Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and fun! Get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving day with these fun and festive Thanksgiving activities for kids they will surely enjoy. From crafting to playing games, there’s something for everyone.
Let’s dive in and explore the exciting ways to make this Thanksgiving season memorable for the whole family.
Why Is Thanksgiving Celebrated?
Thanksgiving Day is an annual national holiday celebrated in the US and Canada to give thanks for the year’s harvest and blessings.
It’s believed to be inspired by a 1621 harvest feast shared by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people. This cultural tradition involves gathering with loved ones to enjoy festive meals and express gratitude.
How Can Parents Help Kids Understand the Importance of Thanksgiving?
When it comes to celebrating Thanksgiving with kids, focus on the things that make this holiday special. For many families, that means spending time together, enjoying a delicious meal, and expressing gratitude.
There are a few things parents can do to help their kids understand the importance of Thanksgiving:
- Talk about the history of the holiday and why it’s celebrated.
- Teach kids about gratitude and have a discussion about what your family is thankful for.
- Encourage kids to express their thanks through acts of kindness, such as making cards for friends and family members or volunteering at a local soup kitchen.
- Praise kids when they show qualities like gratitude, compassion, and generosity.
You can celebrate Turkey Day with kids in a fun and interactive way while instilling the sense of gratitude that they will carry with them as they grow.
15 Fun and Educational Thanksgiving Activities For Kids To Try
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and if you’re like most parents, you’re probably looking for some fun activities to keep your kids entertained during this holiday season.
If you’re stuck for ideas, here are 15 Thanksgiving activities that your kids will love:
1. Turkey Math Activities
Turkeys have always been a big part of Thanksgiving celebrations, so why not make some turkey-themed math activities for kids to enjoy?
These turkey math activities are perfect for little ones who are just starting to learn numbers and counting:
Count The Feathers
Create a turkey out of construction paper and number each of its feathers. Have your kids count each feather out loud. Depending on your child’s age, you can use this method to teach number sequences and operations such as addition or subtraction.
How Many Turkeys?
Cut out several turkey shapes from paper plates or colored paper and let your kids decorate them. Have them count how many turkeys they’ve made.
You can also play “Bring Me” using this method. For example, tell your child, “Bring me three turkeys.” and see if they bring you the correct number.
Not only can you help them develop their math skills, but they can also benefit from honing their creativity.
Pumpkin Pie Fractions
Teach your children about fractions during Thanksgiving dinner by dividing the pumpkin pie into slices, differentiating the fractions from the whole, and giving a slice to each family member.
2. Create Turkeys and Pumpkins From Playdough
Kids can enjoy making out turkeys and pumpkin shapes from clay or playdough. You can also use cookie cutters to make it easier. Use different colors of dough to make it more fun!
If you don’t have any playdough at home, you can try making your own homemade playdough with this recipe. It’s the perfect Thanksgiving activity to spend quality time with the whole family.
3. Craft Your Own Turkey
Another great activity for Thanksgiving is painting a turkey. This is a simple activity that can be done with any age group. All you need is some paint, paper, and some imagination!
Trace your kid’s hands on a paper plate to create a turkey body, then add a head, wings, and feet. Use a hot glue to attach some googly eyes.
If you want to make this activity even more fun, try using different paint colors and see what kind of turkey you can create. It’s a great way to teach kids to identify different colors.
You can also add other details, such as feathers or a Pilgrim hat. This is a great way to get your child’s creative juices flowing!
4. Make A Gratitude Family Tree
Trace back your roots by making a family tree.
This is a beautiful and simple activity that your child can do to express their gratitude for each family member. You only need some construction paper, scissors, crayons, and photos from old photo albums.
Help your child cut out leaves from the construction paper, paste some photos on the cutout leaves, and then write something they are thankful for on each leaf.
Cut out the shape of a tree trunk and attach the leaves to finish the tree.
5. Create A Gratitude Book
Since Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks, one of the best ways to get your kids in the holiday spirit is to have them make a gratitude book.
Use some paper, markers, and crayons from your local craft store. Have your child decorate the cover of their book however they’d like, then on each page, have them draw or write something they’re thankful for.
6. Make Thanksgiving Cards
Another festive idea is to make Thanksgiving cards that your kids can give to friends or family members. Just get some paper or cardboard, markers, crayons, and other art materials, and let your kids be as creative as they want!
8. Cook A Thanksgiving Feast
Brush the dust off your old cookbooks and encourage your kids to lend you a helping hand as you prepare a healthy and delicious Thanksgiving feast! Just make sure to designate age-appropriate tasks and supervise them to ensure their safety.
This activity is not only educational, but it’s also a lot of fun! Your children will surely love getting their hands dirty and helping out in the kitchen.
