10 Amazing Kids’ Activities for Thanksgiving Day in Spanish
Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday growing up in the U.S. Halloween was spooky and weird; Christmas was merry but over-the-top with consumption. In contrast, Thanksgiving is a simple and beautiful holiday. No elaborate costumes or expensive gifts required here. It’s all about gathering with beloved friends and family, enjoying amazing food, and giving thanks for all we have in life.
Learning about Thanksgiving Day in Spanish is also a brilliant opportunity to teach your kids or students new vocabulary and engage in enjoyable educational activities as they prepare for the celebration.
Thanksgiving Day in Spanish: 10 Fun Activities for Kids
1. Make Salsa Picante to Share for Thanksgiving Dinner
Cooking with kids is a fabulous interactive way to learn. Best of all, you end up with a delicious dish to eat and share. Together, you can whip up a mild version of this salsa picante by using fewer peppers or none at all.
Fresh salsa is delicious with nachos or tortillas, but it can be served with just about anything. Bring the flavor of Mexico to your Thanksgiving this year! This simple salsa roja video for Spanish learners explains the ingredients in a short conversation. Plus, you can use this slide-show presentation (LINK NEEDED HERE) to practice me gusta and food vocabulary.
2. Grateful Hands
Your younger children or students can trace one of their hands on a piece of construction paper. Have them (or help them) write the sentence starter Estoy agradecido/a por ____, (which means “I give thanks for”) on the palm of their traced hand and write five things they are thankful for, one on each finger.
Older kids can instead write a journal entry with 1-2 paragraphs about what they are grateful for. After everyone has finished, the group comes together to brainstorm “all the things we give thanks for.” Keep a running list on a whiteboard or posterboard of things the kids are thankful for in Spanish.
3. Pop Quiz
Students can take this fun quiz to test their knowledge of Thanksgiving Day in Spanish.
4. Pantomime with Preschool Poems
Poem #1: Soy un Pavo
Soy un pavo. (Both hands behind back fingers up like the turkey’s tail)
Tengo una cola. (Move fingers like rustling tailfeathers)
Camino así. (Walk like a turkey; lifting feet high and bobbing head)
Soy un pavo. (repeat movements listed above)
Tengo una cola.
Y como así. (Lower head and pretend to eat)
Soy un pavo.
Tengo una cola.
Y como así.
Y hablo así: gluglú, gluglú. (Move around randomly and gobble at each other)
Poem #2: La cena
(Child 1) ¿Quieres papas? (offers potatoes)
(Child 2) Sí, gracias. (takes potatoes)
(Child 1) ¿Quieres pavo? (offers turkey)
(Child 2) ¡Qué rico! (takes turkey)
(Child 1) ¿Y ensalada? (offers salad)
(Child 2) ¡Me gusta! (takes salad)
(Child 1) ¿Y panecillo? (offers bread rolls)
(Child 2) Un poquito, por favor. (takes a bread roll)
(Together) Amigos, familia y buena comida. Damos las gracias por este día.
5. Learn 10 Ways to Say Delicious in Spanish
We eat so many delicious foods for Thanksgiving that it’s useful to know a variety of ways to say “This is yummy.”
- Qué rico.
- Me gusta mucho.
- Está excelente.
- Me fascina.
- Está buenísimo.
- Me encanta.
- Qué delicioso.
- Está riquísimo.
- Está espectacular.
- Qué sabroso.
To help promote your studies, we want to give you *FREE* Spanish coloring pages with the 10 ways to say delicious! Simply type in your name and email address below to get them delivered directly in your inbox.
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6. Sing Spanish Thanksgiving Songs
Spanish Thanksgiving songs not only teach language but also help kids express their appreciation for what is most important. Check out this bilingual Thanksgiving song for kids and the catchy tune, El Día de Acción de Gracias. Alternatively, Te damos las gracias Señor por las manos is a religious song that’s often sung during school presentations in Spanish-speaking countries. If it is consistent with your beliefs and appropriate to your teaching situation, consider sharing it with your kids.
7. Make a Thankful Tree
This tree is a wonderful Spanish Thanksgiving craft project. On each of the leaves, kids write something they are grateful for. The tree itself can be a real branch or a tree or you can make out of paper. Make the leaves using colored construction paper. The kids can add simple drawings to the leaves to remind them what the words mean, if needed.
8. Play a Gratitude Game
El viaje al jardín de la gratitud uses the thankful tree and involves acting out a journey through dangerous places to reach the gratitude garden. The game helps children understand the concept of gratitude and why it matters.
