Toddler Toys

Toddler Toys Logo

Fun Facts About the First Thanksgiving for Kids

Fun Facts About the First Thanksgiving for Kids

Thanksgiving is more than just a day to eat delicious food. It’s a time to reflect on the past and be grateful. A few fun facts about the first Thanksgiving for kids can add an educational and entertaining touch to your holiday celebrations.

The journey of the Pilgrims from England to America aboard the Mayflower ship is an exciting tale of courage and hope. Imagine being on a ship for months, facing storms and uncertainty, all in search of a place where you can freely practice your beliefs. That’s the adventurous spirit that led the Pilgrims to the shores of Massachusetts in 1620.

The Pilgrims’ Journey

In 1620, a group of Pilgrims sailed on a ship called the Mayflower from England to America. The journey was long and challenging. However, these brave men, women, and children were in search of a new home where they could have the freedom to practice their beliefs. Storms tossed the ship, and the Pilgrims faced seasickness and cramped conditions.

Despite the hardships, their determination and dreams of a new beginning kept them going. Landing on the unfamiliar shores of America, they faced a harsh winter. But the Pilgrims’ resilience paved the way for the history-making events to come.

pilgrims and native americans

Arrival in America

After a tough journey across the Atlantic Ocean, the Pilgrims landed in what is now Massachusetts. They didn’t step onto a welcoming paradise. The harsh New England winter took a toll on their health, and many fell ill. However, the Wampanoag Indians, the Native Americans living in the area, played a crucial role in the Pilgrims’ survival.

The friendly encounter with a Native American named Squanto was a turning point. Squanto taught the Pilgrims essential skills, such as cultivating crops and fishing, ensuring they could sustain themselves in their new home.

The Native American Connection

Friendship and cooperation between the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians were key to the success of the first Thanksgiving. Squanto’s knowledge of the land and agriculture helped the Pilgrims plant crops and learn to fish, ensuring they had enough food for the upcoming winter.

The Wampanoag also introduced the Pilgrims to new foods like corn, beans, and squash, which became staples in the first Thanksgiving feast. The unity between these two groups exemplifies the importance of cooperation and understanding in overcoming challenges.

The First Harvest

After a year of hard work and collaboration with the Wampanoag, the Pilgrims experienced a bountiful harvest in the fall of 1621. Grateful for the abundance and wanting to express their thanks, they decided to celebrate with a three-day feast. This wasn’t just a meal; it was a joyous occasion where Pilgrims and Wampanoag came together to share food, stories, and laughter.

The first Thanksgiving wasn’t just about survival; it was a celebration of friendship and the fruitful results of cooperation between two different communities.

Fun Facts About the First Thanksgiving for Kids

Thanksgiving story

Now, let’s explore some fascinating details that will make the first Thanksgiving come alive for kids. Explore fun facts about the first Thanksgiving for kids and make learning history enjoyable!

1. The Menu

One of the most interesting and fun facts about the first Thanksgiving for kids is the menu, which was much more diverse than just turkey. While they did enjoy wild turkey, the Pilgrims and Wampanoag also had venison or deer meat, fish, shellfish, corn, beans, squash, and delicious berries. Imagine not using forks at the dinner table – Pilgrims and Wampanoag used their hands or simple utensils like spoons and knives. And forget about watching football; they played running races and wrestling instead!

2. No Forks!

Back in the Pilgrims’ time, forks were not commonly used. So, at the first Thanksgiving, everyone gathered around the table, using their hands or basic utensils like spoons and knives to enjoy the feast. It adds a fun and messy twist to the image of digging into a pumpkin pie with fingers instead of a fork, doesn’t it? The simplicity of their utensils reflects the straightforward and practical way of life in the 17th century.

3. Football? Not Exactly!

While many families today enjoy watching football on Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims and Wampanoag had their own version of fun and games. Picture this – instead of cheering for touchdowns, they engaged in running races and wrestling matches. It’s a playful reminder that entertainment has evolved over the centuries, and the first Thanksgiving was filled with laughter, friendly competition, and a sense of community.

4. Pilgrim Fashion

The list of fun facts about the first Thanksgiving for kids also includes information on the Thanksgiving attire. Fashion in the 17th century was a far cry from the trendy outfits we see today. Pilgrims dressed in simple, dark-colored clothing adorned with white collars and cuffs. No frills, no sneakers – just practical attire suitable for their daily lives. Imagining yourself in Pilgrim fashion adds a touch of historical flair to the festivities. It makes the first Thanksgiving a unique and memorable experience.

5. Mayflower, the Tiny Ship

The Mayflower may sound grand, but it was a relatively small ship, measuring only about 100 feet in length. Picture it – over 100 passengers, supplies, and dreams of a new life crammed into a space smaller than many houses today. The journey across the vast Atlantic Ocean was no small feat. It truly highlighted the courage and determination of the Pilgrims as they sought a better future.

6. Thanksgiving Proclamation

Another addition to the list of fun facts about the first Thanksgiving for kids is the Thanksgiving proclamation. Thanksgiving as a national holiday did not happen overnight. It was not until 1863, during the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln officially proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday. Before that, different states and regions celebrated it at various times.

Knowing this fact adds a layer of historical significance to the holiday. It reminds us that traditions can evolve over time and become integral parts of our national identity.


As we gather around the table with our loved ones, let’s not forget to delve into these fun facts about the first Thanksgiving for kids. May we reflect on the incredible journey of the Pilgrims, the generosity of the Wampanoag, and the spirit of the first Thanksgiving. The simple yet profound act of sharing a meal paved the way for a tradition that continues to bring families together every November.

So, with hearts full of gratitude and plates full of delicious food, we celebrate the legacy of the first Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving, and may the spirit of unity and thankfulness endure for generations to come!

Picture of Sarah


Sign up for our Newsletter