Children’s Thanksgiving Holiday Party

How To Host A School Thanksgiving Celebration

Give some thought to all the activities you consider you can do with your students, and realize time constraints due to a short month that is already packaged with parent/teacher conferences and a week off school.

But thankfully, this project is less trouble than it sounds. Promise!

And actually, a Thanksgiving party in a classroom might be more comfortable than let’s say a Halloween party at home. Here are ways to make it effortless.

1. Limit the Menu

Second graders don’t require a roast turkey with all the trimmings, to celebrate Thanksgiving. If the concept of warming up dishes or keeping them warm stresses you out insist that all feast contributions will be served at room temperature. Create the menu with items you see your students eat every day if you’re afraid your students won’t partake such as green bean casserole or yams. Goldfish Crackers might not be a Thanksgiving dish, but they may make your pupils happy indeed.

thanksgiving girl

2. Time the Turkey (pretzels or pie)

Together with the menu, you control the intensity and the time of your feasting. Do you want your students to swap their lunch or has this been a snack supplement at the end of the day?

Is your day before Thanksgiving break a chill day for leisurely potluck celebration or a date you will need to dedicate to unit testing or a potluck party? Open your calendar, rate your schedule and permit 30 minutes to get a snack feast and an hour for a meal that is complete.


3. Send out the sign-ups

Share your menu with families and all the pupils and encourage everyone to bring something. To cover your bases of both tech-savvy and email shy parents, go for the one-two punch of online signups like SignUpGenius or and a take-home form for parents to complete and send back.

Doing both a paper and an internet sign up should maximize involvement, also the addition of things like mini water bottles, plastic forks, paper plates, and napkins.

turkey for thanksgiving party

4. Delegate responsibilities…or DIY

Just like the menu is your domain, so is the level of parental involvement. You can hand over your reliable volunteers and room parents to look after the essential tasks of the day including a parent volunteer job sign up along with your potluck wish list.

Parents can be responsible for dishing out, preparing and cleaning up. Or you may keep your feast free of families and ask parents to send in their feast contribution with their child in the morning. Select the route that is most easy for you personally.

5. Trim the tables

Thanksgiving crafts do triple duty as feast table décor, art lesson and take-home artwork for students to place on their families’ table.

6. Connect back to the curriculum program

happy thanksgiving day
A Thanksgiving lesson to tie-in with the feasting doesn’t have to be another thing to pile in your hectic curriculum. Assessing the first Thanksgiving feast between the Puritans and Wampanoag is always an excellent history lesson and opportunity to blow students’ mind (they ate deer and shellfish, not turkey!

The settlers did not wear black, white or silver buckles! You might try those 10 Thanksgiving writing prompts inspired by children’s literature or activities with history, writing and mathematics connections.

7. Make it about Gratitude

Doesn’t matter what food you have on the table wouldn’t be a Thanksgiving feast without a mealtime conversation of why we’re thankful.

8. Save a little time…and money!

For the party items that you bring to share with your students, be sure to save yourself time and get your groceries online through Walmart’s Grocery Pickup. This will keep you from that time-consuming supermarket run by shopping online and then swinging in time by Walmart you choose.

Most of all let the children have fun, and if not everything goes according to plan let it go.  There is always next year to improve upon this years.  Besides, you will have Christmas around the corner and another party to plan for your classroom.

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