Every day leading up to Thanksgiving is an opportunity for preschool teachers to have some fun with students while teaching important gratitude lessons. If you're looking for some unique activities that are guaranteed to make your little turkeys smile five feathers wide, this kid-approved craft list is just the ticket.
Classroom gratitude turkey: Cut out feathers in a variety of autumn colors using craft paper. Then have each child write their name and help them list one thing they are grateful for. Cut a large turkey face out of paper and hang on your classroom door, surrounding it with all the students' feathers!
Giving scavenger hunt: Instead of a traditional scavenger hunt, try one that puts kids on a "hunt" to do good deeds around the school. For example, the list could include: pick up one piece of trash, organize the toys, compliment another student, bring in a canned good for the local food shelf, etc.
Guess the scent: Thanksgiving is full of amazing smells, which means it's an ideal time for a lesson about the senses. Talk about smell and then play a game that has kids guessing different scents. Use essential oils or cooking extracts for different smells like vanilla, almond and lemon. Cinnamon sticks and sliced apples are great additions, too.
Turkey handprint potholders: Stock up on basic white/cream pot holders for each student in your class. Then use fabric or acrylic paint to make handprints. Brush the palm with brown paint and make each finger a different color to represent turkey feathers. Stamp a hand on the pot holder and add name and date. This makes a great gift for family!
If you're thankful and you know it: Preschoolers love to sing and dance, and you can turn one of their favorite songs into a Thanksgiving tune simply by replacing "happy" with "thankful" when singing "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands!"
Jumping corn: Have some science fun by making dried corn dance and wiggle. Simply fill a glass jar with 3 cups water and add 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Add a small handful of dried corn and then mix in about 6 tablespoons of white vinegar. The reaction will toss and turn the corn, much to your preschoolers' enjoyment.
Free Thanksgiving dot printables: Preschoolers are the ideal age for dot painting. Thanks to www.theresourcefulmama.com, you can get some cool Thanksgiving dot printables at no cost, featuring fun designs such as a turkey, pie and pilgrim hat.
Autumn stamp art: Use different fall-themed items and let kids stamp beautiful artwork. For example, corn on the cob dipped in paint can be rolled to make an interesting impression on paper. Feathers are another fun option for preschoolers who can whirl and swirl different designs.
Cranberry water play: If your class is into sensory play, this one will be a sure winner. Fill bowls or a plastic tub with water and add cranberries. Because they float, it's a blast for kids to play with them. Add cups and scoops so they can have some wet and wild fun.
Fantastic fall collages: Use autumn-themed supplies and let kids get creative in making their own collages. Items like dried corn, feathers and O-shaped multigrain cereal work those small motor skills. Kids can glue these items to paper to make lovely abstract art.
Every day leading up to Thanksgiving is an opportunity for preschool teachers to have some fun with students while teaching important gratitude lessons.