Thanksgiving Science Activities and STEM for Harvest Themes

I know it seems like once Halloween passes, you are all ready to jump ahead to Christmas planning. Don’t miss out on fabulous Thanksgiving science this season. It’s the perfect side dish to your lesson plans or a weekend activity.  Let’s not forget Thanksgiving for cool science and STEM too! Although, we don’t typically do as many themed Thanksgiving science activities as we do for the other holidays, we have tried a few fun science activities that are perfect for families to share together!


Our Thanksgiving science activities 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 awesome choices for Thanksgiving science experiments 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 science 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!


  • Kids love theme science and it gets them learning and loving it! You can easy explore similar topics all year with different themes!
  • Theme science and can still work with your NGSS (Necxt generation Science Standards)
  • Our Thanksgiving science activities work well for kids ages pre-k through early elementary
  • Explore chemistry and physics with easy to set up and inexpensive science activities

 Grab your printable November STEM challenge calendar below!


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! Indoors or outdoors, science is definitely amazing! 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.


Each year we add try to 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. We even have a few fun slime themes to share. 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 the simple science experiments at home or in the classroom.

Holiday science like these Thanksgiving experiments should be fun and stress free for everyone! Click on the ORANGE links below to read more about each Halloween science or STEM activity.

Our famous pumpkin volcano is featured in the video above!

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 science activity. A simple chemistry activity and pumpkins, perfect!

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.

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 marshmallow and cranberries!

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.

Tasty science 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.

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

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 have printable shape building cards here for a quick math lesson.

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. Check out our pumpkin bread too.

Simple fall physics the kids can take outside for investigation and exploration. Learn about Newton’s Laws of Motion

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

parts of a pumpkin for Thanksgiving Science Activities


Continue to explore AWESOME thanksgiving science and STEM activities with the ideas below. All links in orange are clickable!


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 a part 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 the activity too.


Explore how heat changes materials and talk about irreversible and reversible change. Our pumpkin themed unit explores pumpkins inside and out.

You can also add in our pumpkin math investigation lesson {with printable}.

You can also do this with raw potatoes or pumpkins. Encourage your kids 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.

You can also explore reversible change here. 


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 like this idea {perfect for young kids}


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 this Pilgrim Boat STEM challenge with a printable worksheet! Great way to combine learning with an element of play too.


Why not bake up a loaf of bread and learn about biology! It would be perfect to pair with our homemade butter science activity.


Learn and play for Thanksgiving science is exactly what you will find in this very cool posts that pairs Thanksgiving science learning ideas with fun play ideas.

Grab Your FREE November STEM and Science Challenge Calendar!


Click on the photos below for more great ideas to enjoy your holiday season and winter



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