6 Low Prep Elementary Thanksgiving Activities to Help You Survive Until Break


November can be a tricky month. You’re exhausted, the honeymoon behavior and excitement of the beginning of the school year has worn off, and your to do list seems to be growing by the day. That’s why we put together these fun elementary Thanksgiving activities to help you survive until break. Make sure to grab a FREE article and timeline resource from our Thanksgiving Parade Unit as well!

elementary thanksgiving activities

Take a Break Outside

Fall is such a beautiful season. One simple activity is to take your kids outside for a nature walk! You can even have a science lesson about why the leaves change colors during fall. The fresh air and exercise will be good for both you and your students. While you’re out, have your students collect a pine cone for the following activity.

Make a Pinecone Turkey Craft

A beautiful table decoration and memento can be made with a pinecone, construction paper or felt and your students’ handprints. Students will love presenting this to their parents as a special fall gift.

elementary Thanksgiving activities

First have your students trace their handprint on several different colors of construction paper or felt. Use glue to attach the handprints to the back of pinecone. Add a head with a beak and wattle from construction paper or felt. Googly eyes make these turkeys extra fun! Find more detailed directions for this cute craft here.

Try an Escape Room

Let’s be honest, it takes a little more excitement to keep kids’ attention in November, right? Your students will love the challenge of a Thanksgiving themed escape room challenge and they’ll build their collaboration skills at the same time! Your students will have a blast solving the clues to discover who stole the Thanksgiving turkeys. You can grab this resource in our store by clicking the picture below.

elementary Thanksgiving activities

Eat a Tasty Turkey Snack

Celebrate the Thanksgiving season with a quick and easy turkey snack. Each student will need a disposable glove, colored candies like M&Ms or Skittles and popcorn. First, separate the candies by color and fill the fingers of the glove. Fill the rest of the glove with popcorn and twist the glove closed. Twist the thumb down to create the turkey’s wattle. Your students can even add googly eyes and a triangle beak details.

elementary Thanksgiving activities

Read Engaging Picture Books

November is the perfect time to read a ton of amazing picture books. After you have read several, have students vote on their favorite book for Thanksgiving! Below are a few of our favorites:

elementary Thanksgiving activities

1. Turkey Trouble-Wendy Silvano

2. Turk and Runt-Lisa Wheeler

3. We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga-Traci Sorell

4. Balloons Over Broadway-Melissa Sweet

5. One is a Feast For Mouse-Judy Cox

6. In November-Cynthia Rylant

7. ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving-Dav Pilkey

8. Bear Says Thanks-Karma Wilson

9. Milly and the Macy’s Parade-Shana Corey

Another great idea is to have your students perform a reader’s theater using the lines from a book. Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey is a great book to use. Give each student a strip with 1-2 sentences from the book. After practicing, each student can get a chance to stand and recite their part in order.

Create a Thanksgiving Parade Float

The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a much-loved Thanksgiving tradition that has been around since 1924. Teach your students about the history of the parade and allow them to create a float or balloon of their own! Grab this free activity that has an article with the history of the parade as well as a cut and paste timeline.

Find this and much more in our Thanksgiving Day Parade Unit by clicking on the picture below. Also, Macy’s website has a ton of content that would be fun for students to explore!

elementary Thanksgiving activities

We hope we have given you some easy elementary Thanksgiving activities that you and your students will enjoy in the last few days before break. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Check out 6 activities to help you survive until winter break in our blog post below!

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