Celebrate Thanksgiving through playful learning with these Easy Thanksgiving STEM Activities! These Thanksgiving-themed STEM activities are the perfect way to spark children's curiosity and interest in STEM concepts. Explore ideas like buoyancy using feathers, use the scientific method to predict, observe, and record your experiments, and extend these activities for endless Thanksgiving fun!
Your learners will love discovering new concepts through play as they blow, splash, and shake their way to STEM learning! Watch as they collaborate and work as a team to unlock engaging learning possibilities with these Easy Thanksgiving STEM activities.
See below to download our FREE printable!
What Are The Easy Thanksgiving STEM Activities?
The Feather Race teaches children about the power of air! Watch as students use their turkey basters to blow, blast, and scoot their feathers across the finish line. Children will love predicting how far their feathers will go with each puff of air and observing what happens to the feathers with a small breeze or a big gust of wind. This open-ended activity is a great way to introduce and reinforce simple STEM concepts in a way that is accessible to your students.
Do feathers float or sink? Test out your learners' predictions with the Feather Float experiment! Encourage children to predict what will happen to their Thanksgiving feathers once added to water. They'll love exploring their predictions and using their critical thinking skills to change the outcome of this experiment. This simple introduction to buoyancy is sure to be a splash!
Shake, dance, and jump with Butter Making! Using only a small, lidded container, heavy whipping cream, salt (optional), and lots of energy students will create their very own butter. This activity is the perfect way to incorporate movement into STEM learning. Children will love watching science happen right before their very eyes as their heavy whipping cream turns to solid butter when "churned" by their dynamic and fun movements! There's no wrong way to complete this engaging science experiment.
Why Is STEM Learning Important?
When some teachers think of STEM activities they imagine math worksheets and structured science experiments with little room for open-ended explorations or play. However, STEM activities are perfect opportunities to incorporate exploratory play into your classroom community!
STEM activities encourage students to think critically as they engage in scientific inquiry and exploration, but they also support children's natural sense of curiosity and need for collaboration. This makes STEM activities a wonderful vehicle for play. When children discover new STEM concepts together and are encouraged to explore ideas like the scientific method through open-ended experiences like these Easy Thanksgiving STEM Activities, they attach greater meaning to those concepts leading them to new realms of STEM learning! STEM activities are exciting, engaging, and full of endless play opportunities—and learning is a natural result of play.
How Can I Use This In My Lesson Plan?
These Easy Thanksgiving STEM Activities are the perfect addition to any Thanksgiving-themed lesson plan. On their own each activity supports unique and important science concepts that support open-ended learning through play. But together, each STEM activity creates an interdisciplinary learning experience where students can make meaningful connections with one another, explore fun science concepts, and put their extra energy to use all while participating in engaging STEM experiments!
For example, the Feather Race helps children understand the power of wind and air energy as they utilize turkey basters to simulate a breeze and push their feathers across the finish line! While this activity seems like a simple game, children are actually learning about the physics behind thrust and air while they interact and play with their classmates and explore the scientific method.
Just as fun as they are educational, these Easy Thanksgiving STEM Activities provide an inclusive, interdisciplinary experience, encouraging children to explore, learn, grow, and unlock worlds of playful learning!
Download our FREE printable below!
- Turkey Baster
- Water Pitcher
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Salt (optional)
- Small Containers with Lids
Give each child a turkey baster and a feather. Encourage children to squeeze their basters, creating a puff of air that will move their feathers! Using the power of air, allow the children to have a race to see who can move their feather the farthest. For a more open-ended experience, allow children to collaborate and work as a team to predict what will happen to their feathers. Ask them what a small puff of air will do their feathers compared to a strong gust of wind!
Provide the children with a bowl of water and feathers. Encourage them to add their feathers to the bowl and predict what will happen to their feathers once wet. Do feathers sink or float? Watch as your students test their predictions and explore the science concept of buoyancy!
Time to put your children's energy to good use! Provide each child with a small, lidded container. Pour a small amount of heavy whipping cream into each child's container, add salt if desired, and help them secure the lid. Encourage them to shake, jump, shimmy, and dance with their container. The more you shake the faster butter will form! Students will watch science happen before their eyes as their cream turns to butter from their own energy.
Fall into learning with fun seasonal activities and experiments! Browse our selection of related seasonal resources to encourage autumn explorations and incorporate engaging activities into your classroom.