From cranberries to corn, to pumpkins and more… Thanksgiving STEM activities, including turkey STEM activities, are abundant! I know it seems like you are all ready to jump ahead to Christmas planning once Halloween passes. Don’t miss out on these Thanksgiving science activities this season that are totally doable! It’s the perfect side dish for your lesson plans or weekend activity. 


Explore STEM For Thanksgiving

Want to do something different for your Thanksgiving activities this year?  No turkey crafts found here!  Instead, our Thanksgiving STEM activities and Thanksgiving science experiments are fun, easy to set up, and not time-consuming.

You can pick up all the materials you need when you do your Thanksgiving dinner shopping! These Thanksgiving theme activities are also great family ideas for Thanksgiving day or for keeping the kids busy while you are in the kitchen.

Any holiday is a perfect opportunity for creating simple but AMAZING theme STEM activities. Thanksgiving presents a few fun opportunities for neat ways to explore science and STEM all month long with a harvest theme. From pumpkin volcanos to cranberry structures to homemade butter and more!

Thanksgiving STEM…

  • Kids love and it gets them learning!
  • Theme science and yet you can still work with your NGSS (Next generation Science Standards)
  • Works well for kindergarten, preschoolers, elementary and even up to middle school.
  • Explore chemistry and physics with easy to set up and inexpensive science activities.

Each year we add to our collection of Thanksgiving science experiments and STEM activities. This year is no exception and we have a fun line up to share, including a few fun slime recipes. Slime is AMAZING chemistry!

We also love to explore physics and chemistry through reactions, forces, states of matter, and more good science-y stuff. In fact, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to enjoy simple science experiments at home or in the classroom.

Why Is Science So Important?

Kids are curious and always looking to explore, discover, check out, and experiment to find out why things do what they do, move like they move, or change like they change! Holidays or special occasions just make science all the more fun to try!

Science surrounds us, inside and out. Kids love checking things out with magnifying glasses, creating chemical reactions with kitchen ingredients, and of course exploring stored energy! Check out 100+ genius STEM projects to get started any time of the year including the other “big” days.

Science starts early, and you can be a part of that with setting up science at home with everyday materials. Or you can bring easy science to a group of kids! We find a ton of value in cheap science activities and experiments.

Helpful STEM Resources To Get You Started

Here are a few resources that will help you introduce STEM more effectively to your kiddos or students and feel confident yourself when presenting materials. You’ll find helpful free printables throughout.

Get your FREE printable Thanksgiving STEM Projects

Thanksgiving STEM Activities

Holiday science like these Thanksgiving science activities should be fun and stress-free for everyone! Click on the links below to read more about each Thanksgiving STEM project.


Complete with a menu to download, this STEMs-Giving is all about hands-on learning with food science! To learn how to plan a STEMS-Giving,click here to read more.

Pumpkin Volcano

Kids love the excitement of a volcano science activity, so we challenged ourselves to make a pumpkin volcano perfect for a fall or Thanksgiving theme activity. A simple chemistry activity and pumpkins are perfect together!

Pumpkin Slime

Make slime in a pumpkin? Of course! Pumpkin guts and all. Slime is science and there’s a lot to discuss when it comes to states of matter, non-Newtonian fluids, mixtures, and more.

Turkey Slime and More

I would have to say our pumpkin guts slime above is pretty cool but if you want a few more variations to check out, we have that too! Turkey theme slimes and even taste safe or edible slimes with marshmallows and cranberries!

Pumpkin Clock STEM Project

Take a traditional potato clock activity and see if you can use it with pumpkins, sweet potatoes, yams, or other Thanksgiving favorites. Learn a little bit about batteries and electricity with green science.

Making Butter With Kids

Tasty science is perfect for Thanksgiving dinner! It’s a great way for kids to help in the kitchen and contribute to the meal. There’s nothing like tasting your hard work. Perfect for an edible science unit too.

Dancing Corn Experiment

A few simple kitchen ingredients and you have a cool Thanksgiving science activity that’s a twist on a classic baking soda and vinegar experiment!

Also Check Out: Dancing Cranberries

Cranberry Structures for Thanksgiving STEM

Keep kids of all ages busy building and constructing all sorts of shapes and structures. Encourage free building or see if they can build a tall tower. We even have printable shape building cards to turn it into a Thanksgiving math lesson.

Cranberry Science and Sensory Play

Get hands-on with cranberries! Investigate change, test out sink or float, and practice fine motor skills with a variety of kitchen tools. You also have a fun water sensory bin that has the kids busy for hours.

Also making cranberry sauce is a great way to discuss heat change and demonstrate the difference between reversible and irreversible change. See more examples of physical change!

