I've rounded up 29 free Thanksgiving activities that are easy for you to share in teletherapy.
This year the search is on for activities to share online... no-prep or easy peasy low-prep activities to simplify your pre-Thanksgiving sessions. So I've gathered some fresh ideas for you, with an emphasis on engaging activities that are quick and easy to share online with your preschool and elementary teletherapy students.
If you've been hanging out with me for a while, you know I love literacy-based therapy, so let's...
Start with at least one great Thanksgiving storybook
Here are my favorite picture books for preschool and early grades. I highly recommend you get a copy of the book to share. In teletherapy, you can show it with your document camera (you can use your iPhone for this in Zoom), or an Osmo.
But in case you can't find a hard copy, I'm linking some read-alouds on Youtube for you. Keep in mind, these links are working as I write this, but if you find one that doesn't work later on, please let me know in a comment.
- Turkey Trouble by Wendy Silvano. Here's another great reading of Turkey Trouble on Storyline Online that includes subtitles.
- Bear Gives Thanks by Karma Wilson
- Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dave Pilky
- A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman
- There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey by Lucille Collandro
Head over to this post to read more about these books and how to use them in therapy:
- Yummy Yucky by Leslie Patricelli is perfect for categorization of food/ not food and initial /j/ because yummy and yucky repeat.
- Llama Llama Yum Yum Yum by Anna Dewdney has lots of food vocabulary to talk about. This reading includes picture symbols too.
- The Scarecrow by Beth Ferry and the Fan Brothers gives lots of repetition of /sk/ and is a sweet story about friendship.
- When the Leaf Blew In by Steve Metzger is fun for cause and effect, sequencing, and /l/ and l-blends.
- Leaf Trouble by Caitlyn Griffiths is a story about a little squirrel who is worried about the leaves falling. It's great for answering "What happened?", the concept of "down" and color words.
Add a couple online games:
- The Owlies by Happy Clicks is a wordless video with colorful cartoon Owls for littles. Talk about colors, sizes, night/dark and where did they go?
- Counting Crops Game by Toy Theatre is perfect for talking about different fruit and vegetables. Describe them, categorize them, count them, and then have fun watching the tractor "pop" them as it gathers them up.
- Thanksgiving Crossword Puzzle by ABCya is great to play online and then talk about Thanksgiving day vocabulary.
- Thanksgiving Memory Game by Squigly's Playhouse I like this game for vocabulary and articulation practice too.
Just for Fun, Motivational Games
Mix it with Video Stories, Songs, and Movement Breaks:
- Thanksgiving Story for Kids by Kids Academy I like the slow pace of this story which makes it easy for you to pause and discuss.
- The Story of Thanksgiving by Zebtoonz A cartoon retelling of the first Thanksgiving as told by the main character "Plymouth Rock." There are mentions of God in this video, so check with your school's policies on religious references in your lessons.
- Thanksgiving Feast by the Learning Station is a nice slow-paced song to the tune of Frere Jacque that your preschools can sing along with. Lots of food vocabulary.
- A Turkey Dance by the Learning Station will get your elementary kids up for a movement break!
- Scarecrow Song by the Learning Station is a movement break song that's sung to the tune of Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Turn Around. It starts out slow and speeds up, so with preschoolers, you may only want to do the first 2-3 repetitions. Work on body parts, s-blends, final ch, and r-blends (It repeats scarecrow, touch, and ground).
- Hot Potato by Dance 'n Beats Lab is a fun dance movement break for little ones. It would be extra fun to have your parents pop a potato in the microwave 10 minutes before this break. (Not tooo hot of course!) Sing and dance with the video, then explore your hot potato. How does it feel? What can you do with it?
And add a dash of spice with free Boom Cards!
- Open-ended Turkey Race by the Speech Vine is a 2-player game. Use an online spinner or dice to see how many turkeys each player collects.
- Create a Scene Thanksgiving Dinner by The Artsy Teacher is great for giving and following directions. Have your kids place the items in the position you name: on, under, next to, between. Work on Where questions too: Where is the ___?
- Spot the Not Thanksgiving Cupcakes by Teacher Dada is a simple "spot the one that is different" activity.
- There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Turkey Boom Cards by Cara Brennan, SLP Grab the book, read the story, and use this deck as you read. Your students choose the item that the old lady swallowed from a choice of three.
- Pumpkin Feelings by Autism Little Learners targets feelings words. Children look at the cute animated pumpkin's expression, then find the matching expression/ feeling from a choice of three.
- Would You Rather by Speech Bop. Great for answering Why? questions and conversational articulation practice.