April 20th is Volunteer Recognition Day

aaInviting parents and community members into your program as volunteers is a great way to encourage positive relationships and involvement in your community.

There are many ways to involve volunteers:

You can have a career day and ask family and community members to speak to the children about their jobs.

You can host a community helpers / safety awareness day to help the young people learn to identify safe adults in their community, such as policeman, fireman, letter carriers and others they may encounter and recognize by their uniforms.

You can invite parents into your room to help with a craft or special activity.

You can ask parents to share a special talent or skill with your class . . . think outside of the box!  This can be playing an instrument, showing the children how to do aerobics or yoga, having a cooking lesson, etc.

You can host a nationality night to celebrate each family’s heritage.  Ask them to share foods, songs, games, traditions, etc.

You can invite parents in to read their favorite children’s book to the class.

Click here for more ideas on how to

include volunteers in your program:

bbbShowing your appreciation:

It is important to let your volunteers know that they are appreciated.  This is also an important social skill to teach the children in your program.

Have the children make thank you cards or pictures for the volunteer.  You can even take pictures of the volunteer while they are busy helping out your classroom and include them in your thank you card.

On a larger scale, you can also host a volunteer appreciation event once a year, such as a breakfast or luncheon.  Include the children, as that is the motivation for your volunteers to participate in your program.  Have them make placemats and table decorations and even a small craft as a gift for each volunteer to show their appreciation.

Showing your appreciation in a genuine way is what will keep your volunteers coming back!

cc

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Look for Blog Authors!

We are looking for Blog Authors!….We are looking for contributors to our blog!

Blog Submissions $35 when accepted and posted 200-500 words
Here are some blogs to check out first: http://www.teachpreschool.org/
http://centersandcircletime.blogspot.com/ http://toddlerlearningactivities.blogspot.com/
http://earlyliteracycounts.blogspot.com/ http://preschool2prek.blogspot.com/
Be sure to abide by all copy write laws and photos permissions
The best article I found on blog writing: http://www.incomediary.com/10-blog-writing-tips/
General Topic Ideas
Comment on a news story- Resources -Past experiences -Response to advice questions
Activity Ideas – Book or Product Review
email joni at childcarelounge.com

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Cooperative Games in Child Care

Games are first and foremost an outlet for fun. Many active children’s games also help develop motor skills, problem solving and language skills. However, competition is often the focus of young children’s games. When there is an emphasis on winning and losing children can frequently be left on the sidelines with a sense of failure and incompetence.

Musical Chairs is a prime example of a game the does more to exclude children rather than involve them. This popular game often becomes a pushing battle for the few remaining competitors while the other children are left as bored spectators. Fortunately, there are many games that focus on fun rather than competition. These games promote a sense of teamwork and cooperation that reaches well beyond the playground. I have included some of my favorites, including a new twist on Musical Chairs.

Cooperative Musical Chairs

This game is very similar to the original version, with the same setup of two lines of chairs back to back. Make sure there is one chair LESS than the amount of players. Began playing music while children dance or march around the chairs. When the music stops everyone needs to find a seat. The goal is ensure everyone has a place! As the game continues remove an additional chair after each round. With a smaller amount of chairs available, children will find the need to work together and cooperate in order to find room for everyone. This may mean sitting on laps and sharing chairs. Please note: no one is eliminated or asked to wait in this version.

Sharks in the Water

This game operates on the same premise as Cooperative Musical Chairs. Outline a large square on the floor with either masking tape or chalk. This area is the safe island and the area surrounding the square is the ocean. When the music begins children “swim” around the island. The stopping of the music indicates that sharks are coming and all player must retreat to the safety of the island. With each round the lines are altered making the island smaller and smaller. Players must make work together to make sure everyone has a safe place to get away from the sharks.

Mirror Mirror

The is a game that can be played with partners or with a larger group. A leader is chosen to initiate movements the others are to try to mimic as quickly as possible so that it appears they are a mirror image of the leader. A more challenging version for older children is to eliminate the leader. Players are to both move and simultaneously mimic each other.

