kids having fun on thanksgiving day

Autumn is in full swing, the “spooky holiday” is over and Thanksgiving is approaching. It is one of the most loved holidays and it’s a rare occasion for extended family to get together and eat lots of delicious food. While adults will indulge in overeating and family gossip, it is a good idea to come up with fun Thanksgiving activities for kids. After all, you can use some of these fun games to keep your kids occupied while you’re preparing the feast. Children may or may not love gourmet food, but they all love to play games. Relating Thanksgiving to playing games with cousins and special dinner will generate amazing memories for a lifetime.

By the way, Thanksgiving originated as a harvest festival. Tradition has it that the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by early American settlers in 1621. However, thanksgiving services were held occasionally in the 1500s and it’s impossible to set a date for the first celebration ever. Like most holidays it evolved gradually to become a holiday that we know today.

It started out as gratitude for a good harvest. While celebrating the harvest is long gone by now, being grateful is still a part of today’s holiday. It’s common to express gratitude at the dining table just before dinner. And here is another fun fact: on a Thanksgiving day Americans eat more than any other day. 

But, let’s focus on our little angels (pun intended) and ways to keep them entertained.

Fun Activities for Kids

While kids are funny and adorable for us, it is not the same the other way around. Quite often the adults are boring for kids. We are not as playful as them, and we always have some morals and lessons for them. Well, maybe it has to be that way, but for Thanksgiving, we should allow them some free time and prepare some fun activities to prevent boredom.

You can choose singing songs, playing games, arts or crafts, just as long as it’s fun. Chances are you will have children of different ages for your celebration, so make sure that you come up with thanksgiving activities for kids to keep them all happy.

Coloring Books

Coloring books are great for toddlers as well as for preschoolers. It is a simple activity, but very beneficial. Coloring books improves hand and eye coordination, dexterity, and fine motor skills. Moreover, it teaches a child to be relaxed and patient. It improves a child’s focus, stimulates creativity and self-expression.

Thanksgiving Activity Book

This activity book can be great fun for children of all ages. It contains word puzzles, mazes, connecting the dots, step-by-step drawings and more. Playing is the best way for kids to learn. All fun games and activities in this book are Thanksgiving-themed and educational as well. The book includes traditional Thanksgiving themes such as turkey, falling leaves, Native Americans, pilgrims, and pumpkins. So, let the kids enjoy themselves!

Paper Bag Turkey Craft

Art and craft projects of your child will make you proud. But, the important part is that crafting helps your children in many ways. It improves fine motor skills and coordination. Also, it will boost your child’s confidence and focusing abilities. These turkey paper bag projects are often used in nursery schools and kindergartens. Turkey design makes it a great project for Thanksgiving.

Make-A-Turkey Stickers

With these amazing stickers, no kids will be bored. Actually, it’s for 5+ children. But, it’s a great way to stimulate creativity and imagination. Learning colors is another benefit of this game. It’s also a social game. So, bonding with you or making friends with other kids is another positive of this game.

Thanksgiving Headband Kit

Kids love colorful things. For some reason, feathers have some magical appeal as well. So, assembling these beautiful headbands will be great fun for your little ones. Native American heritage is an important part of our culture and this is a fun way to introduce it to our kids.

Thanksgiving Scratch Off Game

This is the one that adults can enjoy as well. You have to get involved, though. Your part is to be creative and come up with some fun rewards for winners. You can play it on any occasion, even though it is Thanksgiving-themed.

How to Draw a Turkey

Usually, kids love to scribble. This is a great idea for Thanksgiving fun for grade-schoolers. The step-by-step tutorial will allow them to create amazing drawings in no time! Actually, this is a guide to draw a variety of birds including turkey. Believe it or not, it has improved my drawing skills as well, even though I’m not really talented.

How to Draw: Birds

Thanksgiving Turkey Craft Kit

This is another simple yet effective kit to have fun and teach your little ones a thing or two. The kit contains 4 turkey bodies that read “I am thankful for”. Children can write what they’re thankful for on colorful feathers. By the way, it is never too early to teach children to be grateful.

Gratitude is beneficial for both physical and psychological health of human beings. It reduces aggression and enhances empathy. Instilling these values early on can only do good.

Fall Tree

This is one of my favorite craft kits because it can cover several age groups. The tree comes with 52 leaves of different sizes, shapes, and colors. Kids can attach and remove leaves as many times as they want. So, it’s a great tool to develop creativity, learn colors, shapes, seasons, and more.

Turkey Toss Game

While indoor games and crafts are fun your backyard is great for playing as well. Of course, if the weather allows it. Turkey bean bag toss game is great fun for your preschoolers and grade-schoolers. Even adults can have fun playing it.

Turkey Waddle Game

There are several ways to play this game, but all of them bring a ton of fun. It’s a fun race and if you have enough kids around you can make it a relay competition. You need several inflatable turkeys or turkey balloons to play it. Each player places turkey between their legs. The goal is to toddle from start to finish without touching the turkey with hands.

If the turkey falls, the player must come back to the start line and start over. The first one to get to the finish line is the winner. So, let the race begin!

Turkey Tag Clothespin Game

This is another great outdoor game. You can use self-adhesive googly eyes and foam sheets to give your clothespins a turkey-looking appearance. Each player sticks 3 clothespins anywhere on their clothing and the game can begin.

The goal is to remove other players’ “turkey pins” while keeping your own intact. When a player loses all three pins, she or he is out. In the end, there can be only one – the winner!

Final Word

These are some great ideas to provide some fun and/or learning for children of all ages. If you’re into crafting you can improvise and create most of these games on your own. But, if you lack time like the rest of us, most of these games and craft kits are pretty affordable.

It’s up to you, but in any case, I’m sure that your kids and your cousins’ kids will love it. Prepare your camera to take some funny and happy photos.Happy Thanksgiving!