Thanksgiving Sensory Tub

I love sensory tubs and one of the reasons is illustrated beautifully in this post. They aren’t just a chance to scoop and pour ( although don’t discount the importance of that) they are also a chance to make believe, create a new mini landscape and practice imaginative play. Children love to explore so when you create a sensory bin allow them to add to it as well, it’s not a static item but rather a dynamic experience for them to create with.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a big pan or plastic tub, some multicolored unpopped popcorn , red quinoa, and brown rice. You will also need some fall leaf confetti, and scoops. Obviously you don’t need to follow our contents exactly but I do love the corn since it ties into other Thanksgiving crafts so well. Orange lentils, wild rice, flax seeds etc… all have a fall feeling to them too.
  2. Pour the dried grains etc.. into the tub. Have your child help with this , my son loves ” cooking up” the sensory bins.
  3. Add the fall confetti. Be careful some of ours were pretty small, fabric leaves are another larger option for younger children.
  4. Add the scoops and containers and start playing.
  5. Follow your child’s imagination, we went and got some construction vehicles.

I get asked all the time what I do with these tubs after he’s done playing. I pop them into ziplocs and keep them , and pull them out for quiet play time often.  The variety keeps him interested and as long as the bags are sealed from moisture and insects you can keep them indefinitely.

Thanksgiving Books

The Little Engine That Could Saves the Thanksgiving Day Parade by Watty Piper is unremarkable. The story is about a school band who has a flat tire and hitches a ride on the train to get to the Thanksgiving Day parade on time.  My son liked the instruments and the train but the story was pretty boring and it was obvious to me why this was one of the only Thanksgiving books left at my local library. If you have a child who is wild about trains I would maybe check it out of the library but it’s not worth purchasing in my opinion.

Thanksgiving at the Tappleton’s by Eileen Spinelli is a really cute story that offers many opportunities for parents to talk about lying, disappointment and what really matters at Thanksgiving. The Tappleton’s Thanksgiving dinner is doomed, first the turkey falls in the pond, then there are no pies left at the bakery and then continues to get worse.  No one wants to be the person to ruin the holiday dinner and keeps it a secret that the part of the meal that was their responsibility is ruined.  Of course this means they end up eating liverwurst and pickles for dinner but Grandma saves Thanksgiving by reminding them all that it doesn’t matter what they are eating but who they are eating with.

Patty’s Pumpkin Patch by Teri Sloat is a great alphabet book and story in one. Readers follow a pumpkin patch from planting the seeds until after Halloween when they gather the seeds for the next planting.  I really like how this book combines an alphabet book with both upper and lowercase letters corresponding to some animal or insect in the story . I also like the easy rhythm of the rhyming text and the engaging and detailed illustrations . All in all I think this is a great fall book!

Fishing For Letters Game


alphabet activity

This fishing for letters game was a favorite in my classroom and is really easy to make. Tuck those kids in , grab some scissors and start cutting, by morning you’ll have a fun game to play with your kids!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need multiple colors of card stock or sturdy construction paper, a marker, scissors, eyelets and an eyelet setter ,or you can also use paper clips!
  2. Draw a fish to make a template. Make sure the tail is large enough to write a letter on it. Cut it out and use this to trace all the fish.
  3. Start tracing the fish on your card stock/construction paper. I normally trace one for every two fish.
  4. Get comfy on your couch, and cut! Layer two or three pieces of paper to make it go faster but be careful , the paper can shift.
  5. Add a letter on the tail and a smile too. If you are using paper clips add an eye too!
  6. If you are using the eyelet option, add the eyelet as the eye for each fish. The eyelet should be magnetic, double check though since some are so heavily coated with paint the fishing pole may not pick them up!
  7. I am using a fishing rod that came with a Melissa and Doug puzzle but you can easily make one with a chop stick, ruler or blunt knitting needle. Add some yarn or ribbon with a strong magnet on the end and you are set!
  8. Wake your baby ( aren’t they always our babies? ) and show them the new game!


Additional Activities

Click here for more Under The Sea themed activities!