Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to involve kids in various activities and teach them about gratitude, history, and the joy of giving. Here are some Thanksgiving ideas for kids:
Encourage kids to create “thankful” crafts such as gratitude jars, where they can write down things they are thankful for on colorful pieces of paper and add them to the jar.
Create handprint turkey art by having kids trace and cut out their hands from construction paper and turn them into turkey feathers.
Read age-appropriate Thanksgiving-themed books and stories to your kids to educate them about the holiday’s history and values.
Involve kids in the kitchen by letting them help with age-appropriate cooking tasks like mashing potatoes, making cranberry sauce, or decorating cookies.
Pie Making Contest
Have a pie-making contest where kids can help bake and decorate their own mini pies. You can have prizes for the most creative or best-tasting pie.
Create a Family Recipe Book
Have each family member contribute their favorite Thanksgiving recipe and compile them into a family recipe book.
Gratitude Scavenger Hunt
Create a list of items to find or tasks to complete that encourage kids to focus on what they’re grateful for. For example, find something orange, give someone a hug, or write down something kind.
Take a nature walk and collect leaves, acorns, and other items to create a Thanksgiving nature collage or centerpiece.
Thanksgiving Puzzles and Games
Play Thanksgiving-themed puzzles, board games, and activities to keep the kids entertained and engaged.
Make a Thanksgiving Sensory Bin
Check out these fun Thanksgiving sensory bins that you can make for your kids to play with while you are busy cooking or just want them to have something fun to do.
Provide pumpkins and various decorating supplies like paint, markers, and stickers. Let kids get creative with their pumpkin designs.
Encourage kids to make their own Thanksgiving decorations, such as paper turkeys, leaf garlands, or handprint art.
Let kids help set the table and create DIY Thanksgiving decorations like place cards, paper napkin rings, and mini pumpkin centerpieces.
Bake Thanksgiving-themed treats like cookies, cupcakes, brownies or more. Kids can help decorate and make these fun treats below. Here are some classics from our site:
- 15 Thanksgiving Treats for Kids
- Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Cupcakes
- Turkey Peanut Butter Sandwich
- Oreo Turkey Cookies For Kids
Start a gratitude journal where kids can write or draw something they’re thankful for each day leading up to Thanksgiving.
Teach kids the importance of giving back by involving them in a community service project, such as donating canned goods to a food drive, making cards for nursing home residents, or volunteering at a local shelter.
Thanksgiving Parade Viewing
Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade together as a family. Kids often enjoy the colorful floats and giant balloons.
Help kids learn about the history of Thanksgiving by reenacting the first Thanksgiving meal or having them dress up as Pilgrims and Native Americans.
Create a “gratitude tree” by drawing a large tree on a poster board and adding leaves with things kids are thankful for written on them.
Organize outdoor activities like a family football game, a fall scavenger hunt, or a nature hike to enjoy the crisp autumn weather.
Homemade Place Mats
Have kids make personalized Thanksgiving placemats with their own artwork and designs to use during the holiday meal. Or download these Thanksgiving Activity Mats.
Thanksgiving Parade Balloon Craft
Let kids make their own balloon decorations using balloons, paper mache, and paint to replicate the parade balloons.
Family Thankful Circle
Sit in a circle and take turns sharing what each family member is thankful for. This is a great way to reinforce the spirit of gratitude.
Remember to tailor these ideas to the age and interests of your kids, and most importantly, create an atmosphere of love and gratitude during the Thanksgiving holiday.