Keep it Up

Blow up one or more balloons depending on the number of players. The simple goal is to work together and keep the balloon in the air. For younger children you may to have them stand or sit in a circle. You can add challenge for older children by restricting how they may elevate the balloon not allowing them to use their hands or only their elbows etc.,

Ball Bounce

You can use a parachute or large sheet for this game. Players hold and stretch the edges of the parachute. A ball is placed in the center. By all players gently tugging up and down they can cause the ball to bounce. Players can see how long they can keep the ball going without it bouncing off the surface. More balls can be added for additional challenge and fun.

Dragon Tail

Players form one long line or train by holding onto the waist of the child in front of them. The child in the front becomes the dragon head. The child in the rear is the dragon tail and a colorful scarf is attached into a belt loop. The “head” is to try to catch the scarf flapping behind the “tail”. All of the other players, members of the “body”, are compelled to work together with both ends and both the goal of the head and the tail at that same time. The main objective throughout is to keep the dragon intact with no players letting go. This game is best for older children and requires a large area.

Human Pretzel

Players form a circle. Each player reaches into the circle with their right hand and clasps hands with anyone across from them. Then each player clasps their left hand with a different player. Two people are then designated to be the ends. One end player is to release their right hand from whoever has a hold on it and the other end player is to release their left hand. By stepping over, under, and around each other; the group needs to work together to untangle their big human pretzel. Again, players are to try to accomplish this without releasing their hands.

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Choosing a Child Care Curriculum

Before you purchase a curriculum to use in your child care or preschool program, take the time to carefully evaluate what is being offered. There are many pre-packaged curriculums out there, but they are not equal. Here are a few questions that you should ask first:

 

  • Is it affordable?
  • Is it age appropriate?
  • Does it focus on the process rather than a final product?
  • Is it adaptable to for children of different abilities?
  • Are there open ended crafts and activities?
  • Is it based on sound research about child development and education?
  • Is it non-biased?
  • Are there extension and follow up activities?
  • Is it developed by someone with training and experience in both child care and curriculum design?
  • Does it cover many areas of the curriculum?Father_and_Daughter_2

Many family daycare providers choose to use curriculum packages or programs, rather than develop themes or lessons plans from scratch. Click here to read what they have to say about different curriculum.

Click here to compare curriculum and find the best one for your program.

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Connect with Child Care Lounge; Connect with others

CCL-Logo.gifWe want to you to see Child Care Lounge as a place to find online classes, resources and opportunities to network with other child care providers. Please check us out on our many different Social Media Platforms. Here you can find new ideas and meet and connect with others as well!

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Anti-bias Approach, Diversity and Multicultural Early Childhood Education

Anti-bias Approach, Diversity and Multicultural Early Childhood Education

Have you noticed? There has been an increase in multicultural books and educational materials about diversity that have become available within the last ten or fifteen years. In a short period, the early childhood profession has seemed to embrace the goals of an anti-bias approach. NAEYC now acknowledges the importance of such an approach in position papers, accreditation materials and publications. They also devoted a section of the November 2005 issue of Young Children to the topic.

Other organizations have followed suit. The Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) has a position paper: “Preparation of Early Childhood Education Teachers”, that includes the following standard,” … Teacher preparation experiences, therefore, should develop…A comprehension of the variety and complexity of communication patterns as expressed by people of differing cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds in a global context… a knowledge and understanding of differences and similarities among societies and cultures, both at home and abroad.

The National Council for Social Studies ( NCSS) states in its standards: “A unified and cohesive democratic society can be created only when the rights of its diverse people are reflected in its institutions, within its national culture, and within its schools, colleges and universities.” (NCSS 1991)

In fact, you may have read many times before that an anti-bias approach in early childhood programs is a worthwhile goal. This article will show you why such a goal is not only worthwhile, but also long over due!

