Learn some Thanksgiving Fun Facts For Kids of all ages! We're sharing the history of the holiday along with some other fun trivia questions and interesting facts.
These Thanksgiving fun facts for kids are a great way to understand the history of Thanksgiving as well as share some great Thanksgiving trivia at your next gathering!
Thanksgiving happens towards the end of the Autumn season in the Northern Hemisphere, and the Spring season in the Southern Hemisphere.
There is all kinds of Thanksgiving fun for kids including a number of crafts, games, coloring pages, and art projects
Before we jump right in, you will not want to miss our November Fun Facts!
When is Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the United States. It occurs on the fourth Thursday of November. President franklin d. roosevelt moved it up a week, but ultimately it landed on the last Thursday of November
Thanksgiving is celebrated in Canada on the second Monday of October each year.
Why Do We Celebrate Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving is the celebration by both the United States and Canada of the harvests and blessings from the past year.
The gathering of family and friends around the table to enjoy a feast is modeled after the first Thanksgiving feast more than 300 years ago. The best way to understand the annual holiday is to look at the past.
Below you will find the history of Thanksgiving and some fun facts that are sure to win you some serious points at the next Thanksgiving Trivia Game.
History of Thanksgiving
Let's start at the beginning and move our way forward.
All About Thanksgiving For Kids
In 1620, the Pilgrims (approximately 100 people) left England looking for religious freedom and sailed to the New World. They landed on the shores of Massachusetts and settled in a colony in New England.
During an earlier voyage, John Smith, the same John Smith that had his life saved by Pocahontas, had visited and named the same area of Massachusetts Plymouth. He named it after the Plymouth port he set sail from in England. The Pilgrims decided to keep the name.
The first settled colony was in Jamestown, 12 years earlier by John Smith (yep, same one). The creation of the two colonies (Jamestown, Virginia, and Plymouth, Massachusetts) started the English settlement in North America.
America's First Thanksgiving
After the Pilgrim's first successful harvest in the Fall of 1621, they wanted to have a celebratory feast. They invited their Native American allies, the Wampanoag Indians.
Many of the Pilgrim women perished on the ride over on the Mayflower, and so it is believed that there was only a hand full of women at the first Thanksgiving.
The feast was said to have lasted three days. While they do not know exactly what was on the menu, based on some found journals of Pilgrim men, the Thanksgiving meal consists of venison (deer/elk), goose, duck, oysters, lobster, muscles, eel, corn, pumpkin, and fruits (raspberries, grapes, plums, and of course cranberries).
Thanksgiving Fun Facts
- President George Washington was the first president to call for a national day of Thanksgiving on the last Thursday in November.
- Sarah Josepha Hale, the author of the famous "Mary Had A Little Lamb", lobbied to make Thanksgiving a national holiday for over 17 years.
- President Abraham Lincoln declared it a National Holiday in 1863.
- The first Thanksgiving football game was a college match between Yale and Princeton in 1876.
- The week of Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times of the year.
- Breaking the wishbone for good luck dates back to the Ancient Romans.
- Black Friday marks the day after Thanksgiving and kicks off the Christmas shopping season.
- “Jingle Bells” was originally a Thanksgiving song! The song was created in 1857 about children celebrating Thanksgiving. Not soon after was associated with Christmas and so two years later, the title was changed from One Horse Open Sleigh to Jingle Bells.
- About 50 million pumpkin pies are eaten each year during Thanksgiving dinner.
- The first TV dinner came from Thanksgiving leftovers. A Swanson employee ordered too many turkeys and so they decided to package individual dinners with all the fixings in aluminum trays and viola, TV dinners were started!
The First Thanksgiving Facts
- Any sugar that was brought over on the Mayflower was sure to be gone by the time of the first Thanksgiving feast. Therefore there were no baked goods (pumpkin pie) or jams (cranberry sauce)
- Fish was plentiful in Plymouth and believed to be a large portion of the feast.
- Potatoes (both white potatoes and sweet potatoes) had not yet been brought to America at the first feast. They originated in South America (most likely Peru) but had not made their way by 1621.
- There were approximately 150 people at the first Thanksgiving. There were approximately 50 Pilgrims (25 adults & 25 children) and a little less than 100 Native Americans.
- Wild turkeys are native to North America. They were NOT part of the first meal.
- The U.S. has four towns named "Turkey". They are located in Texas, North Carolina, Louisana, and Arizona.
- President John F. Kennedy was the first president to pardon a turkey in 1963.
- Every president since pardons one turkey
- 88% of Americans have Turkey on Thanksgiving according to the National Turkey Federation
- According to the US Dept of Agriculture, Minnesota raises the most turkeys. They produce over 40 million turkeys.
- Benjamin Franklin wished that the national bird was not a bald eagle but rather a turkey!
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
- The first Macy’s thanksgiving day parade was in 1924 in New York City.
- There were no balloons at the first parade. There were elephants, bears, camels, and monkeys borrowed from the Central Park Zoo
- The first oversized balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade debuted in 1927
- The oldest balloon in Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade is the Snoopy balloon.
- Over 50 million people watch the parade each year.
Other Fun Thanksgiving Activities
Thanksgiving is a great time for gathering and giving thanks. We have a bunch of different activities that will be fun for the whole family this Thanksgiving.
We have a number of different crafts that are great for Thanksgiving.
- Thanksgiving Free Printable Coloring Pages
- Coloring Thanksgiving Placemats
- Happy Thanksgiving Coloring Pages
- November Coloring Page
Download Free November Facts Infographic
Enter your first name and email address to download the free Thanksgiving Facts pdf file.
CONNECT WITH MADE WITH HAPPY!
Be sure to follow me on social media, so you never miss a post!
Find and shop my favorite products in my Amazon storefront here!