Welcome to the holiday season! As we head into the end of the year, our families, as well as most of your own, gear up for time spent with families, making warm memories and giving thanks for all we have.
Our preschoolers can feel the changes in the air, see the changes in the community, and want to be a part of the season. Here are a few ideas on incorporating Thanksgiving with your child or student.
Books are a wonderful basis for preschool language development and concept growth. In the future we will do a post of active book reading strategies with pre and post reading activities. Below are a few examples of Thanksgiving books that are appropriate for preschool.
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie: Lots of fun, and great for vocabulary and sequencing!
Thanksgiving at Our House: Fun rhyming text with beautiful pictures. Gives one family's Thanksgiving traditions along with the true meaning of the day
The Thankful Book: A great preschool book for helping kids learn to be thankful for all of the little things in their lives
The Pilgrim's First Thanksgiving: A good historical review for preschoolers to begin learning about the first Thanksgiving
I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie: The Making Learning Fun website has a whole list of printable activities that correspond with the story. You can use the pictures to retell the story, have the kids “feed” the old lady while reviewing Thanksgiving and food vocabulary. http://www.makinglearningfun.com/themepages/OldLadyPiePrintables.htm
- Turkey Tails: There are a variety of ways to make turkeys with tail feathers. You can trace the child’s foot as the body and use their hand cut outs as feathers, you can use small plastic cups or empty toilet paper rolls as the body and glue on paper or craft feathers, you can use paper and paint or paper and coloring, you could also use paper and glued tissue paper.
- On each tail you can: have children list something they are thankful for, a food from thanksgiving, people they are excited to see, or first Thanksgiving vocabulary words.
Pilgrim and Indian Hat: You can make a pilgrim hat out of black and white construction paper and an Indian headband from brown and colored paper. Take turns acting out the different roles in the first Thanksgiving. Talk about what activities, foods, clothes and other items would have been present that day.
Children can learn so much from time in the kitchen with you. You can incorporate math skills (measuring), following directions, sequencing, predicting, before/after, vocabulary and more. Remember that inviting your child into the kitchen shouldn’t be observation only and shouldn’t be a time of yelling "No!" and giving warnings. Prepare ahead of time choosing recipes that you are comfortable with, preparing tools for the child to use, and prepping anything that you don’t want them doing (chopping, preheating). Baking is a great place to start, and Thanksgiving is a great time for baking! You can even tie in your baking choice with the book you read and craft you choose! Some suggestions include: