The Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving Activities for Kids: Fun, Educational, and Festive

Fall Holidays, Holidays, Homeschooling Resources, Teacher/Parent Resources, Thanksgiving | 0 comments



November 12, 2020

Thanksgiving Activities for Kids

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Thanksgiving Activities for Kids are super important for teachers, parents, and caregivers as the holiday approaches. Engaging and educational activities keep kids entertained during those last crazy days before break. From festive crafts to fun games and educational projects, there are endless opportunities to create memorable experiences for children during the holiday season. In this ultimate guide to Thanksgiving activities for kids, we’ll explore a variety of ideas to keep the little ones excited and involved, all while incorporating the spirit of gratitude and giving thanks. What’s more, I have also included a full section of Spanish Thanksgiving teaching resources.

Whether it’s creating handmade decorations, embarking on a scavenger hunt, or exploring the history and traditions of Thanksgiving, this guide aims to provide a comprehensive resource for teachers and families. With a focus on fun, education, and fostering a sense of celebration, both educators and parents can discover inspiring and inventive ways to make this Thanksgiving a truly unforgettable experience for children. Get ready to infuse the holiday with laughter, learning, and a whole lot of festive cheer with this hand-picked collection of Thanksgiving activities for kids!

The Importance of Thanksgiving Activities for Kids

Thanksgiving is not only a time for feasting and expressing gratitude but also an opportunity to engage children in meaningful activities that enhance their creativity, knowledge, and understanding of the holiday. Engaging kids in Thanksgiving-themed activities not only keeps them entertained but also allows them to connect with the essence of the holiday, learn about its history, and develop a sense of appreciation. By participating in various Thanksgiving activities for kids, they can gain a deeper understanding of the significance of Thanksgiving and create lasting memories that they will cherish.

Moreover, engaging in Thanksgiving activities for kids can serve as a bonding experience for families and classrooms, providing an opportunity for teachers, parents, and children to spend quality time together. These activities can also nurture a sense of togetherness and reinforce the values of gratitude and generosity. Whether indoors or outdoors, there are numerous activities that can be tailored to suit the interests and preferences of children, making Thanksgiving a time of fun, learning, and celebration for all.

In today’s digital age, where children are often consumed by electronic devices, Thanksgiving activities for kids offer a refreshing break and an opportunity for kids to engage in hands-on, interactive experiences. These activities can stimulate their creativity, promote critical thinking, and encourage them to express themselves in various artistic and intellectual ways. By incorporating a blend of fun and education, Thanksgiving activities for kids can contribute to their holistic development and instill a sense of enthusiasm for learning.

Fun and Educational Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids

Crafting is a delightful way to engage kids in Thanksgiving festivities, allowing them to express their creativity while creating beautiful decorations and keepsakes. From making handprint turkeys and gratitude trees to crafting cornucopias and pilgrim hats, there are countless craft ideas that can inspire kids and add a festive touch to the holiday season. Engaging in these craft Thanksgiving activities for kids not only provides children with a hands-on creative outlet but also encourages them to explore their imagination and artistic abilities.

One fun and educational Thanksgiving craft for kids is creating a “Thankful Turkey,” where children can write down things they are thankful for on colorful paper feathers and attach them to a turkey cut-out. This activity not only encourages children to reflect on their blessings but also serves as a visual representation of gratitude. Additionally, crafting personalized Thanksgiving placemats or table centerpieces can involve kids in preparing for the holiday feast and contribute to the festive ambiance of the dinner table.*

Another engaging craft idea is to make “Gratitude Journals,” where kids can decorate and personalize their own journals, encouraging them to jot down things they are thankful for each day leading up to Thanksgiving. This activity promotes mindfulness and reflection, fostering a sense of appreciation and positivity. Through these craft projects, kids can not only create cherished mementos but also develop a deeper understanding of the value of gratitude and the spirit of Thanksgiving.*

*Either of these Thanksgiving activities for kids would also work great in a Spanish or dual-language classroom!

Also, check out these additional Thanksgiving craft ideas:

Festive Thanksgiving Games for Kids

Incorporating games into Thanksgiving activities can add an element of fun and excitement for kids, making the holiday celebration even more enjoyable. From traditional games with a Thanksgiving twist to interactive activities that promote teamwork and friendly competition, there are numerous options to keep kids entertained and engaged. One classic game that kids can enjoy is “Pin the Feather on the Turkey,” a playful variation of the traditional “Pin the Tail on the Donkey,” where children take turns trying to pin feathers on a large turkey cut-out while blindfolded. These Thanksgiving activities for kids are loved by children of all ages!

Another entertaining game idea is “Thanksgiving Bingo,” featuring holiday-themed bingo cards with images of turkeys, pumpkins, cornucopias, and other festive elements. This game not only provides a fun pastime for kids but also enhances their visual recognition skills and attention to detail. If you are a Spanish or dual-language teacher, try this Spanish version:

Thanksgiving Activities for Kids

Additionally, organizing a “Turkey Trot” race or a friendly game of “Pilgrim and Native American Tag” in the backyard can get kids moving and active while embracing the spirit of the holiday. Active Thanksgiving activities for kids are perfect to get kids up and moving!

For a more collaborative activity, engage in a “Gratitude Scavenger Hunt,” where kids search for specific items or clues related to gratitude and thankfulness. This activity encourages children to explore their surroundings while reflecting on the concept of gratitude in a playful and interactive manner. By incorporating festive games into Thanksgiving celebrations, parents and teachers can create an atmosphere of joy and merriment, allowing kids to participate in lighthearted Thanksgiving activities for kids that capture the essence of the holiday.

Additionally, check out these additional Thanksgiving games:

Educational Thanksgiving Activities for Kids

Thanksgiving presents an opportunity to engage kids in educational Thanksgiving activities for kids that promote learning, critical thinking, and cultural awareness. By integrating elements of history, geography, and social studies into the holiday experience, children can gain valuable insights into the significance of Thanksgiving and its place in American heritage. Educational activities not only enrich children’s knowledge but also empower them to develop a deeper appreciation for the traditions and values associated with the holiday.

One educational activity for kids is creating a “Thanksgiving Timeline” where children can learn about key events and milestones related to the history of Thanksgiving, from the arrival of the Pilgrims to the establishment of Thanksgiving as a national holiday. By organizing historical events in chronological order and illustrating them with visuals, kids can gain a comprehensive understanding of the holiday’s evolution and significance. Additionally, exploring maps and geographical features associated with the origins of Thanksgiving can provide children with a broader perspective on the cultural and historical context of the holiday.

Another educational endeavor is engaging kids in a “Thanksgiving Trivia Challenge,” where they can participate in a quiz or scavenger hunt focused on Thanksgiving-related facts, traditions, and symbols. This activity not only encourages children to explore diverse aspects of the holiday but also stimulates their curiosity and critical thinking skills. Furthermore, involving kids in creating “Thanksgiving-themed word puzzles” or “Crossword challenges” that incorporate vocabulary related to the holiday can enhance their language skills and cognitive abilities in an enjoyable and interactive manner. These Thanksgiving activities for kids also work well in Spanish or dual-language classrooms.

By infusing educational components into Thanksgiving activities for kids, parents and teachers can empower children to embrace a multidimensional understanding of the holiday, fostering a sense of curiosity, respect for cultural heritage, and a desire for lifelong learning. These activities not only contribute to children’s intellectual development but also instill a sense of appreciation for the historical and cultural significance of Thanksgiving. Here are some fabulous educational activities:

Lessons & Digital Teaching Resources

Thanksgiving Activities for Kids – Printables

Thanksgiving Storytelling and Book Recommendations for Kids

Storytelling plays a significant role in conveying the history, traditions, and values associated with Thanksgiving, making it an essential part of the holiday experience for kids. By sharing captivating stories and recommending age-appropriate books, parents and teachers can immerse children in the cultural significance of Thanksgiving while igniting their imagination and curiosity. Whether through classic tales of gratitude and friendship or informative books that explore the origins of the holiday, storytelling can captivate children’s interest and deepen their understanding of Thanksgiving.

