Wow, I was just looking at Pinterest for Thanksgiving ideas. Overload! I have some favorite activities that I would like to share with you, and maybe you’ll find one or two things that interest you. I always go for simple. So, if you’re like me, these easy, inexpensive ideas will be doable and not overwhelming.
The first thing I recommend is a book to read aloud, of course.
A book about William Bradford, the first governor of The Plymouth Settlement. Here is a blurb from the website:
“The New World beckoned as a land of freedom and possibility. Yet wild waters, icy winters, Indian attacks, starvation, and treason threatened the European settlers’ very existence. Through William’s vision and steadfast leadership, the people of Plymouth Colony would endure, their future descendants forming the cornerstone of a great nation (1590-1657).”
This is a great way to remember the Pilgrims and the struggles they went through to settle this nation as a bastion of freedom for all.
A very short video about Bradford designating a day for Thanksgiving.
If your kids like Charlie Brown, they might like this video. It’s actually a demonstration of an app, but I think it’s pretty entertaining.
This is a good telling of the story of the Mayflower featuring Peanuts characters. It’s part of a series called “This is America, Charlie Brown”.
This is a varied playlist of Family Thanksgiving Movies. There’s an old black and white movie about children being thankful even though they couldn’t afford a turkey that year. It’s a good reminder of some of the things we have to be thankful for. It’s very old, but we can learn from it how things were a generation ago. And the lesson about being thankful in spite of temporary circumstances is always in order.
And there are several cartoons, including Berenstain Bears, Care Bears, Mickey Mouse, Martha Speaks, Maya and Miguel, Sesame Street, and a TV movie from 1986, among others. Tell me the ones you watched and liked!
There are several good picture books about Thanksgiving.
A really good book about Squanto is “Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving”.
Another good book about Squanto, who played a vital role in the survival of the Pilgrims, is “Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving”.
Here’s a book to read for fun:
“‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving”
A very funny story about a turkey named Thelonius is “Thelonius Turkey Lives”.
Another fun book to read is A Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin. It is a very popular book. Here’s a summary of the story:
“Every year Grandmother invited a guest for Thanksgiving dinner and allowed Maggie to do the same. “Ask someone poor or lonely,” she always said. Thanksgiving was Grandmother’s favorite day of the year. The cooking was done and her famous cranberry bread was cooling on a wooden board. But she wasn’t happy to find out Maggie had invited the unsavory Mr. Whiskers to dinner. Would her secret cranberry bread recipe be safe with him in the house? After a long absence this delightful 1971 classic is back. So is Grandmother’s secret recipe!” The recipe is included at the end of the book.
There are some good lapbooks available, too. I really like using lapbooks to study topics we’re interested in.
Here is a good list of some good ones.
I wrote a post with a few more suggestions here:
These are our favorite cookies to make for Thanksgiving. We make cookies that look like turkeys. We use Fudge Stripe cookies, candy corn and bonbons. And put them together like this:
I hope these ideas help you to find some fun and educational things to do to celebrate Thanksgiving this year.
Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the holidays with your family!