Thanksgiving Preschool Theme
Songs And Fingerplays
I’m A Little Turkey…
(I’m A Little Teapot)
I’m a little turkey; I like to play,
I’m very hungry; I eat all day.
When I see the hunter with his gun,
Then I know it’s time to run.
(tune: Frere Jacques)
We eat tur-key, we eat tur-key.
Oh, so good. Oh, so good.
Al-ways on Thanks-giv-ing, al-ways on Thanks-giv-ing
Verse 2: Mashed po-ta-toes. Mashed po-ta-toes. (Repeat as in verse 1)
Verse 3: Pie and ice-cream.
Verse 4: Home-made bis-cuits
Verse 5: Tur-key dress-ing
I’m A Little Indian…
(I’m A Little Teapot)
I’m a little Indian on the go,
Here is my arrow and here is my bow.
When I go out hunting, hear me shout-
Bear and buffalo-better watch out.
I’m A Little Pilgrim…
I’m a little pilgrim on the run,
Here is my knife and here is my gun.
When I go out hunting, hear my shout-
Deer and turkey- better watch out.
A turkey is a funny bird,
His head goes wobble, wobble.
And he knows just one word,
Gobble, gobble, gobble.
Song for Thanksgiving
(Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
Thank you, thank you, very much
For everything that I can touch.
Thanks a lot for nature’s food.
And for when I’m feeling good.
Thank you, thank you very much.
For moms and dads and friends and such.
Gobbly, Wobbly Turkeys…
(Ten Little Indians)
One little, two little, three little turkeys,
Gobbly, wobbly, bobbly turkeys,
hurry, scurry, worry turkeys,
It’s Thanksgiving Day!
You put your right wing in.
You put your right wing out.
You put your right wing in,
And you shake it all about.
You do the turkey trot
And you turn your self around.
That’s what it’s all about.
Additional verses: Left wing, Drumsticks, Stuffing, Wattle (Head), Tail Feathers (Bottom), Turkey body.
Row, row, Row Your Boat
I’m thankful for my friends
And my family.
I’m thankful for the food I eat-
I’m happy to be me!
I Eat Turkey…
I eat turkey,
(Point to self)
I eat turkey.
(Point to self again)
Yes, I do,
Yes, I do.
Turkey in my tummy,
Yummy, yummy, yummy.
Good for me,
(Point to self)
Good for you.
(Point to others)
(Melody: Twinkle, Twinkle)
let’s be thankful for this day
For our friends and for our play
Let’s be thankful; let’s be glad
For the food and things we have
Let’s give thanks for you and me
And our home and family.
Thanksgiving Art Activities
Indian Corn Art / Maize Pattern…
Corn On the Cob…
Give each child a stiff piece of paper with the outline of a corn on the cob using pattern here. Have the children fill the inside with real popcorn kernels or popped popcorn tinted with different shades of tempera paint. The husks to the corn can be added by using crepe paper.
Paper Sack Turkeys…
Using a grocery bag with a square bottom. Fold the bag flat for coloring purposes. Use brown crayons to color feathers on the turkey. The open end of the sack is used for bright tail feathers (top). Stuff the sack with newspaper and use a rubber band to close it off. Cut out a head for the turkey and attach it to the square end of the bag along the sides. Spread out the top of the bag (the feathers).
Have each child color the outside of a paper cup brown. Draw a turkey head on a folded piece of paper and cut it out. Glue a toothpick on the bottom to attach it to the cup. Fill the cup with dirt and place a piece of ivy or geranium in it to represent a tail. Stick the toothpick in the front with the turkeys head.
Have the children cut out pictures of items they are thankful for out of magazines. Mount them on a big piece of tag board as a group for display.
Thanksgiving Finger Prints…
Make a turkey shape using only fingerprints with washable kids paint
and add the following poem.
Turkey birds are different,
From sea to shining sea.
And you’ll never see another bird
Like this one to you from me.
Can you see what makes him different?
Do you need some helpful hints?
I made him from my very own
Thumb and fingerprints!
Bathroom Photography Prints – Click on any print
Find the directions and picture on my site here.
Matching Teepees to Indians…
Make several turkeys, pilgrims and teepees. You can use a flannel board or use this as a center activity. If you use a flannel board have children match teepees to Indians, turkeys to Pilgrims, and so on.
Set up an indoor farm market. Ahead of time purchase inexpensive pumpkins, squash, gourds, baskets, wheelbarrow and a few bales of hay. Set up an indoor market for the children to play in.
Additional Items You May Wish to Consider:
1.) Little People Thanksgiving Celebration – Pilgrims and Indian Friends
2.) Bingo Game – Thanksgiving
3.) Thanksgiving Felt Set (20+ Felt Figures, Flannelboard & Case)
4.) Peanuts: 1970’s Collection, Vol. 1 (It’s a Mystery Charlie Brown / Play It Again / A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving / It’s the Easter Beagle / There’s No Time for Love / You’re Not Elected)
Sensory Table Stew...
