If your children are anything like mine, they get SO excited about Thanksgiving because it means a big family party and lots of food! The Thanksgiving holiday is a great time to spend quality time with your family while teaching them valuable lessons about what Thanksgiving stands for. Here are some fun homeschool Thanksgiving activities you can incorporate into your family’s celebrations this year.
#1: Learn about the First Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to teach your kids about the early settlers’ life in Plymouth colony, Native Americans living in North America before Thanksgiving, and the first Thanksgiving. The history of Thanksgiving is important for kids to understand. This holiday is the perfect opportunity to get kids engaged in learning about history as a part of your homeschool curriculum.
Read Thanksgiving Books
During the Thanksgiving season, you can spend time as a family reading books about the history of the holiday. Visit the library early in November to find books that are appropriate for your child’s reading level. You can also consider choosing a harder book and reading it to your kids throughout the season.
Reading Thanksgiving-themed books with your family is a great way to teach them about what Thanksgiving is all about while spending time together. There are lots of good Thanksgiving book titles for you to add to your homeschool reading list depending on your kids’ ages and interests.
Learn about Thanksgiving Traditions
Did you know that the menu at the first Thanksgiving was very different than the foods we enjoy today? Historians believe that the first Thanksgiving feast included cooked deer, fish, and wild birds, along with corn porridge.
Thanksgiving is a great time of year for you to introduce your family to some unique holiday traditions. Look up foods that are associated with Thanksgiving and then spend time cooking new recipes together as a family. Research how Thanksgiving is celebrated around the world and choose some new traditions to try with your family. Learning about Thanksgiving traditions will help enrich your kids’ Thanksgiving experience.
#2: Plan Your Celebration as a Family
Involving your kids in the planning and preparation of your family’s Thanksgiving meal is a great learning opportunity for your homeschool. Here are some ways to get your kids involved this year with celebration Thanksgiving activities.
Plan the Thanksgiving Menu
Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to help kids learn about the planning that goes into preparing a meal. Kids can learn about creating a grocery list and planning when to cook each dish. This is a great way to get kids excited about Thanksgiving because they’ll be able to plan their favorite Thanksgiving-themed foods!
Make Placemats or Place Cards
Even younger kids can help with the dinner by making placemats or place cards for each member of the family. Cover placemats with contact paper or laminate them so that they can be wiped clean after the meal. Relatives can keep them to remember your child’s artwork at this age.
Cook Thanksgiving Foods Together
Kids will enjoy learning how to cook the dishes that they eat during Thanksgiving. In addition to being a lot of fun, cooking is a great learning opportunity for kids.
While you are cooking together, you can practice math skills like measuring, fractions, and addition. You can ask kids who are working on their reading skills to be responsible for reading the recipe. Cooking is a great way to practice following directions as well.
Kids that help cook a meal will take pride in serving and eating the food they have cooked as well. While educational toys like a play kitchen can teach kids about cooking, the experience of getting to help in the kitchen is important to help kids take ownership of the meal.
More Homeschool Thanksgiving Activities
#3: Make a Thankfulness Craft
A Thanksgiving craft like a thankfulness tree is a great way to get kids thinking about the blessings that they are thankful for this year. To get started, you will need colored paper, scissors, and markers. Cut out a trunk and some simple leaf shapes from the paper and help your child write something they are thankful for on each leaf.
You can hang up the leaves on a wall or door. Or, you can set up the Christmas tree a little early and hang the leaves on the Christmas tree. Thanksgiving-themed crafts like this one are great homeschool Thanksgiving activities for kids of all ages to enjoy!
#4: Write Thank You Notes
An important part of Thanksgiving is teaching your kids to be grateful. One way to do this is to teach your kids how to write a traditional hand-written thank you note. This is a becoming lost art that many people no longer understand, but it is an important life skill for kids to learn.
Writing thank you notes is the perfect opportunity to teach kids how to write a proper letter because their thank you notes will include a salutation, body, and closing. This is a great way for kids to practice their handwriting as well. You can use Thanksgiving-themed paper or special colored pens to make this activity even more fun for your child.
Older kids can be responsible for writing their own thank you notes, while younger children can practice gratitude by drawing pictures or dictating what they are thankful for.
#5: Do a Service Project as a Family
Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for what we have in life, so this season is the perfect time to spend some time giving back to the community as a family.
As a family, you can volunteer together at a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or other charity. Check in advance to make sure that the organization you choose allows children to volunteer. Thanksgiving service projects are sure to bring the entire family closer through kindness and gratitude.
All of these homeschool Thanksgiving activities will help your kids enjoy their Thanksgiving holiday and understand the true meaning of the season. Thanksgiving is a great family holiday where you can spend quality time together, and homeschool Thanksgiving activities are just one way that you can do that.
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Sarah Miller is a homeschool mom of two and an educator with over a decade of experience teaching kids in preschool through high school. She helps homeschool parents get started homeschooling with confidence at Homeschooling 4 Him, where she shares tips and tricks to make homeschooling simple and fun. You can also connect with Sarah on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.