  • 1 cup shelled sunflower seeds Promises the future harvest, one which comes with the planting of seeds and hours of hard work and dedication

Explain each symbol and then have the children mix the ingredients together.

Other Thanksgiving Activities for Preschoolers

Turkeys are probably one of the most well known symbols of the Thanksgiving holiday. There are many ways to create them from handprints to pinecones. Here are some links with ideas for creating cute turkey crafts and other Thanksgiving activities with preschoolers:


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      love the cute ideas

    • thefamilytoolkit profile image


      6 years ago

      Great ideas. Thank you for the well-written hub.

    • holidayseason profile image


      7 years ago from Santa Ana, California

      Awesome Idea. I miss my little sister. Happy Thanksgiving though:)

    • Hookah profile image


      8 years ago from Kentucky

      So informative and the activities are quite interesting! You've written quite the very well put together hub.

    • Jessay profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      Thanks for all of the suggestions. You are full of interesting ideas.

    • nikki1 profile image


      8 years ago

      Great ideas. Check out my thanksgiving hub and the amazon merchandise. Hope u like'm. Frienz4lif

    • lender3212000 profile image


      8 years ago from Beverly Hills, CA

      That cupcake turkey is great! I think I may try to make some of those this year.

    • cocopreme profile image

      Candace Bacon 

      8 years ago from Far, far away

      Nice thanksgiving ideas for kids! I am going to try the placemats with my preschool class.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 

      8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I like the cute turkey cupcakes!

    • SweetiePie profile image


      8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I love the cute turkey cup cake idea!

    • magdielqr profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice and informative Hub

    • Vizey profile image


      8 years ago

      nice hub i really enjoyed as well as remembered my playschool days. good keep writing.


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