9. Pumpkin Tic Tac Toe
Using a cardboard, create a 3 by 3 grid like the classic tic tac toe game. To create a Thanksgiving version, use paper cut into mini pumpkins as game pieces instead of the usual Xs and Os. Start a friendly competition to see who wins the game!
10. Play Thanksgiving Trivia
For this, you need to collect trivia and other information related to the holiday, or get this Thanksgiving trivia book.
Write trivia questions on small index cards and start the game by dividing the family into two teams and tally which team gets more correct answers. This can easily be played even at the dinner table.
11. Play a Thanksgiving Themed Matching Game
This may require a little preparation, but you can easily create a Thanksgiving-themed matching game with some colored papers and a marker.
Simply draw objects related to the holidays on one set of cards and write the corresponding words on another set. Mix up the cards and let your kids match them up. This is an excellent way to improve their vocabulary and fine motor skills.
This is the perfect game to play with the family while winding down after the big meal.
12. Thanksgiving Bingo
This Thanksgiving, add some fun to the festivities with a game of bingo! This Thanksgiving bingo game is perfect for keeping the kids entertained while they wait for the turkey to cook.
Print out the bingo boards and hand them out to your players. You can make your own bingo cards, but you can also download a free printable version or buy them here.
Then, call out Thanksgiving-themed words or phrases, like “turkey,” “pilgrim,” or “cornucopia.” The first player to get five in a row wins!
13. Turkey Trot
Get the kids up and moving with this fun Thanksgiving twist on the classic egg and spoon race.
All you need are some plastic toy turkeys, large spoons, and a starting line. Divide the kids into pairs and have them line up behind their partners, holding the spoon in their mouths.
On your go signal, they should race to the finish line without dropping their turkey. The first team to cross the finish line wins the game!
14. Pin the Feather on the Turkey
This is a fun Thanksgiving twist on the classic game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. To play, you’ll need a large poster of a turkey, some cardboard feathers, and some double-sided tape or push pins.
Write each child’s name on a feather and then let them take turns blindfolded, trying to place their feather on the turkey. The child who gets closest to the right spot wins a prize!
15. Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt
Get the kids up and moving with this fun Thanksgiving scavenger hunt! Give each child a list of things to find around the house or yard, such as a pinecone, a red leaf, and an acorn.
Set a timer and see who can find all of the items on their list the fastest!
Other Thanksgiving activities include creating a gratitude jar, playing turkey tag, mad libs, turkey baster relay, flag football, or a wishbone breaking contest.
These activities are perfect for kids, whether toddlers, preschoolers, or older. Best of all, they’re all easy to set up and require minimal materials. So, get ready to have some Thanksgiving fun!
What Are the Benefits of Thanksgiving-Themed Activities?
Aside from helping children learn the history and meaning behind the holiday, Thanksgiving preschool activities also have many benefits. Thanksgiving activities can help improve a child’s:
Many of these activities involve movement and gross motor skills. For example, activities such as turkey trots, Thanksgiving relays, or pumpkin tosses are all excellent ways to get children up and moving. These activities encourage kids to use their large muscle groups and improve their coordination.
Fine Motor Skills
Activities such as turkey crafts, tracing, and counting also help improve a child’s fine motor skills. These skills are important for tasks such as writing, cutting with scissors, and buttoning clothing.
Social and Emotional Skills
Thanksgiving activities encouraging taking turns, sharing, and cooperation can help children develop important social and emotional skills.With all of these benefits, it’s no wonder why Thanksgiving preschool activities are so popular!
Thanksgiving activities also help children work on important cognitive skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity. For example, activities like making homemade pumpkin pie or designing a Thanksgiving tablecloth involve children in the process of planning, creating, and executing an idea.
Imagination is key in creating Thanksgiving crafts or coming up with new ways to play traditional games. Therefore, Thanksgiving activities are also a great way to encourage creativity in children.
These benefits make it very clear that Thanksgiving activities for preschoolers are not only fun, but also educational and beneficial for children.
With a little bit of planning, parents can easily find many Thanksgiving activities that their child will love and that will also help them learn and develop their skills.
Do Thanksgiving Activities Need To Be Expensive?
No, thanksgiving activities do not need to be expensive. You can use any items that you have around the house to create fun and festive activities for your children.
You can also find some free printable Thanksgiving coloring pages and have your kids color them in! With just a few materials and a little creativity on your part, you can easily come up with fun and affordable activities
Get your little ones in the holiday spirit with these Thanksgiving activities for kids. From turkey crafts to learning about Thanksgiving food, these activities will surely be a hit with your little ones and the whole family.
So get ready to celebrate the big day with these 15 fun and educational Thanksgiving activities for kids. You will surely make lasting memories with your kids that they will cherish for many years!