Thanksgiving Math Activities


It's so much fun to come up with creative learning activities to fit a specific theme! Thanksgiving has lots of iconic images of Pilgrims, Native Americans, corn, and pumpkin pie, but I thought this turkey themed math activity would be perfect.

Thanksgiving Themed Math Activities for Preschool and Elementary Kids

I created several variations for preschool-age children and elementary-age children. Younger children will practice sequencing numbers. Elementary-age children will work on understanding number sentences and families.

Materials for Thanksgiving Themed Math Games

  • Construction paper of various colors
  • Marker
  • Scissors

Directions to Make Thanksgiving Math Activities

Begin by cutting out turkey bodies and feathers. Older children can do this part independently. I selected Fall colors, but have fun with colors you like. Allow your child to draw faces on the turkeys.

Draw a Turkey with Numbered Feathers

For preschool-age children, have your child write the numbers 1 - 5 on the feathers. If your child needs help, you can actually write the numbers on the feathers with a highlighter and your child can trace over the numbers with a darker pen or marker.

Write Numbers on the turkey feathers

Scramble the numbers up, and have your child arrange the numbers in order on the turkey. To make this more complex, you can also start with a larger number (e.g. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) or skip-counting numbers (e.g. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10).

Numbers in Order - Use different level numbers for different age ranges

For more advanced learners, write a number on the turkey. Have your child write number sentences that equal that number. Younger children will likely write addition and subtraction problems. My daughter actually generated these responses, and I wrote them down.

Math fact turkey activities Older children should be able to use larger numbers and include multiplication and division problems. The prompt is still the same: "Let's think of all the ways we can make (number)." Here is an example.

Difficult Turkey with harder math facts Another variation to this activity would be for the adult to generate the numbers on the turkeys and the number sentences on the feathers. The turkeys and feathers would be placed in a bin together. The child will then have to solve the math problems and place the feathers on the corresponding turkeys.

Children of all ages can engage in these Thanksgiving Turkey Activities. How can you engage your child in these activities?

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Dr. Carrie Wells is a college instructor, blogger, and work-at-home mother to two young children, Lydia (age 5) and Bryce (age 3). Carrie graduated from the University of Florida in 2001 with a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education and in 2002 with a Master’s degree in special education. After teaching children ages 3 – 21 with varying abilities for several years, she completed her Doctorate in special education in 2008 from Nova Southeastern University. In March 2010, Carrie began writing Huppie Mama, a lifestyle blog focusing on family, food, fun, fashion, and fitness.

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