The Time is Now for Our Schools and Childcare Programs

In any educational setting, a predominant goal is to meet the needs of the children enrolled. Schools and childcare programs alike must be sensitive and responsive to all of the families and children that they serve (Garcia, 1999). Current statistics show that our nation’s population is becoming increasingly diverse. Specifically:

  • The percentage of children in the United States who are Hispanic more than doubled between 1980 and 2004, from 9 percent to 19 percent, and is projected to increase to nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of the child population by 2020 (Child Trends Data Bank)
  • Between 1970 and 2004, the percentage of children living in father-only families increased from 1 percent to 5 percent (Child Trends Data Bank)
  • In 1995, of the 6.7 million children ages 5–17 in the U.S. who lived in homes in which a language other than English was spoken, 2.4 million (37 percent) had difficulty speaking English. (Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation 1997)
  • 40% of children in the U.S. public schools are from culturally diverse backgrounds. (NCES 2003).
  • Nationwide, more than 20% of children in Head Start speak a language other than English, (Early Head Start Program Information Report for 2001-2002 Program Year)
  • The number of children from immigrant families has increased by 63% in the last 10 years. (Beavers and D’Amico 2005).

The Time is Now for Our Young Children

Early childhood is often referred to as the magical or formative years: a time when rapid development is taking place. We know that it is in the first five or six years when a child’s stable characteristics such as disposition and social attitudes are developing.

Prejudice and bias are among the social attitudes that are formed during these years. Such attitudes often arise from fear caused by lack of understanding (Luhman and Gilman 1980).

Biases are not inherited; all biases, prejudices and attitudes must be learned. Young children do not develop negative attitudes from contact with a minority group, but rather with other’s negative attitudes, (Davey 1983).

You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

(From the musical, South Pacific)

Racial and ethnic bias can start at a very early age (Kowalsky 2001) (Teichman 2001). Infants as young as six months react consistently to racial differences. (Katz & Kofkin 1997) (Katz 2003).

Mary Ellen Goodman (1952) outlines the development of racial and ethnic prejudice and bias. She identified three separate stages: awareness, orientation, and true attitude. During the stage of awareness, a child begins to notice similarities and differences. At this time, he or she is perceiving the objective features of people and making classifications on the basis of their perceptions. As early as the age of 2 ½ or 3, most children are aware of racial differences, (Katz 1982) (Roher 1977). Children of this age have a consciousness of differences determined first by physical traits. In the next few years, a child will learn to categorize distinct groups by language and clothing differences as well. (Smardo & Schmidt 1983) (Aboud 1987).

When a child reaches the orientation stage referred to by Goodman, he or she is exposed to bias related words and concepts, including derogatory labels and slurs. Stereotypes are frequently reinforced. Television, books and magazines still contain images that show various groups in stereotypical images or roles.

True attitude is when the child’s attitudes and biases are set, becoming rigid and non-changing. (Kranz & Ostler 1975). For example, children entering school already have a strong preference to play with the same color children, (Finklestein & Haskin 1983). A prejudiced viewpoint is difficult to change: It acts as a filter which everything is seen through. Racial prejudice in young children distorts their judgment and perception of reality (Kutner 1985).

A common goal of early childhood is to facilitate social development. Early skills lead to later social competence. (Sroufe & Rutter, 1984). Furthermore, social competence leads to successful school performance, improved job opportunities and more positive interactions with others (Rimm-Kaufman, Pianta, Cox, 2000). This objective can be obstructed by any negative attitudes present among the young children a classroom. We have a responsibility to promote positive social attitudes and resist bias. We also have a great opportunity and privilege. By valuing diversity while focusing on commonalties, we will help young children develop empathy and build bridges of friendship and understanding (Hahn 1980)(Stürmer & Synder 2006).

“And the child will have as an adult the imprint of his culture upon him. Whether his society hands him its tradition with a shrug, throws it to him like a bone to a dog, or teaches him each item with care and anxiety. (Cook 1954 p. 231)

If the children of today are to inherit the world of tomorrow, they must be prepared to survive in a changing world that is becoming smaller and increasingly interdependent. Promoting awareness, respect and appreciation for diversity is the foundation of improved relationships on both a local and global level. Now is the time!

