There are so many exciting ways to teach preschool-aged kids about math during Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is one of the most beloved holidays in the United States and Canada. It’s a time of family, feasting, football, and festive crafts. The Thanksgiving holiday has been celebrated for hundreds of years, and there are many different traditions that families observe to celebrate it. As a teacher, you may choose to educate your students about Thanksgiving by including some fun and educational activities into your lesson plans.
Children love to learn about the holidays, and you can use this enthusiasm to make learning fun. These Thanksgiving math activities for preschoolers are great for circle time, preschool centers and even at home. Learning about math concepts such as sorting and counting is easy when you combine it with a holiday theme.
Thanksgiving Toy Preschool Math Activities
In the days leading up to the holiday, gather a few of your child’s favorite toys that you can use for counting activities. Print out pictures of the toys on blank sheets of paper and cut them out to make flash cards.
Hide the toys around the house and invite your child to find them and bring them back to you. Hold up a picture of one of the toys and ask your child questions like “Which toy do you have?” or “Which toy do you think I have?” You can also ask your child to count their toys aloud as they bring them back to you.
You can also use a calendar during November to count down the days until Thanksgiving. Help your child mark off each day as it passes, and count how many days are left in November. Let them help you prepare for Thanksgiving by preparing a meal together or helping with holiday decorations.
Autumn Colors Sorting Game
This Thanksgiving math activity is perfect for preschoolers to use in a center or small group area.
- Autumn Leaves
- Number flash cards
This Thanksgiving, we’ve got some fun math activities for your preschooler to enjoy.
Gather up all the pumpkins from around the house and have your child count them. Then, ask them to count them again after you move one somewhere else.
Making a Corn Mazes
Use an old corn maze design or create your own and draw it on a piece of paper. Then, send your child on a journey through the maze with their favorite toy car or piece of candy to find the end.
Tracing with Sweet Potatoes
Cut sweet potatoes in half and use them as tracing tools so your preschooler can practice writing letters or numbers on paper with the cut side of the sweet potato.
Other Maths Thanksgivings Preschool Activities
Preschoolers may not seem like the most likely candidates for advanced mathematics, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need the basics. Math is a fundamental tool for life, and the earlier you can start, the better. Here are some fun Thanksgiving-themed activities to help you get your preschooler ready for math class.
- What’s in a Name? Whether it’s pie or pumpkin, one of your child’s favorite foods is probably named after an abstract concept. Pick up a slice of pie and ask your kid what it’s called, then follow up by asking them why it’s called that. Give them time to think about it! This simple activity will teach your child about the reason behind different words and how they relate to concepts.
- The Secret Ingredient. We all know there’s more than one ingredient in our favorite dishes, but how many does it take to make up that delicious gravy? While you’re cooking dinner, ask your child to count the ingredients as you use them. Let them scoop with measuring cups and spoons! This simple activity will teach your child about sets: what they look like, what they feel like, and even how they taste (if they sneak a bite of flour while you’re distracted.
- Help your child count the number of people in the room by inviting them to put one kernel of corn on each person’s plate.
- Show your child that you can use math to tell time by letting them make a clock out of Play-Doh that tells you when it’s time for dinner. They can make hands on the clock out of sticks or toothpicks and shapes out of Play-Doh. As an added bonus, this helps them learn about shapes!
- Have them help you measure ingredients for Thanksgiving dinner by having them scoop water into measuring cups or spoons. This is a great way to introduce the concept of measurement and different units of measurement (cups, teaspoons, tablespoons).
- Introduce fractions with a pie-baking activity! Show them how to cut the pie into pieces and ask them how many pieces there are in total (a whole pie).