Every winter, the holidays remind us to take things slowly and reflect on the joys and challenges of the passing year. The season kicks off with Thanksgiving – a day of gratitude, with family and food. Young children love the big meal as much as anyone, and some want to contribute to the festivities.
While preschoolers aren’t ready to baste a turkey or cook cranberry sauce, they can help prepare for the meal in ways that are fun and educational. Check out these Thanksgiving activities for preschoolers that are fun for kids and helpful to parents!
Turkey Napkin Rings Craft
Kids will love making these turkey napkin rings for all of your guests! Start with several wide strips of construction paper, with or without extra room in the center for turkey feathers, and a paper plate with small puddles of brown tempera paint and at least three other colors.
Have your child use his thumbprint to make a turkey body in the center of a paper strip. Then, have him add the head with his pointer finger, and the tail feathers with his pinky. Use glue to attach googly eyes to the turkey. Have your child make enough turkeys for all the dinner guests. When the paint and glue have dried, each paper strip can be wrapped around a rolled napkin and taped in place.
Setting the Table
Teach your child how to set the table with a construction paper diagram! Start by giving your child a construction paper ‘place mat’ to work on. Then, show him all of the pieces of in a dinner table place setting, including plates, glasses, cutlery, and napkins. Have your child draw the outlines of these items on different colors of construction paper, then cut them out. It might help to have your child trace around certain items, such as plates, glasses, and spoons, to get a good outline.
With your child, name the items and write their names on the cut-outs. Have your child place the real items on top of his new diagram to see what the place setting will look like when it’s complete! He can use this place setting as a reference for setting the entire Thanksgiving dinner table.
Thanksgiving Math Practice
If your preschooler is working on counting, bring some learning to the Thanksgiving celebration with math practice worksheets. This preschool math worksheet helps children practice counting, writing, and coloring with a fun Thanksgiving theme. Not only will kids learn foundational math and literacy skills, they’ll also develop fine motor skills when coloring in each little turkey.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration, full of love, learning, and crafts!
About the Author: Blythe Tai is a copywriting maven for Education.com’s editorial and marketing departments. She spent two years working in early literacy programs with at-risk youth in the San Francisco Bay Area through AmeriCorps, and has previously taught journalism, creative writing, drama, and music classes with students aged 4-18. Blythe has a BA in English and Music from UC Santa Barbara.