If you’ve been around me for any length of time, you know I want to help you encourage a love of learning in your kids. Today, I have super-fun ideas for your kids to eat their way through Thanksgiving school and learn more about the Pilgrims voyage and first year in the New World.
For each edible activity, you will want to read one of my suggested books. The books will share what happened in a story format. Then, let your kids enjoy a fun, love of learning activity with food. In the video below, I demonstrate how to make each food activity and share which books I recommend.
Pilgrim Hat Cookies
Some of my favorite books about the Pilgrims, include Samuel Eaton’s Day and Sarah Morton’s Day. These are true stories with real live photos to help your kids “see” what life was like as a Pilgrim child.
My kids (4 and 6) love this book, and want it read to them again and again. It follows a day in the life of young Sarah Morton, a historical character who was a child in early Plymouth Colony. It shows how the people lived then and how their world view differed from ours, yet it entertains at the same time. It can serve as a springboard for discussions on many different topics — history, responsibility, religion, family, grief, hard work, and no doubt others.
Stories of the Pilgrims tells the story of the Pilgrims move from the Old World to the New World, as well as life here in America. My friend, Jim Hodges, is offering the audio book for free through November 2020.
After reading a book about Pilgrims, try making the simple Pilgrim hat cookies from a chocolate covered cookie and mini Reese’s cup.
Indian Teepee Cones
In the same series by Kate Waters, you’ll enjoy reading Tapenum’s Day, an Indian boy living in the times of the Pilgrims.
The other person you should read about is Squanto, who taught the Pilgrims how to grow corn, collect & dry seeds and fruit and hunt wild animals. Squanto was the only English-speaking one in the area. In my opinion, that’s a miracle from God. You can read aloud Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims. to learn more.
Although, I haven’t read this specific book, I’ve read others by author, Eric Metaxas. Metaxas will give a Christian perspective of the first Thanksgiving. His book is titled Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving.
After reading about Indians, make our Indian Teepee Cones, made from sugar cones. Break off the top, so a small hole appears. Spread frosting around the top and bottom sides. Roll frosting in sprinkles. Add pretzel sticks in the hole at the top and you have another eat your way through Thanksgiving school activity.
The Pilgrims came to the New World aboard the Mayflower. The last book in the Kate Waters series is On the Mayflower. Great photos and text to share how kids lived on the Mayflower.
Another fun book is If You Were a Kid on the Mayflower. Each page describes life on the Mayflower, with a text box of factual information.
Our eat your way through Thanksgiving school activity is making a Mayflower from a Twinkie, pretzel sticks and fruit slice candy.
Turkeys in Thanksgiving School
Our final eat your way through Thanksgiving school activity revolves around turkeys and the first Thanksgiving feast. For this activity, you might read The Story of the First Thanksgiving, by Raphael, or Three Young Pilgrims.
Both of these books tell the story of the Pilgrims’ voyage and life in the New World during their first year. These are great books for an overview of the history of Thanksgiving. After reading one of these books, try making one of our turkeys. Instructions are in the video above.
Be sure to use glazed mini donuts so your eyeballs will stick to the donut without extra frosting.
Add gumdrops, candy fruit slices, with eyes, nose, gobble to your apple. All held together with toothpicks.
Oreo turkeys are a Beck family tradition. We’ve been making them the past 27 years. Now, our granddaughters are carrying on the tradition.
At the end of the video I share the Mayflower Munch, a great way to tie all the stories together. You can get this free printable to use with your kids as you teach about the first Thanksgiving … with food.