Thanksgiving will be here before you know it! These non-turkey Thanksgiving activities for preschoolers are perfect for your Thanksgiving lesson plans!
When it comes to Thanksgiving, the focus tends to be on the turkey. There are so many different turkey crafts and activities, but what about the pilgrims, Native Americans, Mayflower, and all the other parts of Thanksgiving?
Don’t leave out these creative non-turkey Thanksgiving activities!
Super Fun Non-Turkey Activities for Preschool
What is up with Thanksgiving turkeys?
I mean, don’t get me wrong. They are super cute with their colorful tail feathers that stand up all brazen and that ridiculous snood…did you now it actually turns blue when turkeys feel threatened?
But how did Thanksgiving activities in preschool get reduced down to just turkeys and football? (Ok, I admit, that’s an over assumption. I know preschool teachers do more than that when it comes to their Thanksgiving lesson plans).
While growing up, my family raised our own turkeys for Thanksgiving so I do have a unique appreciation for them. One year we had a 58-pound tom! We had to cut it in quarters and smoke it because what else is there to do with that much poultry?
We also raised chickens for eggs. My mom would stand on the back porch and call, “Ladies!” in a high-pitched sing-songy voice and all 18 chickens would come skittering toward her for their meal, which was always food scraps from the kitchen.
But our tom turkeys were bigger and faster…and meaner. They’d puff up their feathers the same way a cat puffs up its tail, and they’d come running, too, pushing the hens out of the way and leaving them with the leftovers.
That’s what would happen outside, but on the inside of our house, my mother worked extra hard to teach us to be grateful. With eight children to provide for on a cabinet maker’s salary, we were taught how to work hard and how to say thank you! (And how to butcher poultry).
My point is, while turkeys are a Thanksgiving icon, and while they really do make the cutest stinkin’ crafts for preschoolers, they do not sum up the holiday.
This year, leave out some of the turkey activities and focus on other parts of the holiday. This post is all about non-turkey Thanksgiving activities!
15 Non-Turkey Thanksgiving Activities for Preschoolers
There are a lot of different ways of teaching the Thanksgiving holiday with these non-turkey activities. I’ve categorized them into those that featuring food, gratitude, Native Americans and pilgrims.
Thanksgiving Activities Featuring Food
No need for real corn to make this super cute Indian Corn craft!
Explore STEM skills with these Cranberry Science Activities where cranberries are the star! Complete science, engineering and math projects with these berries.
Do your preschoolers know they can make their own butter? With this Thanksgiving Edible Science experiment, they will learn how and why it happens!
Preschoolers will love this messy activity making taste-safe cranberry slime!
For a fun twist on fall science, try this Dancing Corn Activity. It will blow your preschoolers away.
Thanksgiving Activities Focused on Thankfulness
For a fun twist on thankfulness, make a Gratitude Leaf Garland with a group of preschoolers!
Help kids focus on thankfulness during Thanksgiving with these Circle of Thanksgiving bracelets.
Kids will love making this thankfulness tree!
Preschoolers will love the classic Thanksgiving activity of making Thankful Handprint Trees!
Thanksgiving Activities Featuring Native Americans and Pilgrims
Kids can’t forget the Mayflower during Thanksgiving! This Simple Mayflower Craft is easy enough for preschoolers!
Help kids experience what it might have been like to be a native American with these simple Native American Headbands.
Looking for More Thanksgiving Activities?
For more preschool Thanksgiving fun, check out these preschool activities. They are some of my favorite preschool Thanksgiving traditions.
Need Some Thanksgiving Printables for Preschoolers?
Be sure to take a look at these…and grab your FREE Thanksgiving printables, too!
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.