Aboud, F. E. (1987). The development of ethnic self-identification and attitudes. In J. S. Phinney & M. J. Rotheram (Eds.), Children’s ethnic socialization: Pluralism and development (pp. 32-55). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

ACEI Position Paper :P reparation of Early Childhood Education Teachers, http://www.acei.org/prepec.htm

Beavers, L., & J. D’Amico. 2005. Children in immigrant families: U.S. and state-level findings from the 2000 Census. A KIDS COUNT/PRB Report on Census 2000. Baltimore: The Annie E. Casey Foundation; Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau.

Child Trends Data Bank, http://www.childtrendsdatabank.org/basic.cfm

Cook, Lloyd & Elaine. (1954). Intergroup Education. Greenwood Press

Curriculum Guidelines for Multicultural Education

Prepared by the NCSS Task Force on Ethnic Studies Curriculum Guidelines Adopted by NCSS Board of Directors, 1991 http://www.socialstudies.org/positions/multicultural/

Davey, A. G. (1983). Learning to be prejudiced: Growing up in multi-ethnic Britain. London: Edward Arnold.

Early Head Start Program Information Report for 2001-2002 Program Year. http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start=2&q=http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/hsb/pdf/ehsalmanac.pdf&e=15055

Finkelstein, Neal. & Haskins. (1983). Kindergarten Children Prefer Same Color Peers:. Child Development. 57, pp.502-508

Goodman, Mary Ellen. (1952). Race Awareness in Young Children. Cambridge: Addison-Wesley.

Hahn, S. L. “Let’s Try a Positive Approach.” Foreign Language Annals 13/5 (1980): 415-417.

Katz, P.A. (1982). “Development of Children’s Racial Awareness and Intergroup Attitudes.”. In Katz, L.C. (Ed), Current Topics in Early Childhood Education., 4. Worwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corp.,

Katz, P.A. (2003) Racists or tolerant multiculturalists? How do they begin? American Psychologist 58 (11): 897–909.

Katz, P.A., & J.A. Kofkin. (1997) Race, gender, and young children. In Developmental perspectives on risk and pathology, eds. S. Luthar, J. Burack, D. Cicchetti, & J. Weisz, 51–74. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Kowalski, K., & Lo, Y.-F. (2001). The influence of perceptual features, ethnic labels, and sociocultural information on the development of ethnic/racial bias in young children. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 32(4), 444-455.

Kranz, Peter &Ostler. (1975). “The Seeds of Racism within the Young Children: An American Tragedy”, The Negro Educational Review. Vol. xxvi. No. 4 pp194-197.

Kutner, B. (1985) Patterns of Mental Functioning Associated with Prejudice in Children, Psychological Monographs, 72(406), pp. 1-48.

Luhman, Reid. & Gilman, Stuart. (1980). Race and Ethnic Relations: The social and Political Experience of Minority Groups. Wadsworth . Pp. 60-66.

(NCES 2003). NCES (National Center for Educational Statistics). 2003., http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/2005/section1/indicator04.asp.

Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., Pianta, R. C., & Cox, M. J. (2000). Teacher’s judgments of problems in the transition to kindergarten. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 15(2), 147-166.

Smardo, Frances. & Schmidt. Velma. (1983). Developing Multicultural Awareness, in Children Today. pp.23-25

Sroufe, A. & Rutter, M. (1984) The domain of developmental psychopathology. Child Development, 55, 17-29

Stefan Stürmer, Mark Snyder, Alexandra Kropp, and Birte Siem Empathy-Motivated Helping: The Moderating Role of Group Membership (2006)Pers Soc Psychol Bull 32: 943-956

Garcia, E. (1999). Student cultural diversity: Understanding and meeting the challenge (2nd ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin

Teichman, 2001). Teichman, Y. (2001). The development of Israeli children’s images of Jews and Arabs and their expression in human figure drawings. Developmental Psychology, 37(6), 749-761.

Trends in the Well-being of America’s Children and Youth, 1997 Edition by Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, http://aspe.hhs.gov

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Resolutions for Child Care Providers

The new year is as good a time as any to resolve to make changes and to plot a course for the future. Making New Year’s Resolutions can be a great way to set goals and assess your progress.

Improve Yourself

The most common resolutions are those we choose for personal growth and improvement. To be able to care for others, you first need to be able to care for yourself. If you smoke cigarettes, this may be the time to quit smoking. Probably the most popular New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight and to exercise more.

Child care providers can be vulnerable to stress and burnout. Learn simple ways to keep your stress level under control. There are also techniques for keeping calm when you are at the breaking point. Of course the best strategy is to learn to avoid stress by managing the many demands you face in both your personal and professional life.

Improve Your Environment

Whether this is a time you opt to do a seasonal cleaning or simply an excuse to get control over clutter, you may resolve to get organized and restructure your home, child care space, or both. Learn how to organize your childcare space so it is a fun and inviting place for children to learn and grow. Take this time to ensure your home is safe for young children. There are some great ways to set up a household organization system and find new ideas to solve storage problems.

Improve Your Business

This may be a logical time for you to make desired changes within your child care program. As we start the new year you may find it helpful to start a more efficient means of record-keeping. Setting up a new system may help you remain organized throughout the year. Many service oriented businesses choose the new year as an appropriate time to raise fees or tuition. Learn from other providers on how to change rates and inform parents. You may even wish to go as far as to redo your policies or even rewrite your parent handbook.

Of course, making resolutions for improvement is only the first step, but it is an important step. Good luck in meeting all the goals you set for yourself in the new year!

new_year_streamers_celebrate

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Gingerbread Theme and Activities

Gingerbread Theme and Activities
by Joni Levine

Here are lots of fun crafts, recipes, and activities for gingerbread: a food associated with the holiday season.

Gingerbread Songs and Rhymes

Gingerbread Man
Run, run, as fast as you can,
You can’t catch me,
I’m the Gingerbread Man!

Gingerbread Baking
Stir a bowl of gingerbread,
Smooth and spicy brown.
Roll it with a rolling pin,
Up and up and down.
With a cookie cutter,
Make some little men.
Put them in the oven
Till half past ten!

Gingerkids (Tune: Ten Little Indians)
One little, two little, three little Gingerkids,
Four little, five little, six little Gingerkids,
Seven little, eight little, nine little Gingerkids,
Ten little Gingerbread Kids.

Eat, Eat, Your Gingerbread Boy (Tune: Row, Row, Row, Your Boat)
Eat, eat, your Gingerbread Boy,
Before he runs away.
Faster, faster, faster please,
Don’t let him get away!

Catch, catch the Gingerbread Boy,
Catch him, yes, today.
Faster, faster, faster still,
For he has run away.

 

index
Gingerbread Crafts

Gingerbread Houses
Cover a small milk carton with brown construction paper. Offer a variety of items for decoration.

Sand Paper Gingerbread Man Ornament
Provide each child a sand paper cutout of a gingerbread man. Have them add face and other features using a variety of craft supplies. Scrape a cinnamon stick over the sand paper to make it smell sweet. Punch a hole in the top and add ribbon for an ornament.

Life Size Gingerbread People
Trace each child on brown kraft paper. Have them decorate their body tracings to make themselves into life size gingerbread people.

Stuffed Gingerbread People
Cut out two identical gingerbread people out of grocery bags. Glue or staple them together, and put cotton in between. Let the children decorate their gingerbread person using a variety of materials, markers, and paints.
Gingerbread Math and Science

Gingerbread Man Measuring
Provide different size cut-outs of Gingerbread Men, and have children measure them with different items (raisins, buttons, 1-inch blocks, etc. You can also use our Gingerbread Measure printable.

