7 Thanksgiving Activities for Homeschoolers

Thanksgiving Activities Homeschoolers

Thanksgiving brings with it all sorts of great opportunities for homeschool learning! From exploring the rich history of our ancestors to making turkey art – there’s something for just about every stage of learning. We’ve put together this handy list of homeschool activities for Thanksgiving, just to get you started – it includes a free printable too!

Happy homeschooling… and a very happy Thanksgiving!

Keep a Thankful Book

In the lead up to Thanksgiving, you can have your child keep a ‘Thankful Book’. In the pages, they can take some time out each day to list the thing they are most thankful for that day. If they are feeling particularly artsy and want to get a little more creative, perhaps they can draw a picture to go with their thankful subject that day. It’s a lovely thing to look back on for years to come and will also help to develop critical writing skills for young learners.

Create a Paper Plate Turkey

This one is a classic, and great for the younger kids. No doubt you have a bundle of paper plates on hand for Thanksgiving dinner, so why not use them for some fun homeschooling activities too? You’ll need: a paper plate, craft knife, acrylic paints, paint brush, googly eyes, glue, white and red cardstock paper.


  1. Using a craft knife, cut a small, two-sided triangle (point down) in the middle of the plate and poke up and out – this will serve as the turkey’s beak.
  2. Then set your little one to work with some acrylic paints and a brush – paint the beak yellow and the middle of the plate brown for the turkey body. The outside ridges of the plate can be painted multicolor (purple, red, yellow etc) for the turkey’s “feathers” – or maybe you could even glue actual feathers to the outside of the plate!
  3. Once the paint is dry, the next step, is to cut two small circles out for the eyes, and glue above the beak
  4. Glue the googly eyes in the middle of the circles
  5. Then, the most important part of all – the turkey’s snood! Cut out a bit of red cardstock in the shape of the snood and glue it by the turkey’s beak.
  6. Voila! There you have it – some super cute turkey art to hang on your wall!

Thankful Photo Project

A wonderful, interactive project for kids of all ages and abilities. Simply arm your child with a digital camera and let them photograph the things listed on their thankful scavenger hunt. This will help your child to observe the world around them and learn how to document it. Click here to download free, printable thankful scavenger hunt! 

Recreate Traditional Thanksgiving Dishes

This one is perfect for a little fun in the kitchen! Children will likely be interested to hear how different the original Thanksgiving dinner was to the Turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie version we eat today. You could recreate dishes such as a sweet pudding of Indian Corn, New England Succotash, Chestnut Croquettes and much more. While you are creating these dishes, you can explain where these dishes came from and how the Pilgrim’s hunted and gathered their food. Best part of this activity? You’ll all get to enjoy a delicious meal at the end of the learning experience!

Build a Mini-Mayflower

Whose child doesn’t love some art and craft time?! Challenge your child to build a mini-Mayflower replica that floats using simple tools. Start your child off with some basic materials such as scissors, glue, sticky tape, foil, paper, cardboard and popsicle sticks (or whatever other items you have lying about the house that might be useful). Then ask them to spend sometime planning and building a boat that will float on water. When they feel their boat is ready, set the ship off in a large bowl of water (or a bath) to see if it works. If you want to make it a little harder, add some coins to the boat to see if it can carry a small amount of weight and still float! Its a great activity that should keep their minds occupied for a good hour or two.

Explore the History of Thanksgiving

This one would be a great learning activity for any children in middle school. Have your child create a timeline of the history of Thanksgiving. They could include key dates such as: the date the Mayflower set sail for the New World; when the Mayflower landed in the New World; when the first Thanksgiving was celebrated; the date Thanksgiving was officially named a federal holiday; when the presidential turkey pardon became a Thanksgiving tradition… just to name a few! It’s a great way for your child to gain a richer understanding of the place Thanksgiving has in our history and may spark a few questions that will help you teach them more about the Pilgrims.

Dancing Corn

Keep little minds active and occupied at Thanksgiving with a science experiment.  You’ll need a large mason jar (or similar), popping corn, vinegar, baking soda, water and a spoon.


  1. Fill the mason jar with 16oz of water (or 2 cups) then add a couple of tablespoons of baking powder and stir.
  2. Once the baking powder is fully dissolved, add corn kernels to the mixture.
  3. Pour in vinegar to the mixture – but SLOWLY, as this will cause a reaction that could create a bit of a mess. But if eruptions are what you are looking for then by all means, pour in as fast as you like!
  4. At this point, you should be able to witness the corn “dance” as a result of the chemical reaction between the baking powder and vinegar creating gas or carbon dioxide.

To treat this as a genuine science experiment, have your child write down the full method for this experiment and his or her hypothesis before the experiment. At the conclusion of the experiment, your child could complete an analysis of their results and record how long the reaction lasted.

For more homeschooling resources – click here!  

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