This week you and your child will celebrate Thanksgiving!
- Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful. Today many people celebrate it by eating a big dinner with friends and family.
- Many families eat turkey, vegetables, and pumpkin pie.
- Many years ago, the Pilgrims at Plymouth and the Wampanoag Indians celebrated a thanksgiving feast together.
- The pilgrims were thankful for the help of the Wampanoag, and their good friend Squanto, a Patuxet Indian, who gave them seeds and taught them how to plant them.
- There were 51 colonists and 91 American Indians at that first feast, and it lasted three days.
- The American Indians lived in America before the Pilgrims came.
- The Pilgrims came across the ocean to have a better life
- The Pilgrims and the Indians both dressed and lived differently from the way we do today.
- The Wampanoag taught the Pilgrims how to grow and use many foods that were new to them – corn, berries, squash, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, beans, and maple syrup.
Follow Your Child’s Daily Routine When You Are Away
If you are traveling, you may not be able to do all the activities, but print them off and bring them with you, along with some materials for the craft projects. Your child, and any nieces and nephews at the family gathering, may enjoy the activities. Be flexible, but at the same time, try to stick as closely to your child’s routine as possible. If you don’t, temper tantrums and tears may be the only thing anyone remembers.
Learn About American Indian Cultures
Be careful not to perpetuate misleading stereotypes. Not all Indians lived in wigwams, wore buckskin, or carried their babies in cradleboards. If you wish to teach your child about American Indians, it is better to teach about several different tribes and how their customs varied, than to teach “All American Indians are “this”.
I also learned that Columbus did not label them “Indian” because he thought he’d reached India! That was a myth perpetuated by our public schools. Europe didn’t call India “India” until several hundred years AFTER Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Columbus would have called India “Hindustan”. He knew he was in a new land, and he called the native peoples he met “En Dios” – which translates as “In with God”.
Five-Star Picture Books on Thanksgiving
- Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern
- …If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 by Ann McGovern
- The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks by Jan Berenstain
- Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac
- Saying Grace: A Prayer of Thanksgiving by Virginia Kroll
- Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes
- The First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story by Laura Krauss
- Thank You for Thanksgiving by Dandi Daley Mackall
- The Star People: A Lakota Story by S.D. Nelson
- Tapenum’s Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times by Kate Waters
Quality Toys and Gifts for Thanksgiving Week (optional)
- A Classic Thanksgiving: We Gather Together CD
- Beethoven for Babies: Brain Training for Little Ones CD
- Gund Gobbles Wodden Puzzle
- Pilgrim Girl dress-up costume
- Indian Boy dress-up costume
- Little People Thanksgiving Celebration Fisher-Price
Thanks for visiting, and I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!