Pumpkin Rolling

Simple fall physics the kids can take outside for investigation and exploration. Learn about Newton’s Laws of Motion with rolling pumpkins for a fun Thanksgiving STEM activity.

Parts of a Pumpkin

If you haven’t explored the parts of the pumpkin, this exploration and investigation tray usually keeps the kids pretty busy!

Pair this hands on activity with our pumpkin life cycle and parts of a pumpkin worksheets.


Coffee Filter Turkey

Find out how coffee filters and clothespins from the Dollar Store transform into the cutest Thanksgiving Turkeys ever.  Learn about solubility with this Thanksgiving craft and science activity all in one!

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Bread in a Bag

From toddlers to teenagers, everyone loves a fresh slice of homemade bread, and using a zip-top bag is perfect for tiny hands to help squish and knead.  Explore how yeast works in bread and share a delicious treat at the end with our easy bread-in-a-bag recipe.

Bread In A Bag

Cranberry Secret Messages

Show the kids how they can write and send secret messages to one another!  Paint with cranberry juice and the message is revealed.  It’s magic!  No, it’s science!

Corn Investigation Tray

Do you have the traditional corn stalks tied to your porch? Why not let the kids investigate the corn cobs? Set out a pair of tweezers, a magnifying glass, rulers, scissors, and a kitchen scale if you have one!

Let them pull apart the corn and try out some hands-on learning and sensory play. A fun way to explore the senses. You can use our 5 senses printable to go along with this activity too!

Popcorn Science

Why does popcorn pop? Explore the science of popcorn while making some yummy popcorn in a bag to taste test. A fun Thanksgiving activity for all the senses!

Bake A Pumpkin

Explore how heat changes materials and talk about irreversible and reversible change.  You could do this with raw potatoes or pumpkins.

Encourage your kids to examine a pumpkin or potato. Have your kids try to mash a raw potato or pumpkin. Now cook the potato or pumpkin and have your kids try to mash it again. What happens? What changes? Is the change reversible or irreversible?

Teepee STEM Project

Why not build your own teepee?  Get everyone thinking, designing, building, and problem-solving! Materials ideas could include newspapers, Popsicle sticks, tree sticks {branches}, string, rubber bands, tape…. or just a simple piece of paper {perfect for young kids}.

Build The Mayflower

A fun “Will it float?” Thanksgiving science activity.

Gather supplies from the recycling bin. Items like foam trays, plastic cups, styrofoam, and milk cartons can all be used. Add glue, scissors, string, straws, or tape. Set out a small tub of water and test your designs. Fantastic Fun and Learning has a simple idea for young kids.

For older kids, check out our Thanksgiving worksheets for a Mayflower STEM challenge. Alternatively, follow our step by step instructions and build the Mayflower from LEGO bricks.

Thanksgiving Coding Game

Learn a bit about coding without a computer for Thanksgiving with this Thanksgiving Algorithm Game.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: I Spy Thanksgiving Printables

Growing Salt Crystal Leaves

Got the salt out for brining the turkey? How about setting up this simple salt crystal leaf experiment and making a few paper cutout leaves to decorate the table or make a garland (add a hole before you start the experiment)


Thanksgiving Papercraft

Explore the world of 3D art with a fun Thanksgiving theme craft complete with free printable templates and step-by-step instructions! Also, learn a little bit about 2D vs 3D!


Fizzing Cranberry Experiment

Here is a super simple and fun way to explore states of matter, chemical reactions, and more for Thanksgiving! This Thanksgiving science experiment uses only a few ingredients for lots of fizzing action!


Cranberry Oobleck

Fun science with non-Newtonian fluids and a cranberry theme! Is it a liquid or a solid? Explore states of matter with a jar of cranberry sauce and a common household supply! Cranberry oobleck is so much fun.

Cranberry Oobleck

Bonus: Printable Turkey STEM Challenge

For a limited time, grab this Turkey Escape STEM Challenge as an instant download. For more instant downloads any time of the day, join us in the Library Club.

Printable Thanksgiving STEM Activities Pack

STEMS-Giving Pack! A full menu of Thanksgiving dinner science activities, secret codes, and more!

What’s Included:

  • STEMS-Giving! A feast of science and STEM with simple experiments and projects for home or classroom!
  • Even More Thanksgiving theme STEM activities with printable sheets, instructions, and useful information all using easy-to-source materials and perfect for limited time needs. Includes a Thanksgiving theme engineering pack with fun, problem-based challenges for kids to solve!
  • Got STEAM? Try a turkey in a disguise challenge with writing prompts and more! Also color by code turkeys in disguise!
  • Try your hand at building shapes with cranberry structure challenge cards.
  • Discover Thanksgiving brick-building challenges perfect for early finishers, quiet time, hands-on math, or family time.


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