Quick, Easy and FREE Thanksgiving Play Tips!

One of my favorite categories to use along with the Thanksgiving theme is (you guessed it!) FOOD. What a natural go-together! The basic Thanksgiving vocabulary, such as Pilgrim, Indian, log cabin, teepee, etc. can be incorporated into play based on daily routines, while actually building your little ones’ communication skills for food names, eating and drinking!

Free and easy Thanksgiving play- Looks-Like-Language!
Watch out for craft store sales to get great little props. The Pilgrims and Indians in my photo are wooden pieces that I think were meant for scrapbooking or decorating frames! Of course, raiding your children’s toys (if you are brave) or checking garage sales are other ways to get great finds. Best of all, the log cabin and teepee will cost you next to nothing! Did you figure out how they are made?

You need some internet images, an empty tissue box, and an empty toilet paper roll! For real! Oh, you need scissors, glue, and a paper clip, too. (If you want to make them really pretty and do it as a  craftivity for your students to take home, you might want to paint the tissue box and toilet paper roll brown first. I totally skipped this step!)

For the log cabin, I cut out around the opening for the tissues, leaving about a half inch of the box left to provide a sturdy frame. Glue the log cabin photo onto one side of the box and cut out the tissue box and the photo around the door frame. Bend it back so it can open and close. Add extra construction paper logs around the other sides if you’d like more detail.

For the teepee, cut along the length of the toilet paper roll to open it. Pull one set of ends together in a way to get the other ends opening up in a teepee shape. Glue or tape the skinny ends together and secure with a paper clip. Glue the teepee photo onto the toilet paper roll, aligning the openings, and cut the toilet paper roll opening to match your photo.

Voila! Instant Thanksgiving theme!

If you don’t have play figures, cut out Pilgrim and Indian finger puppets, and small pictures of the foods or target words you need to elicit and you are ready to go! Then, they can talk about who is hungry or thirsty, what food each person wants, how are they going to get it (catch the turkey, grow the pumpkin, shuck the corn) and where it goes (in the teepee or in the log cabin.) For even more fun, have your students make food from playdoh.

There’s no worries about messing up the play houses since they are so easy and inexpensive to do! But, if they do survive the play, you can store all of the picture cards, finger puppets and other play items in the tissue box until next year!
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