Thanksgiving activities are a perfect way to spend time with your kids, have mindful moments, design Thanksgiving crafts, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Remember to take pictures and put them in a family album!
We have the perfect Thanksgiving activities for kids that you choose what works best for your family. Plus, download our free printable Thanksgiving game activity below.
6 Thanksgiving Activities for Kids
1. Family Hike and Leaf Collecting Activity
We love this Thanksgiving activity! Get outside and enjoy the fresh air!
- Take all the kids out for a family walk or hike.
- Collect leaves that have fallen.
- When you get home, you can use them for table decorations.
- First, sort them according to shape, size, and color.
- Then you can pick the perfect leaves or arrangements.
2. Thanksgiving Crafts Ideas: Leaf Rubbing and Placemat Activity for Kids
Make placemats with the fall leaves you collected from the family hike with your kids. These are perfect to use at Thanksgiving dinner.
- Arranged them by shape, size, and color if you haven’t already.
- Place one leaf at a time under a blank sheet of paper. Get some 11×17 sized paper if you want bigger sized placemats.
- Rub the top of the paper with colored crayons or pencils. They will pick up the design and shape of the leaf.
- Move the leaf, repeat and try different leaves.
- Outline each leaf rubbing with a marker or pen so that each individual leaf stands out.
- Put names on the placemat and then you can use them for each family member at breakfast, lunch or dinner.
- Place your mats on the Thanksgiving table and get ready for dinner!
Bonnie Terry Sharing Thanksgiving Activities for Kids
3. Free Printables: Thanksgiving Game – Memory Matching Game that Helps Keep Kids Busy
Play a memory matching game with the following free downloads. The larger pictures with 6 per page are for younger kids and the smaller pictures with 12 per page are for older kids. This memory game is perfect to help keep kids busy for a moment on Thanksgiving day.
To set up the memory matching Thanksgiving game, print out the pages and cut up the pictures. Then, mix the pictures up and place each picture face down in a grid. Each player takes a turn by turning two cards over. If the cards match, then the player picks up the cards and keeps them. If they don’t match, the player turns the cards back over. Younger students can play with 4 to 5 matches. Older kids can play with 10 to 15 matches. You can start with a smaller number of cards face down at first and work your way up. This is a nice quick game to help build memory skills.
4. Thanksgiving Reading or Movie Activity for Kids
Read a Thanksgiving book or watch a Thanksgiving movie with the family. Then use one of the graphic organizers from Ten Minutes to Better Writing and Study Skills and chart out the who, what, where, when, why, and how for each character in the story. Decide who was your favorite character and who was your least favorite character and why. This will improve memory and comprehension skills.
Suggested Thanksgiving Books
- The Night Before Thanksgiving
- The Thanksgiving Story
- Turkey Trouble
- Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks
- There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey
- A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
- Free Birds
- Miracle on 34th Street
- Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
- Pieces of April
5. Thanksgiving Acronym Activity
Using the word Thanksgiving, have each child come up with what each letter stands for.
6. Thankful Moment Activity
Gratitude is the foundation of Thanksgiving and should be tied throughout your Thanksgiving activities.
This might already be part of your family tradition, but before you eat, go around the table and have everyone say one or two things they are thankful for. If you forget about this before Thanksgiving dinner, you can always take a moment before dessert with that pumpkin pie.
There is more and more research about how gratitude can greatly benefit our psyche. “Expressing thanks may be one of the simplest ways to feel better.” Take a look at the article Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier from the Harvard Medical School about how expressing thanks can help people have a more optimistic view of life.
What are your favorite Thanksgiving activities for kids?
We just shared some of our favorite Thanksgiving activities for kids and the entire family. Do you have any special Thanksgiving crafts or maybe a Thanksgiving game that you enjoy doing with your family? Let us know what family traditions you love to do at Thanksgiving in the comments below.
From all of us at Scholar Within, we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving!