Thanksgiving Games and Activities
With so many school parties so close together the endless need to find something new and creative can be difficult. We here at Kaboose would like to provide you with some ideas that may make your job just a little bit easier.
Whether you are planning a party for preschoolers or older grades most games/activities can be adapted with a bit of creativity, and can also work at family gatherings.
GAMES WITH A MESSAGE
Gratitude Grab Bag
Make up cards, some that say "THANKSGIVING" and others that have a picture on them (no words) of things children may be thankful for. Each child takes a turn reaching into the bag and pulling out a card. If the card says "THANKSGIVING" the child should express something or someone they are thankful for (parents, teachers, pet, favorite food, etc.) If they pull out a picture they show it to all and then express why we should be thankful for that item (food, clothes, trees, grass, stores, cars, etc.). This game is especially fun for preschoolers and their expressions of gratitude are priceless. Jot them down and give a list to the parents or post for all to read.
Circle of Praise
Set the children in a circle and tell them that you are grateful for each one of them. Each of them possesses a unique personality that offers diversity as well as fun to the class. If your class is small enough the teacher may want to tell one praiseworthy thing about each child. After you have finished explain that each of them is going to have the opportunity to express something they particularly like about the person on their left and the person on their right. Just go one direction if time does not permit to go both ways. Remind them to be thoughtful about what they say... so and so is friendly to everyone, always follows through, is truthful, accepts people for who they are, has a great smile, etc.
This is a two part project.
First, have the children make a piece of stationary with their art supplies. These can be as simple as tracing their hand for a sweet background or more elaborate if time permits.
Second, have each child write a note/letter of "THANKS" to someone in their family and leave it on that persons pillow Thanksgiving morning. Children could also be encouraged to do a kind deed along with leaving the note, such as: make that persons bed, set the table, tell them that they love them. Kids can look forward to reporting on their "THANKSGIVING MISSION" when they return to school.
Each person has before them a blank sheet of paper and sharpened pencil. Set a timer, according to what you think is best (two minutes max). Tell the children that when you say "GO" they should write down everything they can think of that can be explained in two words or less. When the timer goes off they each count how many they have. The person with the most should read their list and for every word that's the same each person should cross it off their list. It's fun to see what's on every person's list and what is unique to different individuals. Open it up to discussion and if you choose give a prize to the person who has the most unique answers.
JUST FOR FUN
Hide a stuffed animal somewhere in the room. If you don't have a Turkey, dress up a stuffed bear or dog to look like a turkey. Have the children search quietly for the turkey. Whoever finds it gets to hide it the next time. Or create your own Tin-Can Turkey for the occasion!
Take a Thanksgiving related word such as: Thanksgiving, Mayflower, Cornucopia, etc. and find as many little words as possible within before the timer runs out.
Example: Cornucopia Words: corn, pin, no, arc, car, nip, cop, cup, on, or, rap...
Example: Mayflower Words: May, flower, flow, flare, lay, low, fear, ear, owe, fly, rye, wear, row...
Click here for more fun Thanksgiving word puzzles.
You will need: Three to Five dry beans per student Chair Large bowl or tin pie plate
Have children divide into two teams. Each child is given five beans. On your mark the children will take a seat in a chair, that is set a distance from the bowl, and try to throw their beans, one at a time, into the bowl. The team with the most beans in the bowl at the end of the relay wins.
Depending on the age and skill level of your class determines how far the chair is from the bowl and how deep or shallow the bowl is.
Thanksgiving Twenty Questions
Teacher start by choosing a thanksgiving related person, place, or thing. The teacher says, "I'm thinking of something". The children try to guess what it is by asking no more than twenty questions that can be answered "YES", "NO", or I DON'T KNOW". The student who guesses correctly is next up.
Teacher thinks of person, place, or thing. Teacher gives a clue. Begin at one end of the room and work your way around allowing each student to take a turn guessing until one student solves the case. The student who solves the case goes next.
Example: Corn Clue: I'm thinking of something yellow Clue: It's a vegetable Clue: Some people like to pop it
Clues should be appropriate for the knowledge of the children playing.
Players sit in a circle. The first player starts by saying, "At Thanksgiving dinner I like to eat turkey". The next player must repeat "At Thanksgiving dinner I like to eat turkey..." and add another dish. This continues all the way around the circle with each student reciting the dishes in the exact order they have been given and then adding a new one. If a student makes a mistake they slide out of the circle and the game continues. The person left who can perfectly recite the Thanksgiving menu wins.
Grateful for Everyone
Put chairs in a circle with one less chair than there are players. One person says, "I'm grateful for people with blue eyes". Everyone with blue eyes stands up and changes places. While everyone's scurrying for a chair the teacher takes one away. The person left standing is out and the last person to sit down goes next..."I'm grateful for everyone who's wearing tennis shoes". Repeat.
More Thanksgiving Fun: