7 Thanksgiving Activities for Kids

Keep your little ones busy this Turkey Day with an assortment of free, educational, and interactive Thanksgiving activities for kids. They'll stay entertained for hours as you cook Thanksgiving dinner!

Coloring-Book Tablecloth
Photo: Photograph by Ryan Liebe
01 of 08

Turkey Egg Hunt

The Gang's All Here
Photograph by Joe Polillo

Dig last spring's plastic Easter eggs out of the closet for this free Thanksgiving activity for kids. Stash fun stuff—like sweets, trinkets, or paper slips bearing jokes or funny observations about Grandpa's ears—inside the eggs. While a grown-up hides the turkey eggs around the house, have each child decorate a gift bag with colorful tape and stamps and ink. Let the hunt begin! The kid who gathers the most gobbler bounty gets the first slice of pie.

02 of 08

Turkey Race

The Gang's All Here
Photograph by Joe Polillo

Have each player make a turkey from half of a plastic Easter egg, using glue dots to stick on a pom-pom head, googly eyes, felt nose and snood, and feathers. Set each turkey over a large marble. On a smooth floor, see who can roll their bird the furthest.

03 of 08

Wreath of Plenty Craft

Wreath of Plenty
Photograph by Doug Merriam

Each note of gratitude pinned to this leafy wreath only improves its lush look. Set out blank leaves, pens, and straight pins and ask guests to add what they're thankful for.

To Make the Wreath: Wrap a 12-inch Styrofoam wreath form with strips of fabric, securing them with ball-head straight pins. Cut leaf shapes from card stock. Crease each leaf in half to add dimension. To hang, pin a loop of string to the back of the wreath. Tip: Use light-colored gel pens to write on darker paper.

04 of 08

Tail Feather Tag

The Gang's All Here
Photograph by Joe Polillo

To start, each player colors a clothespin with a marker, then uses glue dots to attach googly eyes, as well as a craft foam or felt beak. The decorated pin is clipped to the back of the player's shirt. Once the referee says "Go!," everyone tries to steal each other's clothespins without losing their own. When a player's clothespin is taken, they're out. The last person with a turkey still attached wins the round.

05 of 08

Coloring-Book Tablecloth

Coloring-Book Tablecloth
Photograph by Ryan Liebe

By turning the Thanksgiving table into a giant art canvas, kids will stay entertained throughout dinner. Cans from cooking preparations (cleaned and dried) make handy holders for crayons and colored pencils.

How It's Done: Use kraft paper, art paper, or wrapping paper to cover the table; if needed, use several lengths, taping them to each other. Keep it in place with large binder clips or painter's tape (test tape on the table's underside to ensure it won't damage the finish). With black marker, draw place settings and other shapes to invite coloring.

06 of 08

Nature Hike Wreath Craft

Thanksgiving Fun

Looking for a way to spruce up the post-Thanksgiving dinner walk? Give each family member a plastic bag, then have everyone collect fallen leaves, bark, pinecones, twigs, and other nature finds as they walk. Back home, hand out wreath forms cut from cereal boxes (ours are 7 inches wide) and bottles of tacky glue for attaching the objects. Add leaf-shaped name tags cut from cardboard or card stock. For hanging, glue a large paper clip to the back of each wreath.

07 of 08

Popcorn Pacing Game

Popcorn Pacing
Photograph by Doug Merriam

Looking for Thanksgiving activities for kids that'll get 'em moving? Try this goofy outdoor relay race. It also has the eco-friendly side effect of providing food for birds and squirrels.

How To Play: Divide your group into teams and give each team a large bag of plain popcorn and two shoe cups. The first runner on each team slips the cups over their shoes and fills them with popcorn. At "Go," the players make their way across the lawn, empty their popcorn into a box, and race back to the start. The next teammate in line slips on the cups and follows suit. The relay continues until one of the bags is empty. The amount of popcorn in the boxes is measured, either with a ruler to find the depth or by scooping out the popcorn and counting the number of cups filled. The team with the most popcorn is the winner.

See next slide for instructions on making the cups.

08 of 08

Shoe Cup Instructions

How to Make the Shoe Cups
Photograph by Doug Merriam

Use a small nail or pushpin to poke a small hole in the bottom of a plastic cup. Push a wide rubber band through the hole. Thread a paper clip onto the band inside the cup as shown, and gently pull on the other end of the band.

Additional reporting by Debra Immergut
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