10 Fun-filled Thanksgiving Activities for Kids


Thanksgiving is a time when families gather to express gratitude and enjoy each other’s company. As a parent, you may be looking for ways to involve your kids in the festivities and create lasting memories. Fortunately, there are numerous engaging activities that can make this holiday season truly special for your little ones. In this article, I will share a collection of fun-filled Thanksgiving activities that will not only keep your kids entertained but also teach them valuable lessons about gratitude, creativity, and teamwork.

1. Get Crafty with Thanksgiving Decorations

Engaging your kids in crafting Thanksgiving decorations is a fantastic way to kickstart the holiday spirit. Set up a crafting station and provide materials such as construction paper, scissors, glue, and markers. Encourage your children to create colorful turkeys, handprint wreaths, or festive table centerpieces. These crafts can adorn your home and serve as wonderful conversation starters during your Thanksgiving gathering.


– Construction paper
– Scissors
– Glue
– Markers


1. Set up a crafting station with all the materials.
2. Encourage your children to create colorful turkeys by cutting out shapes from construction paper and decorating them with markers.
3. Help them make handprint wreaths by tracing their hands on construction paper, cutting out the shapes, and arranging them in a circular pattern.
4. Provide instructions and materials for creating festive table centerpieces using paper, glue, and any other decorative items you have available.
5. Display the finished crafts around your home to enhance the Thanksgiving atmosphere.

2. Host a Thanksgiving Treasure Hunt

Transform the excitement of finding hidden treasures into a Thanksgiving-themed treasure hunt. Create clues that lead your kids to discover small treats or special messages of gratitude hidden around the house or in the backyard. This activity not only fosters teamwork but also adds an element of adventure and fun to the holiday celebration.


– Small treats or special messages of gratitude
– Paper
– Pen or marker


1. Write down clues on separate pieces of paper that will lead your kids from one location to another. Make sure the final clue leads to a hidden treasure or message.
2. Hide the clues in various locations around the house or in the backyard, making them age-appropriate and accessible.
3. Provide the first clue to your children and let them embark on the treasure hunt.
4. As they find each clue, they will follow the trail until they reach the final hidden treasure.
5. Celebrate their successful treasure hunt and discuss the messages of gratitude together.

3. Cook and Bake Together

Involve your kids in the cooking and baking process to make Thanksgiving dinner preparation a family affair. Let them help with simple tasks such as mixing ingredients, rolling dough, or arranging vegetables on a platter. This hands-on experience will not only enhance their culinary skills but also instill a sense of accomplishment and togetherness.


– Recipe(s) for Thanksgiving dishes
– Ingredients for the chosen recipe(s)
– Mixing bowls, spoons, and measuring cups
– Aprons (optional)


1. Choose a simple recipe suitable for your kids’ age and skill level.
2. Gather all the ingredients and utensils needed for the recipe.
3. Put on aprons to protect clothing, if desired.
4. Assign your children age-appropriate tasks such as mixing ingredients, rolling dough, or arranging vegetables on a platter.
5. Guide them through the recipe, explaining each step and letting them actively participate.
6. Enjoy the process of cooking and baking together, and savor the delicious results as a family.

4. Organize a Family Talent Show

Unleash your kids’ creativity by hosting a family talent show during Thanksgiving. Encourage them to showcase their unique talents, whether it’s singing, dancing, telling jokes, or performing magic tricks. This activity promotes self-expression, boosts confidence, and creates joyful memories that will be cherished for years to come.


– Space for performances (living room, backyard, etc.)
– Props or costumes (optional)


1. Gather your family members and announce the talent show idea.
2. Encourage your children to showcase their unique talents, such as singing, dancing, telling jokes, or performing magic tricks.
3. Provide time for them to practice and prepare their acts.
4. Set up a designated performance area with a stage or open space.
5. Create a schedule or order of performances and allow each participant to shine.
6. Cheer and support each performer, emphasizing the importance of effort and enjoyment rather than competition.
7. Capture the memories by taking photos or recording videos of the talent show.

5. Volunteer as a Family

Thanksgiving is an excellent opportunity to teach children the importance of giving back to the community. Find local volunteer opportunities such as serving meals at a shelter, collecting donations for a food drive, or participating in a charitable event. Engaging in acts of kindness together reinforces the values of empathy and gratitude in your children.


– Research local volunteer opportunities
– Food donations or clothing items (if applicable)


1. Research local organizations or community centers that offer volunteer opportunities during Thanksgiving.
2. Choose an activity that aligns with your family’s interests and values, such as serving meals at a shelter, collecting donations for a food drive, or participating in a charitable event.
3. Contact the chosen organization in advance to inquire about volunteering as a family and any necessary arrangements.
4. Discuss with your children the purpose and impact of the chosen activity, emphasizing the importance of giving back to the community.
5. Participate together as a family, engaging in acts of kindness and gratitude.

6. Share Family Stories and Traditions

Gather your kids and spend some time sharing family stories and traditions during Thanksgiving. Discuss the history of the holiday, recount favorite memories from past celebrations, and explain the significance of certain traditions. This storytelling session helps children connect with their family roots, strengthens family bonds, and cultivates a sense of belonging.


– Comfortable seating area
– Photographs or family albums (optional)


1. Gather your kids in a comfortable seating area where everyone can sit together.
2. Start by discussing the history and significance of Thanksgiving, sharing age-appropriate information about the holiday.
3. Encourage family members to take turns sharing their favorite memories from past Thanksgiving celebrations or other family traditions.
4. If available, bring out photographs or family albums to enhance the storytelling experience and trigger fond memories.
5. Engage in meaningful conversations, ask questions, and listen attentively to each person’s stories and experiences.
6. Emphasize the importance of gratitude and togetherness in your family’s Thanksgiving traditions.

7. Create a Gratitude Tree

Encourage your kids to express their gratitude by creating a gratitude tree. Cut out leaf-shaped pieces of paper and provide markers for your children to write down things they are thankful for. Then, attach the leaves to a tree branch or a large poster board. This visual representation of gratitude serves as a reminder of the blessings in their lives and encourages a positive mindset.


– Construction paper or cardstock
– Scissors
– Markers or pens
– Branch or large poster board
– Tape or string


1. Cut out leaf-shaped pieces of construction paper or cardstock.
2. Provide markers or pens for your children to write down things they are grateful for on each leaf.
3. Attach the leaves to a branch using tape or string, creating a gratitude tree. Alternatively, you can tape the leaves onto a large poster board in the shape of a tree.
4. Display the gratitude tree in a prominent place where everyone can see it throughout the Thanksgiving season.
5. Encourage your kids to add leaves regularly, fostering a continuous practice of gratitude and reflection.

8. Plan a Nature Walk or Scavenger Hunt

Take advantage of the beautiful autumn weather by planning a nature walk or scavenger hunt with your kids. Explore a local park or nature reserve and encourage them to observe and collect items such as colorful leaves, acorns, or pinecones. This outdoor activity promotes a deeper connection with nature and provides an opportunity for learning about the changing seasons.


– Comfortable outdoor clothing
– Basket or bag
– List of nature items (optional)
– Magnifying glass or binoculars (optional)


1. Choose a local park, nature reserve, or even your own backyard for the nature walk or scavenger hunt.
2. Dress your kids in comfortable outdoor clothing suitable for the weather.
3. If desired, create a list of items for your children to find, such as colorful leaves, acorns, pinecones, or specific types of flowers.
4. Equip them with a basket or bag to collect their findings.
5. Encourage exploration, observation, and curiosity as they search for the items on the list or discover fascinating aspects of nature on their own.
6. If available, provide magnifying glasses or binoculars to enhance their experience.
7. Take the opportunity to discuss the beauty of nature, the changing seasons, and the importance of preserving the environment.

9. Design Thank You Cards

Teach your children the importance of gratitude by designing and crafting personalized thank you cards. Provide them with art supplies and guide them in creating heartfelt messages of appreciation for friends, family members, or teachers. Not only will this activity hone their artistic skills, but it will also instill gratitude as a lifelong value.


– Cardstock or blank cards
– Markers, colored pencils, or crayons
– Decorative items (e.g., stickers, glitter, ribbons)
– Envelopes (optional)


1. Provide your children with cardstock or blank cards as a base for their thank you cards.
2. Encourage them to use markers, colored pencils, or crayons to design and decorate the cards with their own creative expressions.
3. Discuss the concept of gratitude and help them brainstorm heartfelt messages of appreciation for friends, family members, teachers, or other important individuals in their lives.
4. Let them write their messages inside the cards.
5. Encourage the use of decorative items such as stickers, glitter, or ribbons to make the cards even more special.
6. If desired, provide envelopes for the cards and guide your children in addressing them.
7. Encourage them to hand-deliver the cards or mail them to the recipients, spreading joy and gratitude.

10. Plan a Movie Marathon

Set up a cozy movie corner and plan a Thanksgiving-themed movie marathon with your kids. Choose family-friendly movies that highlight the themes of gratitude, friendship, and family bonds. This relaxed activity provides an opportunity to unwind, snuggle up together, and enjoy quality time with your little ones.


– Selection of Thanksgiving-themed movies or family-friendly films
– Cozy blankets and pillows
– Snacks (e.g., popcorn, cookies, hot chocolate)


1. Choose a selection of Thanksgiving-themed movies or family-friendly films suitable for your children’s ages.
2. Create a cozy movie-watching area by arranging blankets and pillows for comfort.
3. Prepare some delicious snacks like popcorn, cookies, or hot chocolate to enjoy during the movie marathon.
4. Set a schedule for the movies, allowing for breaks in between or discussions about the themes and messages conveyed in each film.
5. Gather together as a family, snuggle up, and enjoy the movies while bonding and creating lasting memories.


Thanksgiving is a special time for families to come together and celebrate the blessings in their lives. By engaging your kids in a variety of exciting activities, you can make this holiday season even more memorable for them. From crafting decorations and hosting treasure hunts to cooking together and sharing family stories, these activities foster creativity, gratitude, and togetherness. Embrace the spirit of Thanksgiving and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

*FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

1. Q: What are some Thanksgiving crafts suitable for young children?

A: Young children can enjoy making handprint turkeys, paper plate pilgrims, or gratitude jars filled with colorful leaves.

2. Q: How can I involve my kids in Thanksgiving meal preparation?

A: Assign age-appropriate tasks such as stirring ingredients, setting the table, or decorating desserts to engage them in the cooking process.

3. Q: Are there any Thanksgiving-themed books I can read to my kids?

A: Yes! “Turkey Trouble” by Wendi Silvano and “The Very Stuffed Turkey” by Katharine Kenah are delightful reads for children during the holiday season.

4. Q: Can you suggest some outdoor games for Thanksgiving?

A: Outdoor games like a sack race, cornhole, or a friendly game of touch football can add excitement to your Thanksgiving celebration.

5. Q: How can I teach my kids about the historical significance of Thanksgiving?

A: Engage your kids with age-appropriate books, documentaries, or interactive online resources that explain the history and cultural aspects of Thanksgiving.

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Cat Hocking

With decades of experience in creating and finding kids activities I created Activity Kits For Kids to share craft, games and story activities with those who look after or work with young children. I believe kids activities should always be fun and educational. The benefits are unlimited.

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