Thanksgiving STEM Activities – Guest Post

STEM Thanksgiving Kids Activities

By: Erica Saint Clair, PhD

Thanksgiving is sneaking up, I mean really, it is less than a week away. Yikes! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year, mostly because it really focuses on being together, not on candy (like Halloween), or presents (like Christmas). Of course, there is only so much being together I can handle when it comes to simultaneously basting a turkey, crushing a cranberry sauce, or baking a pumpkin pie. This year I am hitting the ground running by pretesting some fun kids Thanksgiving related science and math activities.

My two girls loved these activities, and I have to admit, I loved the quite in the kitchen. Certainly that nice kitchen quiet won’t be there when Thanksgiving rolls around, but at least most of the noise will be the pots and pans clanking, and not the sibling rivalry cresting Mt Everest.

I created five fun science and math projects for kids over Thanksgiving, mainly because they use cranberries and blend in a little history of Columbus. My 4-year-old loved the cranberry engineering – she made herself a house with a deck and guest bedroom as she sat happily for half an hour (that is a minor miracle with my little people). I loved seeing her figure out how to stabilize the structure and really think about which directions she could build in.

My 8-year-old was very into the secret spy messages. Right now she is all about spy tools, we even have the Usborne Spy book with all the cool historical trade secrets, so I’m not sure why this surprised me. I love that this project really blends art and science, and we talked about the spice trade routes to mix in a little history as well. She already had some knowledge of compounds that change color with pH, so that wasn’t as much of the kicker this go around, but it was a great refresher to talk about the difference of acids and bases. What other fun science activities did we dream up? Read below for our list. If you want to learn the science click on the links – I went through everything from the chemistry of acid-base reactions to the physics of bubbles in water.

Thanksgiving Science projects

5 Cool Thanksgiving Science Projects to do at Home

  1. Calibrate your oven with sugar glass

    Delicious, not nutritious. Learn how to use sugar to find out if your oven is at the temperature it says it is.

  2. Learn the tablecloth trick

    A tricky trick that can cause a whole lot of giggles.

  3. Mix up dancing corn

    Perfect for the gross motor mixer in your family!

  4. Engineer pilgrim houses or ships

    Blend math, science, and engineering with just a bag of cranberries and a box of toothpicks.

  5. Write a secret message

    Create your own invisible ink to reveal with friends.

Looking for more fun science activities for kids that are free, fun, well explained, and downloadable? Check out our Mini-Maker page to see our library and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on all the activities we release!

Erica Saint Clair, PhD
Senior Curriculum Creator
Rosie Research | Sleuth through Science p. 206-371-6947

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  1. Susan Campbell says:

    These are some good ideas. Entertaining the kids can be a problem while awaiting the feast!!

  2. Amber Ludwig says:

    These are too fun!! My son has an extra day off this week and Im like oh no what am I going to do lol!! These sound like perfect fun!

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