Make a Thanksgiving Appreciation Book
On the surface, Thanksgiving consists of a bountiful feast and loads of football, but beyond that, it is about so much more! Teach your child the true message behind Thanksgiving—showing gratitude for freedom, friends, and family—with this book of images and words that will be a meaningful keepsake for years to come. Your amateur author will learn about the first Thanksgiving feast, strengthen his fine motor skills, sharpen his ability to sound out words, and practice important shape recognition with this charming autumn activity.
What You Need:
- Construction paper (8 1/2" x 11") in black, white, tan and various bright colors
- Downloadable cornucopia
- Downloadable turkey
What to Do:
- Attach seven pieces of paper together by stapling along the top, middle, and bottom on one of the short sides. Use the same color for the top and bottom page, as this will be the front and back cover.
- Cut out various shapes from the construction paper. You will need:
- Black and white paper: squares and rectangles for the Pilgrim's body
- Tan paper: squares and rectangles for the Native American's body
- Tan paper: large half circle for the Mayflower
- White paper: squares and rectangles for the Mayflower's sails
- Multiple bright colors: feather shapes for the turkey
- On the front cover, write or type "My Thanksgiving Book" or include your child's name (for example: "Tommy's Thanksgiving Book").
- Draw a cornucopia or glue the downloaded cornucopia image on the front cover, and have your child color it in with crayons.
- The first page inside the book will be the "Mayflower" page. Help your child glue the tan half circle and white shapes above it for the Mayflower. Write or type "This is the Mayflower." below it, or on the boat itself. Make sure to explain the significance of the trip that the English colonists embarked on, and discuss how difficult it must have been to live on a boat during the journey.
- After the glue dries, have your little one decorate this page with crayons and markers. Some ideas: He can decorate the Mayflower with Pilgrims and embellishments; the sky with birds, rain and clouds; and color in water below the boat.
- The second page within the book will be the "America" page. Write or type "This is America." at the bottom of the page.
- Ask him to decorate the second page as he imagines the New World looked to the arriving colonists. Explain to him that it was winter when the group of Pilgrims went ashore and begin to build a settlement in modern Massachusetts, yet they hadn't seen land in months since their trip began. What a breathtaking view America must have been!
- The next page of the book will be the "Pilgrim" page. Do the same as the previous pages; write or type "This is a Pilgrim." on the bottom of the page. Assist him in gluing a circle shape for the face, a square shape for the body, and rectangle shapes for the arms and legs onto the paper.
- He can decorate the Pilgrim with a top hat, hands, feet, and draw his face on the circle. Encourage him to draw grass and a background behind the Pilgrim. As before, read and sound out the sentence with your child.
- The fourth page within the book is the "Native American" page. Write or type "This is a Native American." on the bottom of the page. Help him glue on a square for the body, a circle for the face, and rectangles for the arms and legs. Include small decorative feathers on the Native American's head if your child wishes. He can decorate the background with things such as grass, water, a teepee, and animals.
- The last page of the book will be the "I am thankful for..." page. Write or type these words at the bottom of the page, and include the downloaded turkey image above it. Help your child glue on feathers around the turkey's body.
- Ask him what he is thankful for. Encourage him by explaining to him the things you are grateful for in your life. If he needs further assistance, give him ideas—animals, water, family, teachers, etc.
- Write these things next to each feather. Ask him to draw a small picture to represent each of the things he is grateful for in the middle of each feather. He can also color and decorate the turkey.
His Thanksgiving book is done! Make sure all the glue is dry first, and then go through and read the book with him. Point out shapes, colors, and words as you two examine the book together. Read each word with your child carefully, sounding them out, while pointing to the words and images they represent. This activity is an educational experience that will not only help him review important kindergarten basics, but learn significant life lessons.