Water play is such a soothing activity to incorporate into playtime and learning. When you add elements to make sensory soup you also add the opportunity for pretend play. In the past we’ve made various holiday-inspired water play bins. This Thanksgiving sensory soup idea incorporates some of the common symbols of Thanksgiving, and it led to a lot of play and learning during our Thanksgiving theme.
GET A FULL WEEK OF THANKSGIVING THEME ACTIVITIES IN OUR PRINTABLE PRESCHOOL LESSON PLANS.
We started with a bin of water, large spoons, real cranberries, plastic mini pumpkins, and Indian corn. If your school does not allow you to use real food or you’d just rather not use food for play, then the cranberries can easily be substituted for red beads or plastic cranberries found in the holiday section at a local store. But we did use these cranberries when we were done, so if that’s an option read on to find out what we did with them after playtime.
Tinker slowly started by adding the individual ingredients to the soup. As she did she observed to see which items would float and which would sink. When there were just a few items in the soup she used her spoon to see how many cranberries she could scoop up at a time. Then she would count them, spontaneously incorporating counting and one-to-one correspondence into play.
Next she started to sprinkle in handful of the ingredients and really get “cooking”.
Once the soup was ready she served up bowls for some of the neighborhood kids who stopped by to see what she was playing with outside.
After everyone was served she spent some time plunging her hands into the sensory soup and playing with the individual ingredients.
This exploration led to her investigating the inside of the cranberries. She realized they could be squished and that red juice would squirt out. As we discussed these qualities we discussed many vocabulary words to describe what she was observing.
She also opened a few of them to observe and compare the inside.
We didn’t want our cranberries to go to waste, so we scattered some in our flower beds and left a container of them near a bird feeder so that the birds and other yard animals could have a special treat. The girls loved seeing that the berries quickly disappeared over the next couple of days.
GET A FULL SET OF THANKSGIVING THEME ACTIVITIES
The 159-page Thanksgiving Lesson Plan Set includes hands-on activities and these additional printables:
1) Pumpkin Pie Letter Matching (in color and b/w)
2) Rhyming Turkey Game
3) Turkey Color Sorting Mats (in color and b/w)
4) Turkey Counting Mats 1-20 (in color and b/w)
5) Look at the Turkey Emergent Reader (3 variations)
6) How to Make a Pumpkin Pie Sequencing Cards (in color and b/w)
7) 0-35 Turkey Number Cards (4 variations)
8) Phoneme Segmentation Turkey Activity
9) Thanksgiving Taste Test Recording Sheet (in color and b/w)
10) Thanksgiving Picture-Word Cards (in color and b/w)
11) Thanksgiving Roll and Graph (2 variations, in color and b/w)
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.