One engaging way to incorporate storytelling is by reading aloud from books that highlight the themes of thankfulness, generosity, and the spirit of giving. Titles such as “The Thankful Book” by Todd Parr (Spanish version too!), “The Story of the Pilgrims” by Katharine Ross, and “Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks” by Margaret Sutherland are excellent choices that convey important messages about gratitude in a manner that resonates with young readers. Additionally, exploring interactive pop-up books or engaging with multimedia resources that offer immersive storytelling experiences can enhance children’s engagement and comprehension.

Apart from reading, parents and teachers can encourage kids to engage in creative storytelling by composing their own Thanksgiving narratives or reimagining traditional stories from their perspective. This activity not only nurtures children’s language skills and imagination but also allows them to express their understanding of the holiday in a personal and unique way. By integrating storytelling and book recommendations into Thanksgiving activities, parents can inspire a love for literature and cultivate a deeper appreciation for the cultural and historical aspects of the holiday.

Check these out as well: Thanksgiving Books for Kids

Spanish Thanksgiving Teaching Ideas

  • Color the Turkey! “Your elementary Spanish learners will love coloring in this turkey prior to Thanksgiving Day. Each part of the turkey has a designated color, but learners must match up the number associated with each part with its designated color! What great way to review number and color vocabulary!” -from Lesson Planet
  • Next, here is a great collection from Mis Clases Locas
  • Additionally, definitely check out “Thanksgiving in Spanish Class: A Mega-Collection of Classroom Ideas” from Spanish Mama
  • Further, Srta. Spanish has a great post with lots of ideas for class that will make planning a whole lot easier!
  • Finally, here are some fun activities that will work well with both in-person and distance learning classrooms (including a FREEBIE!):
Thanksgiving Activities for Kids
Thanksgiving Activities for Kids
Thanksgiving Activities for Kids
Turkey Time Freebie Cover

Or Grab All 5 (Including the Bingo Game) for 20% Off!


Thanksgiving is a special time of the year when families come together to express gratitude and celebrate the blessings in their lives. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to engage children in fun and educational activities that will not only keep them entertained but also teach them important lessons about the holiday. In this ultimate guide to Thanksgiving activities for kids, we have explored various ways to make this Thanksgiving season memorable for students and children.

We began by highlighting the importance of Thanksgiving activities for kids. These activities offer a chance for children to learn about the history and significance of Thanksgiving, as well as develop important skills such as creativity, critical thinking, and teamwork. With a wide range of crafts, games, and educational resources, you can keep your children engaged and entertained throughout the holiday season.

We then delved into the fun and educational Thanksgiving crafts for kids. From creating handmade Thanksgiving cards to making adorable turkey decorations, these crafts not only provide an opportunity for kids to showcase their creativity but also serve as a wonderful way to bond with classmates and family members. The festive Thanksgiving games for kids were another highlight, offering exciting ways to keep children active and entertained during this festive time.

Additionally, we explored educational Thanksgiving activities for kids, which included lessons and digital teaching resources. These resources are designed to enrich children’s understanding of Thanksgiving by incorporating educational elements into their activities. We also provided Thanksgiving teaching ideas, such as printables and storytelling recommendations, to help you create a dynamic and engaging learning environment for your students and children.

Lastly, we discussed Spanish Thanksgiving teaching ideas, allowing children to explore the holiday from a multicultural perspective. By incorporating Spanish vocabulary and cultural elements into their activities, children can broaden their horizons and develop an appreciation for diversity. If you are interested in more Spanish activities, a great place to start is this post introducing Spanish colors with lots of info and freebies!

As you can see, there are countless ways to make Thanksgiving a memorable and educational experience for children. Check out the various lessons and Thanksgiving activities for kids now, and create lasting memories this Thanksgiving season!




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