Ten Great Ideas for Thanksgiving! (Freebie Alert!)

Ten Great Ideas for Thanksgiving!

Here are TEN GREAT IDEAS for your little ones for Thanksgiving, and most of them are FREE!  I hope you enjoy this little “round up!”  🙂

Ten Great Ideas for Thanksgiving

Also, check out our newest little video of me reading our new Opposite Rhyming Songbook to my little friends in Mary’s first grade class!  It came out SO cute!!!  I LOVE this little book!


1.  Here is the a little printable reading book that I made a few years ago with a November/fall theme!
I wrote it to help my kids practice their sight words.  I gave each child an index card with certain sight words on it that were each colored a certain color.  So then I had them find and color their sight words throughout the book.  For example, they had to find all of the word “like” and color it red on every page in their little books.  Then they had to find and color the word “my” yellow through out the book, etc.

Fall Book Child 2

Fall Book and Index Cards
Fall Book Noelle

2.  Turkey Feathers Matching Sets – Freebie!
For this one, you just print out the turkeys and glue them on to some small paper plates.  Then the kids put the correct number of clothespins with feathers to the plate.  (I used a hot glue gun to attach real feathers to the clothespins to make it a little more fun.)

Click here for the free download of the master with the numbers on the turkey bodies.  By the way, one half ounce bag of feathers was enough for the 55 feathers needed for all of the turkeys, 0-10.

Turkey Feathers Numbers Child 1

3.  Pumpkin Patch Counting Worksheets Freebie
I love these little pumpkin patch worksheets!  Using the worksheets is simple, but the kids really need an adult or an older student (like a fifth grader) with them to make it work.  They choose a number on a pumpkin to try to build, and count that many pumpkins into their ice cube tray.  Then they raise their hand for the helper or teacher to check and see if they counted correctly.  If so, then they receive a crayon and may color that ONE pumpkin.  Don’t give them any crayons at all until they finish counting out the pumpkins correctly and tell you how many they have.  After they color that one pumpkin, then they must give that crayon back while they build another number.  Then they raise a hand and the activity goes on, etc.

Kids build the numbers into the tray and then raise their hand to have someone check and see if they counted right. If they adult agrees that they counted correctly, they can color in that pumpkin. Downloadable freebie has three pages that cover numbers 1-30.

Kids build the numbers into the tray and then raise their hand to have someone check and see if they counted right. If they adult agrees that they counted correctly, they can color in that pumpkin. Downloadable freebie has three pages that cover numbers 1-30.

I use the worksheets with some little pumpkin ice cube trays that have ten slots each in them.  I got them at the “99 Cents Only” store right before Halloween!  I also bought some “Pumpkin Table Scatter” at Target in the dollar section in October.  I think that the Table Scatter is meant to be a decoration, but as soon as I saw it and that there were 125 pieces in each one, I knew that they were REALLY meant to be counters for me, LOL!  So I bought two of them and then decided to use them with my Pumpkin Patch Counting Worksheets.

Pumpkin Ice Cube Tray
Pumpkin Counting Gage & Azusena

4.  November Graph Free Download
This is a graphing worksheet with a November/Thanksgiving theme.  Enough said?
There are lots of other graphs posted as free downloads on this blog as well.  You can search the blog using the search box on the upper left side to find more.

Adamaris Nov. Graph

3.  Barnyard Bang Game:  (Download for purchase) $5.00
This game ties in well with Thanksgiving, since it includes a turkey that is trying to escape becoming the farmer’s dinner!  It helps kids practice sight words, color words, alphabet, the numbers 0-30, ordinal numbers, and sorting. Includes blank cards so that you can modify the game to include your own sight words, etc.

Barnyard Band Numbers Questions

It’s Barnyard Bang:  A fall/Thanksgiving themed game from HeidiSongs!

The game includes enough cards for you to print it out as a math game as shown in one picture, or as a language arts game as shown in the other picture.
The game is played like this:  The teacher gives each child a card in turn.  If the child gets a question card, he must answer the question or identify the number or word.  But if the child receives an activity card, then he or she gets to do that activity!  Some of the activities are shown in the picture below.  The children love this game, and it is a fun way to drill and practice these basic skills.

Barnyard Bang Activity Cards

4.  Turkey Tails Sight Word Game (or Alphabet Game)  Freebie
I have used this resource in two different ways.  The first way is to use it as an independent center and have the children clip clothespins with letters written on them onto the turkeys.  In this case, I glue the turkeys down onto paper plates.  For sight words, the children can focus on the individual letters in each word and spell the words by clipping the letters onto them.  For the alphabet, the children can match the upper and lower case letters by clipping them onto the turkeys glued onto paper plates.

Turkey Sight Words Azusena

The second way I have used this resource is by making a game out of it.  In this game, the children all chant:
“Turkey tails, turkey tails!
One, two, three!
Turkey tails, turkey tails!
Where could it be?”

