History of Thanksgiving

Symbols of Thanksgiving by Becka V.

Did you know… 

Thanksgiving has been observed as a national holiday since Lincoln’s presidency!

Activity: Make a Symbolic Thanksgiving Centerpiece

You’ll need: 
  • A recycled container (oatmeal, coffee can, vegetable/fruit can, etc.)
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • White glue
  • Hot glue
  • Symbols of Thanksgiving
  • Basic craft supplies – paint, paint brushes, markers, stencils, feathers, Thanksgiving stickers, etc.
Optional Items: Fabric, foam pumpkin and seasonal flora (available at craft store), cardboard box, lump of clay, a block of floral foam or half of a foam ball, skewers, craft sticks, or toothpicks (paint with acrylic paint if desired)
Note: Before using a recycled can, tap down sharp edges with a hammer.

Symbols of Thanksgiving may include, but are not limited to:

Turkeys, leaves, pumpkins, beans, corn, cranberries, nuts, cornucopia, shells, pilgrims, Native Americans, Mayflower, “Tree of Thanks”, etc.
Any of the following can be used for your symbols: 

Hand-drawn/painted art, pictures clipped from magazines, construction paper cutouts, stencils, stickers, clip art, painted clay objects, etc.

What to do:

Set up:
  • Cover your recycled container with construction paper or fabric and glue it to the container or cut the the top off of a foam pumpkin.
Option #1 Pictured above

After choosing our symbols, we decided to use them in the way pictured above. 
The pilgrim hat became our base, and we used it to store our pre-made leaves, glue, and markers. 

When visitors or family members want to add to our “Tree of Thanks”, the leaves are ready to be filled-in and added to the tree. 

Everyone can participate in this activity by writing or drawing what they feel thankful to have in their lives.

Option #2
  • If you are going to place your symbols inside the container, hot glue the block of floral foam or a foam ball cut in half to the inside the container, or stick a lump of clay on the bottom of it. Use foam if you are using a pumpkin.
  • Make the desired amount of double-sided skewers with a holiday symbol.
  • Arrange the skewers and cut them to the desired length with a scissor.

Tip: If you decide to use pictures cut from a magazine, and you only have one of each, put a piece of construction paper behind the picture and cut around it – leave a little bit of the paper showing. 

If you use graphics or clip art, make two of each one (one should be reversed or a “mirror” image of the other), and glue a skewer or craft stick between them.

Note: If you have a container with a lid, poke holes in the lid to put the skewers through it, and decorate the lid in a way that hides it. Hay, Spanish moss, corn husks, leaves, or some other item of your choosing can be used to do this.

Put your Thanksgiving centerpiece out where everyone can enjoy it.

Question of the day:

What president designated the fourth Thursday of the month of November, the official day to celebrate Thanksgiving, and in what year did Congress approve this date?

Learn more:

Scholastic’s: The First Thanksgiving
t was it like for the pilgrims when they came to America?

Thanksgiving as a National Holiday
When did Thanksgiving become an official national holiday?

Thanksgiving Crafts and Decorations for Kids
Fun and easy Thanksgiving activities

DLTK: Thanksgiving Activities
Thanksgiving: Coloring sheets, crafts, poems, games and puzzles, recipes and more.
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