When kids make el árbol de gratitud, encourage them to draw pictures and write the words on the leaves.Their pictures representing the dangerous places can be simple drawings. Label and hang them where you will do the activity. Tell a story with the same idea before you act it out. Use stuffed animals and pictures as props. Make up a story about how the animals are lost and have to go through the danger. Practice acting out the emotions before you start. Use statements like: Estoy triste. Estoy enojado/a. Estoy de mal humor. Estoy feliz.
Dangerous places surround the garden, so you must cross one of them at a time to get to your destination. Go through the sad swamp (el pantano de la tristeza), climb a mad mountain (la montaña del enojo), and stroll through the frowning forest (el bosque del mal humor) on your way to the jardín de la gratitud.
9. Paper Plate Collage
This is a fun and easy craft where kids make a meal collage by gluing food pictures onto a paper plate. It is super simple and provides a great opportunity to speak Spanish. You can use food vocabulary as kids cut out and glue pictures from magazines—or choose from ones you prepare in advance if your children are too small to use scissors. In addition to words for individual foods (see our list below!), you can use general vocabulary like la verdura, la fruta, and el postre, as well as los colores, and me gusta or no me gusta.
10. Fruit Turkey
Last but not least, fruit turkeys make superb Spanish Thanksgiving crafts! The body of the turkey can be an apple or pear. Kids put fruit on toothpicks and use them for feathers. As you make this cute animal friend, talk about the parts of the turkey and the fruit. For the turkey, use the words el pavo, las plumas (feathers), el cuerpo (body), los ojos (eyes), and el pico (beak). The fruit vocabulary includes la manzana (or la pera), la fresa, and la uva. Use a piece of cheddar cheese for the beak.
La manzana es el cuerpo del pavo.
Vamos a hacer las plumas.
Pon una uva en el palito.
Ponle una fresa.
Es una pluma.
Thanksgiving Day in Spanish: Vocabulary
Check out these useful Spanish words and phrases that your kids or students can use while engaging in their super fun Thanksgiving Day in Spanish activities. Be aware that many of these words don’t have a cultural context outside of the U.S. and Canada, as no Spanish-speaking countries observe Thanksgiving.
El Día de Acción de Gracias – Thanksgiving Day
el noviembre – November
el jueves – Thursday
agradecido/a (por) – thankful (for)
compartir, repartir – to share
el cuerno de la abundancia, la cornucopia – cornucopia
la familia – family
el fútbol americano – football (not soccer)
gluglú gluglú – gobble gobble (turkey sound)
las gracias – thanks
el indio, la india – American Indian
el indígena americano, la indígena americana – native American
el otoño – autumn, fall
los parientes – relatives
el/la peregrino/a – pilgrim
la tradición – tradition
la cosecha – harvest
el viernes negro, el viernes de descuentos – Black Friday
ciberlunes – Cyber Monday
Tenemos mucha gratitud por todo lo que tenemos.
We are very grateful for everything we have.
Los indios de la tribu de los Wampanoag enseñaron a los peregrinos cómo sembrar maíz.
The Indians of the Wampanoag tribe taught the pilgrims how to plant corn.
El Día de Acción de Gracias se celebra el último jueves de noviembre.
Thanksgiving is on the last Thursday of November.
El Día de Acción de Gracias se celebra el segundo lunes de octubre en Canadá.
Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada.
Es divertido preparar una comida exquisita para celebrar el día con tus amigos y familiares.
It is fun to prepare a delicious meal to celebrate the day with your friends and family.
Después de la cena, vamos a ir a ver un juego de fútbol americano.
After dinner, we’ll go watch a football game.
Thanksgiving Day in Spanish: La Comida (Food)
Thanksgiving is all about gathering with family and friends to express gratitude for life—and to enjoy a banquete with lots of delicious foods. Note that the names of Thanksgiving Day foods in Spanish don’t always translate well and may not be understood in some Spanish-speaking countries due to cultural differences!
el arándano rojo – cranberry
la calabaza – pumpkin
la ensalada – salad
los frijoles – beans
el maíz – corn
el pan – bread
el pavo – turkey
el postre – dessert
el puré de patatas/papas – mashed potatoes
el relleno – stuffing
el budín, el pudín – pudding
el ñame, la batata, el boniato – yam
el panecillo – dinner roll
el pastel (o la tarta) de calabaza – pumpkin pie
el pay de manzana – apple pie
la salsa para carne – gravy
las sobras, los restos – leftovers
las verduras – vegetables
Which activities will you use from this list? What other Thanksgiving traditions can you do in Spanish with your children this year? Leave a comment and let me know!
¡Feliz Día de Gracias!
Do you want to add “Speaking Spanish with a native speaker” to your list of amazing activities for your kids to do this Thanksgiving? Sign up for a free class at Homeschool Spanish Academy!