Thanksgiving activities for kids can be both fun and educational. Keeping little hands busy and productive as you prepare for the big Thanksgiving feast helps parents two ways. First, the kids get to be a part of the preparations and Thanksgiving traditions. This gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Second, and most importantly, these Thanksgiving activities will help keep them out of your way as you get ready for twenty or more people to come over and eat!
Photo from Pixabay
Thanksgiving Activities for Kids-Crafts
There are many kinds of crafts children can make for Thanksgiving. One thing that my children like to do is make place cards for everyone. Each year my family looks forward to seeing what decorations my children have placed beside their name.
Another fun activity is to have the kids to make a menu. This can be something created on the computer with clip art, or it can be made from construction paper, markers, foam shapes and stickers. This bucket of Thanksgiving foam stickers can be used to make greeting cards for family members who cannot be there, matching games, pattern games, stick puppets for a little Thanksgiving play and so much more.
If you are using plastic cups, then children can create decorative labels with names on them for each cup so when your guest puts it down, they know whose beverage it is!
You know how wine charms identify a glass? Children can use stickers and decorate cups with certain patterns or one kind of sticker. This will make each glass unique and recognizable to the guests.
A third activity that kids can do to make your Thanksgiving table look beautiful is to make disposable place mats. Buy white 9 x 12 construction paper, washable paints in autumn colors, and leaf sponges. While you are doing your holiday dinner prep work, kids can sponge paint placemats for the table. Once they are dry, they can help set the table with their personal creations!
Older children can use white polyester napkins and fabric paint to create unique designs that can be reused each year. They can sign their names with a Sharpie marker to insure the artist gets proper credit.
Thanksgiving coloring pages keep young children busy. There are many different ones for you to download. Once they are colored in, the kids can cut their drawings out and mount them on construction paper. Hang a string on your banister and use clothespins to clip the artwork to it. This simple activity creates a gallery of your children’s artwork!
Thanksgiving Activities for Kids-Baking and More With Thanksgiving Cookie Cutters
Anyone who knows me knows that I love to be in the kitchen with my children baking all kinds of treats. One of the things my kids love to do most is bake cookies that need to be rolled and pressed. It is a calming activity, much like Play Doh. The rolling and patting is fun and my kids love to mess with it.
My children always help me bake for the holidays, and Thanksgiving is no exception. Thanksgiving cookie cutters help us make themed cookies for the dessert table. These cookies can be decorated with icing, sprinkles, or dyed with natural food coloring.
Cookie cutters can also be used for painting crafts. Kids can dip the cookie cutter into paint and make designs on paper or fabric. You can make a beautiful gift of a Thanksgiving apron with them!
You can also use your Thanksgiving cookie cutters to make salt dough ornaments for each guest. While there are dozens of variations, here is a basic recipe:
1 cup salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup luke warm water
Mix the salt and flour and add water gradually. Roll out the dough and use the cookie cutters or make a free hand design. If you are going to use these for ornaments, be sure to make a hole at the top before you let it dry.
You can air dry or it can be baked in the oven at 200 degrees for up to one hour. Be sure to check on it at the 45 minute mark. These can be painted when dry.
Thanksgiving Food Prep With Kids
If your kids are still underfoot, then let them help you with the Thanksgiving food preparation. They can do those little jobs that you do not feel like doing, but they think are so important!
For appetizers, children can help cut up red, yellow and orange peppers and arrange them on plates. They can make an easy dip with light sour cream and ranch dressing mix. Let them bring it in on a tray and show off their culinary skills.
While sweet desserts are always on the menu, for those guests who are more health conscious, there should be other choices available. Children can make fruit kabobs with strawberries, cantaloupe and pineapple, which are in autumnal colors.
Bite sized desserts are all the rage, so why not bake mini cupcakes with the kid and have them add a Thanksgiving pick and seasonal sprinkles to top it off?
Outdoor Thanksgiving Activities for Kids
If your climate is temperate and the falling temperatures do not send you straight indoors, the there are activities that you can do with your kids for Thanksgiving. You can create a unique one-of-a-kind centerpiece by collecting pine cones, acorns, pretty stones, and anything else that will not wilt before the holiday.
Paint the pine cones and rocks red, orange and yellow and be sure to leave a few in their natural brown state for contrast. Fill an inexpensive vase with your findings and take a picture of it so your children can always remember their contributions to the Thanksgiving décor.
Your pine cones can also be repurposed as miniature turkeys. Glue feathers to one end and googly eyes and a beak made front felt or construction paper to the front. Voila! Instant turkey!
Another fun outdoor activity is to go decorate your yard for the holiday. Your children can help you make a welcome banner for guests, make elegant autumn themed pinwheels for the yard, and help set up the Thanksgiving lights.
These fun Thanksgiving activities for kids will kepp them busy and you happy this holiday season.
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