thanksgiving activities-homeschool living

Thanksgiving Activities for Kids Ages 2 to 92

by Megan Bittner Thanksgiving is only weeks away, so now’s the time to demonstrate–and learn–a spirit of thankfulness in your home. These fun Thanksgiving recipes, homeschool lesson plans, kids crafts, and family games offer too many activities for just one day! Explore these ideas and cultivate a whole season of gratitude.  

Tasting Thanksgiving

The ingredients for these candy pretzel turkey bites from Suburban Simplicity can be set out for younger children to create their own Thanksgiving-themed snacks. This crockpot apple cinnamon rice pudding can make a simple, festive meal on a busy day during the holiday season. These three-ingredient cinnamon chips from Mom Endeavors are an easy appetizer or dessert that anyone can make. Vegetable tian is a beautiful and healthy side dish that older children can help prep and younger children can assemble. Use the assembly as an opportunity to teach the younger ones a quick lesson on patterns. This impossible pumpkin pie makes its own crust (subscribing to the newsletter is required for free access to the site), so your little cooks can bake this themselves and still have time for some Thanksgiving games. Try making your own butter in a jar to keep small hands occupied with their own contribution to the Thanksgiving table.  

Learning Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving scavenger hunt from My Kids Adventures walks you through the setup for this fun and educational game. With this gratitude lesson plan by Kids of Integrity, students can make a scarecrow, bake “manna” wafers, and learn how God provided for the Israelites when they were “pilgrims” journeying to a new land. These Thanksgiving memory baskets from Danielle’s Place teach a sweet lesson about the first Thanksgiving. (Though the downloadable basket pattern is cute, almost any container can be used for the “basket.” Try decorating large paper cups, testing your origami skills by folding a paper basket, or using small gift bags or boxes you may have around your house.) Make mini Mayflowers out of old corks (or purchase new corks at craft stores), and use them for a cool interactive history lesson about the Pilgrims’ voyage. (The cute boats can double as place cards on your table when the lesson is over.) This quick video offers visual instructions on how to craft the simple boats. This “Thankfulness No Matter What” lesson plan from Ministry to Children includes a Bible reading, application lesson, and craft. Your students can use old paper towel and tissue paper rolls and some colored paper scraps to create these adorable Pilgrim and Indian characters and act out the Thanksgiving story.  

Crafting Thanksgiving

This cute twist on the classic handprint turkey is simple enough for children to do with a minimum of assistance, which makes it an excellent activity to occupy little hands during the holiday prep. A creative use of bubble wrap makes this corn wreath from Purely from the Heart a lovely welcome to your home. These simple woven autumn placemats give children a chance to add their own creative flair to the Thanksgiving table. This fall leaf painting idea from MinneMama works for all ages, and gives you a great excuse to take a walk outside to collect the supplies. This simple leaf catcher from Handmade Charlotte is a beautiful way to encourage a spirit of gratitude and collect all of the moments your family is thankful for. This turkey book can be used as a guestbook of sorts, however large or small your gathering. Have everyone sign your book with something they’re grateful for, add a few snapshots of your gathering, and this book becomes a keepsake your family can treasure–and expand on–for years.  

Playing Thanksgiving

Turkey tag is a great way for the whole family to get moving and work off some of that pumpkin pie! This gratitude scavenger hunt from Let’s Get Together is a lovely way to explore and share your unique blessings. With a die and this simple printable from The Idea Room, you can create an easy game for younger children to play together. Everyone is full, but not quite ready to leave the comfort and warmth of the family dining table. Try this chopstick relay race to entertain guests of all ages! This family photographer game is ideal for large gatherings and gets kids mingling and interacting with family members and friends that they may not see very often. Plus, you’ll have photos for everyone to share. The Gratitude Game from Teach Beside Me is a sweet, low-key family game to play after dinner.

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