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3 Thanksgiving science activities you don't want to miss this year

November 23, 2020 2 min read

Looking for ideas to add some science into your Thanksgiving plans? Here are three to get you started, plus links to loads more.

Thanksgiving is almost upon us!

Bring on the turkey, the sweet potato casserole, the pumpkin pie, and . . . the science!

In honor of the upcoming holiday, I wanted to share with you all three Thanksgiving science activities that you can enjoy after the clean-up is done.

On to the thanksgiving science activities...

3 Thanksgiving Science Ideas 

#1 – Take a post-meal nature walk.

3 Thanksgiving science activities you can use to add a bit of science fun to your holiday.

Let’s face it, we all eat too much at Thanksgiving. I don’t know about you, but my weakness is sweet potato casserole. It’s like eating dessert as your vegetable, which is just awesome!

So, after you have consumed a day’s worth of calories in one sitting, you can definitely use a walk. Why not take that walk in a local park or nearby woods? That way you can sprinkle some science into the moment.

As you walk, you can look for and discuss the different fall leaves, acorns, cones, and squirrels, which are all great nature study subjects for fall.

#2 – Debunk the Tryptophan Myth.

Have you heard before that the tryptophan in turkey is the cause of the traditional post-meal nap? This is actually a myth!

In fact, the chicken you eat on a more regular basis has more tryptophan in it than turkey does. The more likely cause of the Thanksgiving post-meal sleepiness is the abundance of food that you just consumed. Your body diverts blood to your digestive system to handle the food, which causes you to be sleepy.

Mythbusters explored this very myth in episode 196: Food Fables. You can sit down and watch the episode together, just make sure you keep pinching one another so you can stay awake!

Or you can watch the following video that busts the tryptophan myth:

#3 – Do some seasonal science experiments.

If a walk in not in the cards because of weather or {ahem} other reasons and you already know all about the tryptophan myth, you can choose to do a few seasonal science experiments

Here are a few of our favorites:


Whether you take a nature walk, debunk the tryptophan myth, or do a few seasonal science experiments, I trust that you will enjoy these thanksgiving science ideas for years to come!

Need a few more? Here you go...

Leave a comment below to share your experiences with these activities or to ask any questions you have. 

3 Thanksgiving science ideas from Elemental Science, plus links to even more

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