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18 Thanksgiving Science Activities

18 Thanksgiving Science Activities

Thanksgiving is just around the corner!

Our mouths are salivating for the turkey, the stuffing, and the sweet potato casserole – was there ever a better excuse for having dessert as your veggies?

Anywhoo, Blaine and I don’t do much of the cooking or cleaning up at our annual Sassafras Thanksgiving Feast. Our job is to entertain all the little guys from our ever-growing clan.

It’s not that hard to do now that we have a few good stories to tell! But we find that adding a bit of hands-on science fun really seals the deal for our "Best Cousins Ever" award.

This Thanksgiving, we wanted to share the love and help you to win your "Best (Mom, Dad, Aunt, Uncle, Grandparent, or Stranger who came to Dinner) Award!"

Here are eighteen Thanksgiving science activities Blaine and I have on our lists...

(And if need a few more holiday science ideas for the post-turkey days, check out 25 Activities for Christmas Science!)

18 Thanksgiving Science Activities

We have grouped these activities in threes around the typical Thanksgiving feast/fall-ish supplies. So chances are, you already have the stuff in your cabinet or just outside to do most or all of these!

We also sprinkled in a few videos in case you need a sanity break! Let’s get onto the Thanksgiving science…


 #1 – Bust the tryptophan myth. {Video}

#2 – Learn more about turkeys.

#3 – Take a post-meal walk to look for turkeys (and other nature subjects)!


#4 – Learn about pumpkins.

#5 – Explode a pumpkin.

#6 – Dissolve candy pumpkins.


#7 – Test to see if cranberries sink or float.

#8 – Make some cranberry spy juice.

#9 – Use cranberry juice to test kitchen acids and bases.


#10 – Learn about the science of popcorn. {Video}

#11 – Make corn dance.

#12 – Have a candy corn catapult battle.


#13 – Learn about acorns.

#14 – Dissect an acorn.

#15 – Test if acorns sink or float.


#16 – Learn why leaves fall.

#17 – Do some leaf chromatography.

#18 – Make a fall leaf book.

Add a bit of science fun to your holiday celebrations with these 18 Thanksgiving science activities.

Wrapping It Up

There you have it—eighteen of our best ideas for Thanksgiving science activities!!

We hope you have as much fun as we do this coming Thursday! 

Blaine & Tracey Sassafras

**Image Attributions Links: Turkey Cartoon ImageTurkey Image, and Cranberries Image. All other images are the property of Elemental Science, Inc.

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