Tuesday, November 23, 2010

We are getting into Thanksgiving mood with great Thanksgiving books for kids and with open-ended play.
Favorite Thanksgiving Books for preschool age and an open-ended Thanksgiving play
This post has been updated on October 15, 2014 with new graphics and round up links.Disclosure:I am an Amazon associate and this post contains affiliate links. For full disclosure, please click here and thank you for supporting my blog!

Thanksgiving Books

We make a point to celebrate each holiday with books to give our 4 year old a wider perspective on how each holiday originated and how it is celebrated by other families. Here is a selection of books we read this year. Most of them came from our public library, but I placed them into Amazon affiliate widget for your convenience.

I want to highlight a book that was especially popular in our house:
Thanksgiving DayThanksgiving Day by Anne Rockwell illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell is one in the series of holiday books from this mother-daughter team. It belongs in a “gray zone” between fiction and non-fiction – while characters are fictional, the story feels “real” enough to my 4 year old. Smarty liked all the activities in the classroom (which sounds like a small kindergarten classroom) that lead to Thanksgiving celebration. I appreciated the age-appropriate explanation of the holiday and easy art projects that can easily be done as an extension of this book.

Thanksgiving Paper Dolls

My daughter already had simple paper dolls that I printed out for her from Activity Village and some clothes for them. She was thrilled to get special pilgrim clothes for them and was immediately busy creating one of her favorite play scenarios – a “feast”.

Open-Ended Thanksgiving Play

Making Paper Food Smarty immediately decided that she needs to have paper food for her paper dolls. She was pretty thorough in designing a menu for her feast – it had to include all traditional Thanksgiving foods, even those that she herself does not like.

What I loved about this activity was that it was entirely self-directed. I was hanging out with my 4 year old, but she was in charge - creating, narrating and directing action and staying with her scenario for at least an hour or more. This is the type of play that I like best even if it is not as spectacular as an adult-directed “invitation to play”. I could practically see the little wheels turning in her head, and I loved to hear her think through her ideas. We need to have more of those “non-guided” moments in our busy house!

More Thanksgiving Ideas for Kids?

Follow my Pinterest board Thanksgiving.
Follow Natalie Planet Smarty Pants's board Thanksgiving on Pinterest.

Your Turn

What play scenarios are popular in your house at the moment?


MaryAnne said...

Emma spends hours setting up tea parties, and never seems to get around to the tea party - just like Anna with her feasts. And that is really neat that she drew Thanksgiving food for her paper dolls!

Ticia said...

My kids tend to be the same way. I think that's part of why I stopped trying to say you have to do it this way.

Joyful Learner said...

I love the paper food and the paper clothes! JC loves to set the table and spend time preparing food for tea parties. Other than that, she loves playing with zoo animals and building homes for them. It's wonderful to see them enjoy these activities with little input from us!

Debbie said...

It depends on the activity that we are doing. I do see more wanting of directed activities from Selena since we have taken such a long break from them.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I like the idea of drawing food for the paper dolls. Did you tell her the Pilgrims, and Natives were American children? :)

April said...

I remember how much I used to love playing with paper dolls when I was a little girl! She really looks like she is enjoying them.

Totally unrelated to this post but I thought I would share a link with you. I know that you have talked about this topic a few times. Its to a poll and I thought the results were very interesting.


Christy said...

I love paper dolls! I love that she made them Thanksgiving dinner. So cute!

Our Homeschool Fun said...

I think it is so sweet how much fun Anna is having with her paper dolls lately.

We've read lots of wonderful Thanksgiving books this year too. I have enjoyed studying and reading about Thanksgiving more than ever this year, and learned a lot myself too!

I'll be looking forward to seeing the books y'all have been reading Saturday!

Christie - Childhood 101 said...

Love these words;
" hey might look better but she is not nearly as invested in them as in these simple toys that came from her own creative core."

So true!

Rachael DeBruin said...

Such great activities to go along with Thanksgiving! I love the pilgrim craft :)
Thanks for joining us on this past week of "Inspired By Me Mondays!!"
So glad you were able to link up; please be sure to come back again next week :)
Monday to Friday; every week!