25 Thanksgiving Activities for Kids: Fostering Gratitude and Fun

Thanksgiving is not just about indulging in a feast but also about spending quality time with loved ones and instilling the values of gratitude and appreciation in children. Engaging kids in Thanksgiving-themed activities not only keeps them occupied but also educates them about the historical significance of the holiday. Here are 25 enjoyable Thanksgiving activities for kids that promote learning and bonding:

1. Handprint Turkeys:

Create adorable handprint turkeys by painting children’s hands with autumn colors and pressing them onto paper.

2. Thanksgiving Storytime:

Read stories about the first Thanksgiving, explaining its historical importance and the values of sharing and gratitude.

3. Gratitude Journals:

Encourage children to maintain gratitude journals, noting down things they are grateful for each day.


4. Pumpkin Decorating:

Organize a pumpkin decorating session with paints, stickers, and glitter, allowing kids to showcase their creativity.

5. Make Thanksgiving Placemats:

Help kids design and decorate their personalized Thanksgiving placemats with drawings and messages of gratitude.

6. Nature Scavenger Hunt:

Arrange a nature scavenger hunt, encouraging kids to collect colorful leaves, pinecones, and other natural treasures.


7. Learn About Native American Culture:

Introduce children to the rich history and culture of Native Americans, emphasizing their significant contributions to American society.

8. Cook Together:

Involve kids in simple Thanksgiving meal preparations, such as stirring, measuring ingredients, and setting the table.

9. Gratitude Tree:

Create a gratitude tree by pasting paper leaves with expressions of thankfulness from each family member.


10. Thanksgiving Bingo:

Play a fun game of Thanksgiving-themed bingo with images of turkeys, pumpkins, and other holiday symbols.

11. Craft Cornucopias:

Construct paper cornucopias and fill them with homemade clay or playdough fruits and vegetables.

12. Turkey Trot:

Organize a mini “turkey trot” in the backyard or local park to get kids moving and burning off energy.


13. Watch a Parade:

Enjoy the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television, introducing children to the festive spirit of the holiday.

14. Visit a Museum or Historic Site:

Plan an educational trip to a museum or historic site to deepen children’s understanding of Thanksgiving’s historical roots.

15. Random Acts of Kindness:

Foster a spirit of giving by encouraging kids to perform random acts of kindness, such as making cards for the elderly or contributing to a food drive.

16. Leaf Art Collage:

Collect colorful autumn leaves and create vibrant leaf art collages, promoting creativity and appreciation for nature’s beauty.

17. Bake Thanksgiving Treats:

Bake Thanksgiving-themed cookies or pies with kids, allowing them to participate in the baking process.


18. Family Thankfulness Potluck:

Organize a family potluck where each member brings a dish and shares what they are grateful for.

19. Create a Thankful Banner:

Design a thankful banner with children, using construction paper, markers, and string to display what they are thankful for.

20. Thanksgiving Pictionary:

Play a lively game of Thanksgiving Pictionary, drawing and guessing holiday-related words and phrases.


21. Volunteer as a Family:

Participate in a community service project as a family, reinforcing the values of giving back and community involvement.

22. Create a Thanksgiving Scrapbook:

Compile a family scrapbook with photographs and mementos from past Thanksgivings, reminiscing about cherished memories.

23. DIY Gratitude Board:

Design a DIY gratitude board using a corkboard or poster, pinning up notes of gratitude and positivity.


24. Fall Leaf Rubbings:

Make fall leaf rubbings with paper and crayons, exploring different textures and shapes of leaves.

25. Write Thank You Notes:

Sit down with kids and write thank you notes to friends, family, or essential workers, expressing appreciation for their contributions.


Thanksgiving is an excellent opportunity to teach children about the importance of gratitude, community, and history. These 25 engaging activities offer a blend of creativity, education, and family bonding, making the Thanksgiving season both memorable and meaningful for kids of all ages.