Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thanksgiving Theme Unit for Daycare & Preschool

During the month of November families in the US celebrate the joys of Thanksgiving. Take this Thanksgiving theme across the curriculum to commemorate this holiday.

To coincide with this holiday, focus on curriculum activities that relate to the famous book, Over the River and Through the Wood by Lydia Maria Child [North-South Books, 1998], and the traditional song of the same name.

I'm Thankful Bulletin Board

Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks. In the past, Pilgrims and Native Americans worked together to host the first Thanksgiving. Today, this holiday is celebrated with family, relatives and friends. At circle time, discuss "Things I'm Thankful For." Together, look through magazines and cut pictures of these items. Have the children bring in pictures of their family, including grandparents. Create a cooperative bulletin board or poster.

In the Pumpkin Patch

The Thanksgiving season is a good time to do pumpkin activities. A pumpkin pie, flavorful with spices, is traditional in most American homes. Take a pumpkin and cut off the top. Invite the children to look at the pumpkin talking about its color and shape. Look inside at the strings and seeds. Ask," Does the outside and inside look the same? How does it smell?"

An adult can cut pieces of pumpkin into shapes. The children can take a paintbrush and paint a thin layer of tempera on the shape. Press this down onto paper to make a print. Printing is a fascinating activity for children because they love to keep repeating this process. Clean and roast the pumpkin seeds. Place a few into cups for the children. They can count the seeds and then eat them as a nutritious snack.

Another sensory activity is to paint pumpkin pies. Cut paper into circle shapes and paint them orange. While the paint is still wet, sprinkle an assortment of spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice or ground cloves on the pie. Smell the aroma!

Off to the Grandparent's House

Glue five Popsicle (craft) sticks down on construction paper in the shape of a house. Fill in the details, like windows, doors, chimney, and such with crayons, markers or glued-on fabric.

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This article first appeared on by Tania K. Cowling