Then they take turns searching for the words “Happy Thanksgiving” by selecting a word or a letter and looking underneath it.  It’s fun- but watch out, because they peek!  I prefer to put the turkeys on a pocket chart rather than on a table; it seems to be easier to keep them from peeking that way and it keeps the game fun.  Also, last year I decided to make a little black Pilgrim boy hat out of construction paper to place under the turkeys rather than the “Happy Thanksgiving” words that are included in the download- but if you want that, you’ll have to figure out how to do that yourself because that’s not in the file!


5.  Turkey Color Words Worksheet Free Download
This activity is really for both the teen numbers 10-13 and for the color words, too, because it is a color by number worksheet.  I decided to focus on the numbers my kids needed the most and created a worksheet just for them.  🙂

Turkey Color Words


6.  Dinner’s Ready Singable Book Project (Download for purchase)  $4.00
In this “Singable Book,” the children sing about and learn the vocabulary of a typical American Thanksgiving dinner.  Of course, it rhymes, too!  Plus, it’s got this really neat hidden pocket in the last page with a secret dinner plate inside of it that one child told me is “out- STANDING!”  I like this project because it is SIMPLE and easy enough for everyone to do well and get it right.  🙂

Dinner's Ready1

7.  Pilgrim Boy and Girl Color Word Worksheets- Free Download
Here are a couple of color word worksheets with pilgrims on them!  Your kids will get to trace the color words as well as color the objects the correct color.  There’s one for boys and one for girls!  Since part of it asks the kids to color in white, I usually copy this one on blue or green copy paper so the white will show up.

Pilgrim Girl Color Words

8.  Decorate a Turkey Homework Assignment Free Download
I always send this turkey home with at least a week’s notice for the children to decorate it and then bring it in to share.  The sheer variety of what I get back is simply astounding!  And I always tell them that simply coloring it is fine, just in case I have a family that cannot do more.  I still want all of the children to have a chance to share their turkeys, no matter how much effort appears to have been put into them!

Turkeys and Scarecrows Bulletin Board

9.  Thanksgiving Guided Drawing Free Download
Want to know how to show your children how to draw those pilgrims?  This download will show you step by step exactly how to do it!  It even tells you how to describe the steps to your kids.  Most kids are very successful with guided drawing!  Just put those who are especially anxious right at your feet if you can, so that you can help them along if needed.  Or, assign them a peer helper to get them past a rough point, which is usually just a diagonal line or two.
Want more guided drawing lessons?  Use the “Search this Blog” feature on the right hand side of this blog and put in the words “Guided Drawing.”  A whole variety of them should come right up!

Here is a photo of one of my student’s Thanksgiving Guided Drawing pictures.

Here is a photo of one of my student’s Thanksgiving Guided Drawing pictures.


10.  Thanksgiving Sound Effects Story Free Download
This is a Thanksgiving themed sound effects story that I wrote to get my kids to listen to and understand the story of the first Thanksgiving. I found out last year that several people used it for their holiday programs for their parents!
In a “sound effects story,” the children are supposed to listen carefully to the reader and listen for certain words to be said.  When these words are read, the children should make the indicated sound and/or movement.  This helps to capture and keep the attention of the active and auditory learners.

Thanksgiving Sound Effects Story Freebie from HeidiSongs


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Heidi Butkus

About Heidi Butkus

Heidi Butkus has been teaching in California public schools since 1985. She has somehow managed to stay in Kindergarten all of those years, with the exception of five years in first grade, and also taught a parent participation preschool for a short while! Combining a strong knowledge of brain research with practical experience, Heidi has created a wealth of fun and engaging teaching techniques that work well with diverse populations. She has presented at conferences nationwide, and is the owner and founder of HeidiSongs.com. Heidi has also created fourteen original CD's and DVD's for teaching beginning reading and math skills, three musical plays designed especially for young performers, and has written some picture books and many other teaching resources. Heidi's multimedia workshops are filled with fun and motivational educational activities that have been classroom tested and revised for effectiveness with all types of learners.
  1. I LOVE your materials! A teacher I sub for often uses your videos and other things in her kindergarten class and the kids love it! I especially liked the counting and letter sound videos. I’m glad creative people like you make things for teachers. When I go back to work full time I will definitely start ordering your materials. Thanks for sharing some freebies!

  2. YOU ROCK!! My kindergarten kiddos LOVE LOVE LOVE your phonics cd…”TH” is their favorite (of course! Put your tongue between your teeth and blow) We also have color a sight word, and sight words volume 1 and 2, and the classroom management cd. Thanks for all that you do!! =-) You are loved in sunny Florida!

  3. Thank you, Heidi! This post came just in time for Thanksgiving. I had forgotten that I made of set of the turkey alphabet match a few years ago, I will get it out today and put it to good use.

  4. Hello Heidi
    I teach children from 2 to 4 years and I see that this activities they really enjoy and learn, thank you, for sharing your bride ideas.

  5. My students think listening to the songs and learning to read and spell their words is treat time. I even let them have “request time” so they can sing their favorites. I have 32 students and your songs really help them learn their words and helps with their writing. Thanks. I tried to print The story of the First thanksgiving but it only showed and printed the 1st page. I have another version that the kids beg to do almost every day, they love these stories.

  6. At this time of year, I am very thankful for all the wonderfully creative, insightful, experienced teachers like you who share their fabulous ideas which help us help our little ones learn.

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