Make Gingerbread Cinnamon Dough – children can have fun measuring and mixing ingredients

1 cup ground cinnamon
1 tsp of ginger
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup white school glue (optional)

Add the cinnamon and ginger to the applesauce. You may add glue for added thickness. Store unused dough in a bowl with plastic wrap as a cover.

Gingerbread Snacks

Toasted Gingerbread People
Use a gingerbread person cookie cutter on a slice of bread. Paint them with milk and food coloring, then toast them! The color will still show up after toasting.

 

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Technology & Early Childhood Development

by Terre Britt

There is no denying the explosion of technology aimed at teaching and entertaining our children. As we continue to move forward in this technical world, parents and educators need to be aware of the risks and rewards of using these new technologies.

Some early childhood instructors are often skeptical of using digital media and devices with kids as young as age two. Preschool teachers worry that these devices can take time away from hands on experiential play learning that we know is the primary way kids of this age learn and grow. Some parents say they need the short breaks these devices and media provide so they can take care of everyday adult life needs. Let’s examine the benefits and potential pit falls.

First of all, children learn life skills through play. Using these devices and media is no different. The ability to use and understand technology is now a life skill. As technology continues to advance and creep into places it was never seen before, the ability to use it efficiently is becoming essential to everyday living. Even a large amount of socialization is now done with technology and, even if we don’t agree with it, being able to communicate and socialize within societal norms using technology is becoming an everyday life skill.

One challenge for parents and educators is to select the appropriate media and devices that provide a positive impact on development and use them to promote learning. It’s easy to just select the app or media that will hold the child’s attention, but will it promote growth in a positive way? Are they missing out on learning social skills or are the perhaps learning to socialize in this new digital world? What is the balance between physical and digital and where do they intersect?

There are obviously no simple answers, and each parent is going to have their own preference, but here are couple tips that some experts suggest:

  • Don’t detach from the process. Instead of just turning on a movie or handing over your tablet, create a discussion, challenge or project. Ask the child questions, create goals and encourage imagination. In other words, be involved, don’t just set it and forget it.
  • Make sure it is age appropriate. A child’s needs are constantly changing as they develop. It is our job to correctly evaluate this growth and provide material that challenges them but is not too complicated that it discourages them.
  • Encourage technical competency. The ability to find information and use technology to learn is going to be vital to our children’s future. Provide them confidence early in this arena and you are setting a foundation for success.

About the Author: Terre Britt owns and operates an in-home family child care in Burnsville, MN. She has over 30 years of experience in the industry and has several certifications pertaining to early childhood development.

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Thanksgiving and Turkey Theme and Activities

It is a great time of year to be thankful for the children you care for. Celebrate the Thanksgiving season with children by trying out these activities.

Thanksgiving and Turkey Songs and Fingerplays

I Eat Turkey (Tune: Frere Jacques)
I eat Turkey,
I eat Turkey.
Yes, I do.
Yes, I do.
Turkey in my tummy,
Yummy, yummy, yummy.
Good for me,
Good for you.

Albuquerque Turkey (Tune: My Darlin’ Clementine)
Albuquerque is a turkey
And he’s feathered and he’s fine
And he wobbles and he gobbles
And he’s absolutely mine!
He’s the best pet you can get yet
Better than a dog or cat
He’s my Albuquerque turkey
And I’m awfully proud of that!
And my Albuquerque turkey
Is so happy in his bed
‘Cause for our Thanksgiving Dinner
We have spaghetti instead

Five little turkeys
Five little turkeys by the barn door,
One waddled off, then there were four.
Four little turkeys out under the tree,
One waddled off, then there were three.
Three little turkeys with nothing to do.
One waddled off, then there were two.
Two little turkeys in the noonday sun,
One waddled off, then there was one.
One little turkey – better run away!

