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25 Best Thanksgiving Activities for Kids

Thanksgiving activities

Thanksgiving Day is one of the beloved holidays in our country. It`s a great chance to get together with family or friends and share precious moments of unity and heartiness. This year we’ll celebrate it on November 24. Thus, we have a little over a month to come up with fun thanksgiving activities for kids to make this day a special one.

Thanksgiving Day: History and Traditions

It was in 1621 when members of the Native American tribe celebrated Thanksgiving Day with the Plymouth colonists known as the Pilgrims. They had come from England in search of a better life. More than half of them failed to reach their destination, while the rest of the group endured the long trip and established the Village of Plymouth. Being exhausted, the pilgrims managed to survive thanks to the Wampanoag tribe who was friendly to them. To celebrate the successful harvest, the Governor organized a feast and shared it with the members of the tribe. The tradition became common in many New England settlements.

In 1979 George Washington issued the first proclamation dedicated to the holiday. Finally, in 1941 President Roosevelt signed a bill establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.

Nowadays it’s common to cook turkey which became the symbol of the holiday. But the first pilgrims prepared holiday food following National Indians` products and recipes. Besides, there were no cakes or other desserts so common for us today. In our generation, in turn, we cannot imagine Thanksgiving Day without a pumpkin pie or mashed potatoes. Also, the house is full of guests and their children for whom you can create an unforgettable experience.

25 Fun Things to Do with Kids on Thanksgiving

Guess the Price

Make an illustrated list of products you`ve used to prepare the holiday meal. Let children guess the price. It can both challenge them and teach them more about keeping a household.

Turkey Bowling

This cool thanksgiving exercise for kids can intrigue guests of all ages, beginning with toddlers and preschoolers. Make turkeys with the help of disposable cups. You can involve kids in this activity. Just attach turkeys` heads and wings to it, applying paper crafts and your creativity. Just a moment and your paper-plastic turkey is a natural bowling skittle. Hit them with a ball and bowl a strike.

Dice Games

Come up with questions that stand for each side of a dice. Take, for example, who inspired you this year or what you are thankful for in your kindergarten. Roll the dice and answer the question according to it.

Feed the Turkey

Take a plastic bottle decorated as a turkey. Ask kids to fill it with pom-pom balls with the help of tweezers. It can be both a competition or a kind of Thanksgiving exercise for kids that develop motor skills in preschoolers.

Reading Time

Choose books or short stories that focus on gratitude. Read them aloud. You can use my book Gratitude is My Superpower or choose another one.

Turkey Hunt

The game is similar to the one we play on Easter. Hide turkeys through your home and split the children into two teams. The one who finds more turkeys wins. You can play this game both indoors and outdoors. By the way, such kids’ Thanksgiving activities are some of their favorite among boys and girls.

Thanksgiving Quiz

Use special worksheets about the holiday. Choose the one with multiple tasks. Print out several copies, hand them out to kids and let them fill them—the one who copes faster wins. By the way, you can take inspiration from my freebies.

Thanksgiving Alphabet

Take turns naming a thing related to the holiday. Help kids if they cannot come up with a thing at once.

Paint a Turkey

It’s the most common Thanksgiving activity, but it’s the most creative one as well. Let children reveal their drawing ideas and make the exhibition devoted to their art.

This or That

Make a list consisting of a series of double choices: baking a pie or buying an ice cream. Let kids, youth, and adults choose between the two options. Thus, you`ll learn more about each other.

Create a Fall Leaf Garland

Collect the fallen leaves and press them. When the leaves are dry, attach them to a ribbon, decorating them previously. One can paint the leaves or draw a picture on them. It’s up to your creativity.

Share the Gratitude

Ask kids to prepare gratitude presents for each guest and ask them to explain what they are thankful for. It can be an applique or a picture. Also, look through these gratitude activities.

Thanksgiving activities

Make Land Art

Use natural materials to decorate your backyard. It can be leaves, pumpkins, stones, branches, and other similar stuff.

Bake Cookies

Thanksgiving activities for kids should teach good virtues. Why not try cooking cookies and treating guests with them? Help your little one to choose the recipe and bake homemade yummies.

Thanksgiving Word Search

Prepare worksheets with hidden words related to the holiday. Let children find them.

Make Thankful Stones

Find stones and write the things or people you’re grateful to. Let them be in your backyard the whole year.

Confetti-Stuffed Turkey

Make a turkey from paper bags. Then, fill it with confetti. Let children do it themselves. At the end of the party, tear it apart and let out the confetti rain.

Measure the Leaves

Go for a walk with your family and take a ruler. Ask kids to find the biggest leaf they can. Give them a ruler to measure its size.

Potato Sack Race

This classical game is one of the most popular kids Thanksgiving activities. All you need are sacks and several kids. Adults can participate too. This activity is a chance to overcome some body image issues and believe in one’s strength.

Pumpkin Painting

Although Halloween is over, you can still enjoy pumpkin activities. Use the pumpkin`s surface to draw pictures on it or do whatever else to decorate it.

How Many?

Fill a jar with candy corn and let kids guess how many pieces it contains. Ask them to write down their answers. The one who tells the most precise number wins.

Make Salt Dough Ornaments

Decorate your home for the holiday. There are so many things to do with kids on Thanksgiving with the help of salt dough. Make pumpkins, autumn leaves, a turkey, or any other figures you wish, and then paint them.

Draw the Map of Your Heart

Ask children to make paper hearts and draw in them the things, people, or animals they love and are grateful to.

Have a Movie Night

Choose a movie that teaches gratitude or any other virtue. Make yourself comfortable and enjoy the night.

Give a Name to the Turkey

Ask each guest to name the turkey and write it down. Then mix the cards, take turns pulling them out and try to guess whose idea it is.


This year’s Thanksgiving activities for kids are your opportunity to build strong family bonds and just spend an unforgettable time with your close ones. Don`t miss such a chance to create new memories that will make you smile many years later.

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