Thanksgiving Poems for Kids

Child at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving poems for kids can be original poems or traditional poetry. Reading and/or writing thanksgiving poems is a great way to celebrate this fun-filled holiday. There are, of course, tried and true favorites like John Greenleaf Whitter's "The Pumpkin", but one of the true joys of the holidays is discovering new ways to look at the world and new, original poetry is the perfect way to start.

Original Children's Poems About Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of America's favorite holidays, filled with good food, family, and friends. While children typically learn about the Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving celebration at school, they may not truly understand what gratitude is all about, particularly younger children. Thanksgiving poems for kids provide a wonderful teaching opportunity for parents and teachers to use with children by encouraging kids to express their knowledge of the history of this special day and asking them to get creative with their own original poetry projects.

Historical Perspective

This poem can be used at home to teach your children about the first Thanksgiving or in a classroom setting to help kids remember the facts of this historic event and why we celebrate it today.

The Pilgrims' ship had sailed across the sea
You see, to worship their way, they had to be free

The land was foreign and friends were few
The Pilgrims had left everything they knew

Samoset the Indian taught them how to sow seeds
He knew when winter came, food they would need

Thanks to his help, 1621's fall brought a big harvest
They now had no worries that they would starve

To celebrate this great victory and show they were thankful
They invited the Indians to share in a food-filled table

They played games like Blind Man's Bluff
There was plenty to do and eat, each person had enough

The tradition was started on this day
Americans still celebrate in this way

Favorite Things About Thanksgiving

This poem is fun to read to the children present at a Thanksgiving dinner or to a classroom of youngsters to remind them of the best parts of the holiday and the many things they have to be thankful for.

Favorite dessert and favorite cousins
Grandma Mary who calls us "youngins"

Family visiting from out of state
Watching football with Uncle Nate

Pumpkins on the doorstep and in the oven
The house is filled with the smell of turkey stuffin'

Round the table the conversation goes
The words of thankfulness hit a crescendo

Thank you for my favorite dessert and my cousins
Thank you for Grandma Mary who calls us "youngins"

Thank you for family from out of state
Thank you for time spent watching football with Uncle Nate

Thank you for pumpkins on the doorstep and in the oven
Thank you for the smell of that turkey stuffin'

Thank you for another good Thanksgiving
This isn't a year we'll soon be forgetting

To Perform

If you teach preschool age or kindergarten children, you may need a poem for a performance. It can also be fun to get the young kids at a family dinner together and teach them a poem and then have them perform it for the adults present. These are the moments everyone will remember for years to come.

Gobble Gobble

Gobble gobble, turkey day (put right hand up behind head and wiggle fingers like you are wearing feathers)
Lots of pie to put away (make the motion of eating a pie with a fork)

Turkey, dressing, fresh yellow corn (cross arms and act as if you are holding something)
We'll be full till Christmas morn (rub tummy with right hand as though stomach is full)

Falling leaves, fresh crisp apples (start with both hands over the head and bring them down, wiggling fingers to show leaves falling)
Full of smiles, pumpkins dappled (put forefinger on each side of mouth and smile big)

Thank you thank you for it all (hold palms flat against mouth and bring them down to waist length with palms now facing up - repeat)
Thanksgiving Day, we'll have a ball (put hands on hips and left foot out)

Just for Fun

This poem is just to remind young children about the best parts of Thanksgiving. Use it in a classroom or at home with your own young children.

Time for Turkey

It's time for turkey
gobble gobble

It's time for pumpkins
orange and fat

It's time for family
brothers, sisters

It's time for thank you
for this and that

It's time for turkey
gobble gobble it all up!

Encourage Your Child to Create a Poem

Once your kids get an idea of what thanksgiving poetry is like, invite them to create their own poems. The following activities will get them started.

  • Before they begin writing, ask them to brainstorm.
  • Graphic organizers are a great way for kids to organize their thoughts.
  • Ask them to jot down what they are thankful for, and then ask them why they are thankful for each of these things.
  • They can then focus on individual topics, such as family, friends, pets, food, homes, etc. or create a broader poem.
  • Once they've written their rough drafts, it's time to fine tune their poems.
  • Ask them to illustrate the borders of the poetry with drawings of the items or people for which they are thankful. The more color the better!

Create a Unique Family Poem on Thanksgiving Day

Once you've tried these poems, mark the day of Thanksgiving with a unique poem that represents just your crew. Invite all of the dinner guests, children and adults, to name at least one person or thing for which they are thankful. Have one person record all the statements and create a wonderful Thanksgiving poem to be read at next year's dinner.

Thanksgiving Poems for Kids