Hey kids! Do you want to learn interesting facts about the Pilgrims? If, so then you have come to the right place! Did you know that Pilgrims did not wear hats or clothes with buckles? Did you know that no one is really certain that the first Thanksgiving was held in November? Do you want to learn more facts about pilgrims? Check out these amazing Pilgrim facts for kids.
Who were pilgrims?
In England the 1600s King James I ruled the land. He did not allow people to practice any religion except the one that he wanted. A group of people called Separatists did not like the fact that they couldn’t practice the religion that they believed in. They were so upset, that they decided to leave England and sail to America for religious freedom. 42 of the Separatists left Plymouth, England for America on the ship called the Mayflower in August 1620.
Besides the 42 Separatists, 60 other passengers were also aboard the Mayflower. The 42 Separatists and the 60 other passengers were people hoping that America would be a better life. Together these people were the Pilgrims.
Mayflower Fun Facts
The Mayflower was a small ship. It was 90 feet long, as long as two school buses, and 25 ft wide. The Mayflower carried 102 passengers and 20 sailors. That’s a lot of people on such a small ship. It only traveled at 2 miles per hour.
The Mayflower not only carried a lot of people, it carried a lot of stuff. The pilgrims brought all of their belongings because they were never returning to England. They brought clothes, guns, axes, food, seeds to plant crops, furniture, toys, and cloth. They brought all items that they thought would be necessary to live in America.
If you think 102 passengers, 20 sailors, and belongings were a lot on a boat the length of two school buses, there were also animals? There were dogs, chickens, pigs, and goats on the ship.
Since the Mayflower was crowded, there wasn’t enough space for everyone to have their own bed. Often times, three people shared a bed, Some people didn’t have beds at all.
There were no kitchens on the Mayflower. The Pilgrims ate salted beef, cheese, lemons, biscuits, onions, dried beans, and peas. Since there was no way to heat up the food, they ate cold food.
Fun Facts: There were 15 men and boys on the ship named John. The most popular girl name on the ship was Mary. Many passengers on the ship were children. A baby was born on the ship.
It took 66 days to reach America. They landed in Massachusetts but wanted to land by the Hudson River where New York City is today. The Pilgrims named their new settlement Plymouth after Plymouth England where they sailed from.
Struggling to Survive
The first winter in America was very hard for the Pilgrims. They were very far from home and struggled to survive. They weren’t successful with growing food and had very little to eat. Out of the 102 passengers, 47 died within the first year from cold and sickness.
By the second year, the Pilgrims were doing a little better thanks to the Native Americans. The Native Americans taught the Pilgrims to build shelter, plant corn, and capture rabbits and turkeys for food. They also taught the Pilgrims how to walk quietly through the woods to hunt deer and bear. The Pilgrims were thankful to the Native Americans that thought them how to live off the land and survive. Without their help, many more would have starved, got sick, and died.
In England, the pilgrims would give thanks for a good harvest. They decided to have a similar festival in America. They were thankful for the Native Americans that helped them survive. They were thankful for the food that they were able to grow and hunt. To celebrate the pilgrims invited the Native Americans to a large fest. 90 Native Americans showed up. They brought deer, cod, and sea bass (fish) to the feast. The fest was the first Thanksgiving. A pilgrim named Edward Winslow wrote:
Our harvest gotten in, our governor sent four men on a fowling, that we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. In one day these four hunters had killed enough geese, turkeys, swans, pigeons, and ducks to feed the pilgrims for a week. With all that meat and corn, the pilgrims were ready to give thanks.”
What did the Pilgrims and Native Americans do on the First Thanksgiving?
We know that the Native Americans and the Pilgrims ate of the first Thanksgiving, but what else did they do? Besiding eating a lot of food the Native Americans and the Pilgrims played games and had contests. The pilgrims dressed up like soldiers and fired guns. The Native Americans showed off how good they were with the bow and arrow and did tricks. They had races, danced and sang songs. The festivities lasted three days.
Who were the Native Americans that Helped the Pilgrims?
Samoset was the first Native American to help the pilgrims. He met the Pilgrims in March of 1621, right after that horrible winter. He spoke English. He learned English from other Europeans that came to America before the Pilgrims. Squanto also greeted the pilgrims. Sadly, Squanto was the last member of his tribe. He was part of the Pawtuxets tribe. Members of his tribe were killed by smallpox was a disease that Europeans unknowingly brought to America.
Squanto lived with the pilgrims. He taught them how to plant corn, hunt deer, and capture rabbits. He also showed them a better way to fish and what plants they can eat.
Squanto introduced the pilgrims to Massasoit. He was the chief of the Wampanoags. The Pilgrims and the Wampanoags agreed to live in peace and help each other.
Fun Pilgrim Facts for Kids
When we think of the pilgrim’s clothes we often think of black and white clothes and hats with buckles. Did you know, they did wear anything like that? They actually wore colorful clothing. They wore colors such as red, blue, and green. Men and older boys wore pants that went to their knees, and dress shirts. Little boys under 6 wore dressed. Women and girls also wore dresses. Neither men, women, or child wore clothes with buckles. Buckles were not on clothes back then.
Pilgrims called cranberries “crane”berries because they looked like cranes when they flowered. They used cranberries to make sauces, jamsm and drinks. The Native Americans called cranberries ibimi meaning bitter berry. They used cranberries to make dye for blankets and clothes and to draw out poisons from wounds.
Did you know that the Native Americans invented popcorn? It’s true. Native Americans would put ears of corn in the fire and catch the kernels as they popped out.
No one is really sure that the Pilgrims held the first Thanksgiving in November. In 1789, George Washington declared the nation’s first holiday, Thanksgiving. It was Abraham Lincoln who decided to make the last Thursday in the month of November Thanksgiving. To learn more Thanksgiving facts for kids click here.
Let’s Celebrate Thanksgiving by Peter and Connie Roop