Fun Montessori-Inspired Ideas for this Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving to you and your little ones! This time of year is perfect for spending time with family and teaching your kids the importance of being thankful for what they have.
Montessori Thanksgiving Ideas

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I love incorporating Montessori principles into such lessons, as it allows us busy parents to let our kids be involved with what we might already be doing to prepare for Thanksgiving. Additionally, there are so many fun and educational Montessori Thanksgiving activities and crafts your child can do using simple supplies that can be found around the house. I want to share some of my favorites here for you and your family to enjoy this Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Preparation

This is probably the simplest, yet most effective way to incorporate Montessori principles into your Thanksgiving. By letting your child participate in the Thanksgiving preparation, you have the opportunity to teach them simple math lessons, let them work on their fine motor skills, and let them identify colors, as well as countless other benefits. Additionally, your child will enjoy taking pride in having contributed to a big family event! Thanksgiving preparation can involve:
  • Meal preparation, such as measuring and mixing ingredients, some supervised cooking, and taste-testing.
  • Creating the table centerpiece – this article will discuss some fun crafts that can potentially be used as a Thanksgiving centerpiece, or your little one can help spruce up a traditional centerpiece that you use each year.
  • Setting the table, which can involve learning where the plates, forks, spoons (etc.) and how to fold napkins.
  • Home decorating – If you like to decorate your home for Thanksgiving and autumn, letting your child have a say and incorporating their crafts and opinions into the look of your house can make them feel important and heard.

Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt is a great activity for your family and children with many benefits, such as its simplicity and emphasis on teamwork and problem-solving. This activity is very customizable as well, so every family can make it their own. This activity can become a tradition every year that gets your kids out, moving and exploring nature! Montessori Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt Thanksgiving-themed scavenger hunts are easy, fun, and are sure to create memories for your family that will last a lifetime! To get started on your own scavenger hunt, you can come up with and print out your own list, or you can take inspiration from the Thanksgiving scavenger hunt ideas available on Amazon.

Turkey Crafts

Naturally, turkeys are a big part of Thanksgiving. There are so many fun and simple crafts that can be done surrounding these feathered friends that get our kids busy using their hands and minds to create some fabulous works of art! Montessori Thanksgiving Turkey Crafts

Turkey Crafts for Preschool

  1. Handprint Turkey Art. You might remember making a turkey out of your handprint when you were little, but even if you don’t, it’s a fun preschool turkey craft that promotes your child’s fine motor skills and lets them have some sensory play as well. This craft can be done a number of ways: you can help your child trace their hand onto a piece of paper, or you can let them print their hand in brown paint, as just a few examples. You can then decorate as elaborately or as simply as you’d like. For some examples, check out all the handprint art on Pinterest.
  2. Paper Roll Turkey Craft. This stood out to me as a fun idea for turkey art for our preschoolers because it teaches them how to reuse seemingly mundane items around the house and out in nature. It only involves a few items: a toilet paper roll, leaves, glue and googly eyes. This is such an adorable craft, and looks great with the rest of the Thanksgiving decorations!

Turkey Crafts for Kindergarten

  1. Pinecone Turkey Craft. Much like the paper roll turkey craft, this adorable craft also involves going out into nature and is very simple to create. This craft is a little more involved than the paper roll, so it might be a turkey craft for kindergarteners instead of preschoolers, but really can be for kids of all ages. The only supplies needed for this include a pinecone, leaves, brown and yellow paper, googly eyes, glue, scissors, and play dough (optional). So adorable!
  2. Coffee Filter Turkey. This craft takes about 20-30 minutes in total to create using simple craft supplies, and ends up being a totally unique take on the turkey craft project! This one does involve more supplies than the others, including:
      • Wooden clothespins
      • Round white coffee filters
      • Scissors
      • A pencil
      • Cardboard scraps
      • Brown acrylic craft paint
      • Paintbrush
      • Red and yellow craft foam
      • Googly eyes
      • Washable markers
      • Glue gun and glue sticks
The end result of this project is a turkey with tail feathers that have a pretty, orangey tie-dye effect that makes for a great decoration.

Family Thanksgiving Crafts

Because Thanksgiving is a time for the entire family to get together, here are some other craft ideas where your whole family can contribute! Family thanksgiving crafts
    1. Handprint Tree – Each family member contributes a handprint tracing which is then cut out and glued to the branches of a “tree”. The tree can be a great centerpiece to the family table.
    2. Thankful Wreath – Each family member writes down things they are thankful for on various shapes such as leaves and acorns, and these are artfully put together to create a wreath that can make a lovely reminder to place on any door inside or outside the house.
    3. Family Turkey Project – Each family member can make themselves or another family member as a turkey with this simple and adorable project.
    4. Pom-Pom Turkeys – This is similar to the above project but with pom-poms instead of paper. This is a very cute way to create decorations for your Thanksgiving table.
    5. Grateful Jars – A great lesson in why the holiday is celebrated, this project involves everyone working together to write down why they are thankful and putting it into a jar to read on Thanksgiving day!

Final Thoughts

Montessori principles are all about respecting our children while recognizing how absorbent their minds are and giving them space to learn during critical periods in their lives. Holidays like Thanksgiving are an excellent time to give kids the opportunity to participate in a number of activities and crafts to promote their independence, learn life skills, and have fun all at the same time!
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