It’s almost time for Thanksgiving! This means some of us will be planning a class Thanksgiving Celebration. Those days before your Thanksgiving break can be a little chaotic. But, today, I am going to talk about how you can plan a well-managed class celebration! Use these tips to lighten your load and prepare for a great time!
Options for Your Celebration
First, let’s talk all about planning out your Thanksgiving party. There are a few different options for class parties. You could…
- Run Centers
- Arts & Crafts
- Thankful activities
- Watch Movies
This is your party! So, it is up to you to plan how big or small it is! My favorite holiday celebrations always started with 5-6 centers (with a few easy crafts and activities in there), followed by a snack break, then we ended with a video or read-aloud!
If you have centers, divide your students into groups of 4. Have students rotate through the center activities or crafts throughout the allotted time. Try to get parent volunteers to help at any station that may require assistance (crafts or games).
Get Started Planning Your Celebration
FIRST- Request parent/guardian help! Parents can be so helpful during classroom parties, as volunteers, with donating supplies, and even with material or snack prep! I love using SignUpGenius for party planning! It makes everything so easy to manage. Create a form with your volunteer requests or supplies needed. You can send the link directly to parents through Class Dojo or your other communication portal. Or, you can send home a QR code or link in your class newsletter. Parents will be able to easily sign up to volunteer, send in supplies, or prep something for your party. *You can even link ideas for the supplies. If you’d like fruit cups, link to these Thanksgiving Turkey fruit cups as an idea, and a parent can make these cute turkeys if they want!
THEN- Plan out what you need. These two free checklists can help you outline and plan your classroom party. You will receive this freebie if you sign up for my email list. Jot down any ideas you have for what you want to do, what you’ll need to collect, prep, etc.
Link: Organizational Freebie
After you get all of your ideas and supplies are written down, create that Donations form and get it out to parents! This will help reduce the number of things you are prepping and buying. Once it is closer to the party, you will be able to figure out what still needs to be done.
Thanksgiving Party Activity Ideas
Next, let’s talk about what you plan to do during the party. As I mentioned, there are a few different options for your class Thanksgiving celebration. You can plan centers, art projects, a craft, or simply a movie and treats. I’m going to list eight ideas that I created or found on Pinterest to help spark your ideas. Now, these ideas can be used within centers or, they can be completed on their own. How you’d like to manage your party is up to you!
Crafts to Make at the Party
Fall Tree Luminaries- This cute craftivity is from Where Imagination Grows. Students can use tissue paper and mod podge to create their own Fall Tree Luminary! Grab a few colors of tissue paper and some mason jars! You can even ask your parents to send in any extra jars that they have at home! I would have students in groups of 4 (maybe at their table pods). Give each student a different color tissue paper (yellow, green, orange, red). They can spend a few minutes tearing their paper into pieces, creating a collective pile of all four colors for their group. Then, they can cut out their tree and begin pasting their pieces onto the jar! This is a great whole group activity if you don’t have a parent volunteer for a station.
Thanksgiving Potholder– A class Thanksgiving celebration is a great time to create a take-home gift! I love this idea from Surviving A Teacher Salary! Not only will this be fun for students to do, but they can take them home as gifts or keepsakes for family members! Potholders (or tea towels) can be picked up at the Dollar Store. This is a great activity for a station with a parent volunteer! If you are rotating through activities like centers, it will make it easy on the volunteer. When they arrive to the station, the volunteer will help paint their hand and attach the eye, beak, feet, etc.
Thanksgiving Games and Activities
Thanksgiving FREEBIE– Thanksgiving 4-in-a-Row is one of the freebies you can get in this blog post. It’s set up a lot like Bingo but it’s simply picture matching. The teacher will call out a Thanksgiving item and students will cover their cards. The best thing about this game is that students have to be quiet to hear their items! Download it for FREE here.
Grateful Gems- This simple activity will get your kiddos talking about what they are grateful for! Each student will get their own fun-size m&ms pouch. With a partner or a small group, students will take turns sharing things that they are grateful for, according to the color and category. Be sure students are sharing what and why! These are great conversation starters!
Thanksgiving Pictionary- Another easy activity for your class party! Write a bunch of Thanksgiving or Fall-themed topics on cut-out leaves or popsicle sticks. Partners or groups will take turns drawing a topic and drawing them out to get their classmates to guess the correct topic! No sounds, no words, just drawing!
Printables and Coloring
Thanksgiving Day Parade Flip Book- This fun and functional reading flip book is all about the Thanksgiving Day Parade! Students will enjoy reading and writing about this part of Thanksgiving. Plus, they will love coloring and creating their flip book!
Thanksgiving Coloring– Something as simple as a coloring sheet can make kiddos happy. It’s not something they get to do a lot, so coloring sheets on a party day can be a lot of fun. Plus, these coloring sheets have students practicing numbers and sight words!
Thanksgiving Flip Book- Another reading flip book option is this Thanksgiving Flip Book! Students will color their turkey topper, read and write about Thanksgiving Day and create a cute craft!
Click here to purchase each of the low-prep resources:
Movies and Videos to Watch
If you’re looking for a low-key, low-maintenance Thanksgiving celebration, there are a few videos that you can put on for your kids. Students love an opportunity to watch a movie in class! They can grab a Thanksgiving snack and watch one of these short movies/episodes (or another of your choice).
Each of these videos below are affiliate links to Amazon!
- Turkey Gloves (Source: That’s What Che Said)
- Brown Paper Bag Turkey Legs (Source: Project Denneler)
- Candy Cornucopia (Source: The Craft Patch)
- Turkey Cheese Sticks (Source: Frugal Coupon Living)
- Thanksgiving Fruit Cups (Source: PTO Today)
There are so many great ideas for Class Thanksgiving Celebration snacks. These 5 are great for keeping everyone’s snacks separate and contained. Plus, they can all be prepared ahead of time and sent in. If you plan on watching a video, I recommend saving the snacks for then. If you are doing centers or crafts, consider having the snack at one of the centers that doesn’t involve a craft. For example, a coloring or paper activity center.
REMEMBER– Check your allergy lists. This year, I’m sending in snacks for my niece’s class, and I have to avoid all nuts, honey, and pumpkin. Please send that in a note to parents, too, before asking for any food donations.
Hope you were able to find some ideas for your Class Thanksgiving Celebration! Happy Planning!