Have the children to pretend they are making Thanksgiving stew. Place a number of items such as plastic meats and Playtime Veggies, spoons, ladles, bowls, salt, pepper etc.
Cut five turkey body shapes from brown felt and 15 tail feathers from red, yellow, and orange felt. Number the turkey body shapes from 1-5 and place them on a flannel board. Put the feather shapes in a pile. To play the game, have your children take turns selecting a turkey and placing that many feathers on it.
1-12 Turkey to Feather File Folder Game…
Find the printable PDF and instructions here.
Turkeys In the Nest…
To play this game you will need a hula hoop for every two children. The hula hoops are to be the turkey’s nests. Have the children walk inside the hula hoop pretending to stretch out their necks and scratch at the floor while move around their nests. At the teachers signal (Turkeys in the nest) all children must hurry back and sit in the hoop.
Choose teams. Two children, one from each team, run turkey fashion from one line to another. They must also gobble as they race. If one gets out of position to gain speed, he or she is taken away by the farmer (you). The team to have the most turkeys left at the end of two races wins.
Catch the Turkey (game)…
All the children are turkeys except one who is a Pilgrim. The Pilgrim
chases the turkeys until he catches one. The child who is caught becomes the
Pilgrim, Pilgrim Where’s Your Hat? (Game)...
Find my printable game along with the chanting words here.
Thanksgiving Science Activities
Discuss different types of corn, such as popcorn, Indian corn, and sweet corn.
Have children plant a few kernels of each type of corn in labeled cups of soil to see if the corn looks the same or different as it grows. Maybe you could have them go further to see if you don’t water one what would happen. How about if the plant doesn’t get light?
Offer the children freshly cooked corn on the cob, canned corn, and frozen corn. Let them discover how the various types of corn are alike and different. Taste test and graph favorite.
Additional Items to Purchase on Amazon:
Thanksgiving Ducks in the Sensory Table or Block Area
Dozen Foam Native American Headband Craft Kit
Thanksgiving Clothespin Craft Kit
Turkey Cheese Ball…
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 c sunflower seeds
1 bunch small carrots with tops
1 bunch celery with leaves
Combine the cream cheese with the cheddar cheese. Form into a ball and roll in the sunflower seeds. Chill in refrigerator for a couple of hours. The celery and carrots become the turkey’s feathers by pushing them into the cheese ball. The head of the turkey is made by attaching small pieces of apple and celery to the ball with toothpicks. Serve on crackers after removing the toothpicks.
Make this fillable Pilgrim top hat. You can fill it will popcorn for a quick and easy snack. Directions and picture found here.
Edible Pilgrim Hats…
Find the directions here.
Horn of Plenty Snack…
You find my cute cornucopia snack here.
1. Thanksgiving is a time to be “thankful”. Glad for what we have!
2. The Pilgrims and Indians started Thanksgiving Day.
3. The Pilgrims were thankful for the Indians help in sharing seeds and
showing them how to hunt and cook new foods so they could live in their
4. The Indians were thankful to have new friends. (I know, I know. But
at this time, they may have been!)
5. Today people often celebrate Thanksgiving by having a big dinner with
relatives and friends.
6. Turkey, vegetables and pumpkin pie are usually served for
Thanksgiving dinner because that is what the Pilgrims and Indians had on
the first Thanksgiving. They also had fish, venison (deer) and popcorn,
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5 Corn Kernels…
History records that during the first hard winter, the Pilgrim’s daily ration of food plummeted to 5 kernels of parched corn daily. I show the children 5 popcorn kernels and we talk about how we might feel if that is all we have to eat! This is very impressive to the kids when I put the kernels on a regular size plate. Not much there!
I also give the children a small bag containing 5 pieces of candy corn attached to a note explaining the custom of giving thanks for 5 things before we eat Thanksgiving dinner in remembrance of those 5 corn kernels that were all the Pilgrims had to eat.
The Legend of the Five Kernels…
The first winter the Pilgrims spent in their new home was very cold. Food was in short supply. Some days they had only enough food for each new person to have five kernels of corn for the day. Finally spring came. They planted food and it grew.
All the Pilgrims did not die. From then on, when a time of Thanksgiving came around, the Pilgrims put five kernels of corn on each plate to remind themselves of their blessings.
Let us also remember:
The first kernel reminds us of the autumn beauty around us.
The second kernel reminds us of our love for each other.
The third kernel reminds us of God’s love and care for us.
The fourth kernel reminds us of our friends-especially our Native American brothers.
The fifth kernel reminds us that we are a free people.
We give our students either five kernels of deer feed corn or five candy corns in a
baggie as we do this story. We also compare and contrast different types of corn (feed corn, popcorn, blue corn from New Mexico, ornamental corn, etc.) in our Science center.
For Art we either tissue overlay on a corn ear shape or use the shape and glue
on popped corn.