Soon will come Thanksgiving Day
Five little turkeys sitting by the barn door, One ran away, and then there were four.
Run, turkey! Run, turkey! Run far away! Soon it will be Thanksgiving Day.
Four little turkeys sitting under a tree. One ran away, and then there were three.
Run, turkey! Run, turkey! Run far away! Soon it will be Thanksgiving Day.
Three little turkeys playing Skip-To-My-Lou. One ran away, and then there were two.
Run, Turkey! Run, turkey! Run far away! Soon it will be Thanksgiving Day!
Two little turkeys lying in the sun. One ran away, and then there was one.
Run, turkey! Run, turkey! Run far away! Soon it will be Thanksgiving Day.
One little turkey, having no more fun. He ran away and then there were none.
Run, turkey! Run, turkey! Run far away! Soon it will be Thanksgiving Day.

normal_thanks_giving_turkey_large

Thanksgiving and Turkey Art Activities

Turkey Feather Painting
Provide a variety of feathers and paint. Let children use feathers as a paint brush to create paintings.

Corn Cob Placemat
Roll corn cobs dipped in paint over construction paper (using corn holders will make this less messy). When dry, add leaves or Thanksgiving stickers, laminate and use as a placemat.

Potato Turkey
Glue real or construction paper feathers on toothpicks and have children press toothpicks into a potato. Create a construction paper face, and use a toothpick to secure.

Thankful Wreath
Make a torn paper or tissue paper wreath using a paper plate, but don’t cut out plate center. In center of wreath, write down what children are thankful for.

Coffee Filter Turkey
Drop colored water with eyedroppers onto a coffee filter…this will be turkey feathers. When dry, glue on a circular head, wiggle eyes, waddle, beak and feet cutouts.

Thanksgiving and Turkey Math and Science

Favorite Food Graphing
On large paper, list four popular Thanksgiving foods (ie. Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, Corn) by putting clip art picture of each food. Have children put their picture or name next to their favorite food for a bar graph.

Corncob Height
Measure how tall each child is by using corncobs. Create a “How Many Corncobs Tall Am I” chart to compare all children.

Sink/Float Area
Provide several objects that sink or float like corncobs, apples, seeds, sticks, beads, feathers, gourds, etc. and have children predict what will sink or float.

Gourd Observation and Sorting
Add a variety of gourds to your science area for children to observe. Children can sort the gourds into by texture: bumpy or smooth.

Thanksgiving and Turkey Motor Skills and Movement

Turkey Bowling
Fill 2-liter soda bottles halfway full with sand. Spray paint the bottles brown and add feathers. Have your children take turns using a small ball to bowl for turkeys.

Turkey Dance
Oh, you turkey to the left (two steps to left)
and you turkey to the right (two steps to right)
Then you heel and toe (do motion with foot)
and you scratch with all your might. (scratch with foot)
Now you flap your turkey wings (put thumbs in armpits and flap)
while your head goes bobble, bobble. (wobble head)
Turn around and then you say, (turn around)
“Gobble, gobble, gobble!”

The Turkey Hop
Students line up (they are the turkeys) on one side of room, and two children (who are farmers) stand in the middle of the room or area. Say the poem below and do the actions. At the end of the poem the “turkeys” run to the other side. If one of the farmers touches them, then they turn into farmers. Play until there are only one or two turkeys left.

Do the turkey hop.
Do the turkey run.
Do the turkey gobble.
It’s a lot of fun.

Now flap your wings,
Like the turkeys do.
Then run from the farmers.
Before they catch you!

Thanksgiving and Turkey Snacks

No-Bake Pumpkin Pudding
Have each child mix two tablespoons pumpkin pie filling, two tablespoons marshmallow creme, and one tablespoon whipped topping. It is fun for the children to measure and mix their pudding.

Turkey Toast
Use a large turkey shaped cookie cutter to cut out shape from wheat bread. Spread the whole shape with peanut butter. Use a raisin or chocolate chip for the eye, a slice of a red gummy worm for the wattle, and fruit loops for the tail feathers.

Other Thanksgiving and Turkey Theme Resources

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