Educational Thanksgiving Activities for Kids
5 Fun Thanksgiving Activities for Kids
How to Teach Your Kids About Thanksgiving
As Thanksgiving approaches, make learning about this important holiday fun with these 5 educational activities for your kids. You can use these easy to make crafts to teach your children the history and background of the Thanksgiving holiday and the importance of being thankful for what they have in their lives.
So let's be thankful for the little ones in our lives and teach them why we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday every year. To help get you started, here are 5 fun and educational Thanksgiving activities to share and create with your kids.
Thankful Hands WreathClick thumbnail to view full-size
How to Make a Thankful Hands Wreath
The first educational Thanksgiving activity for kids is the thankful hands wreath. Use this fun craft to explain to your children about gratitude. Ask them what they are most thankful for in their lives. As they answer, add these items to the wreath so your kids can be reminded what is most important to them throughout the month of November. Another good idea is to laminate this wreath onto posterboard and use it for a placemat on Thanksgiving day. Here are the supplies you will need and step by step directions to create this wreath:
- Yellow, orange, and red construction paper
- Pen or marker
- Tape or glue stick
- Contact paper or laminator (optional)
- Stack yellow, orange, and red construction paper.
- Trace your child's hand four times (if possible) on the top sheet.
- Cut out hands. When you are finished, you should have 12 hands total.
- Glue or tape hands together in a circle.
- Write what your child is thankful for on each hand.
- If desired, glue to posterboard and use contact paper or laminator to make placemat.
Paper Plate TurkeyClick thumbnail to view full-size
How to Make a Paper Plate Turkey
Another educational Thanksgiving activity for kids is the paper plate turkey. With this craft, you can explain that turkey is a traditional Thanksgiving dish due to being the most plentiful meat source back in the 1600s. For more fun facts to share with your kids, take the short quiz to the right to test your knowledge about this holiday bird. Below is a list of supplies and directions to make a paper plate turkey:
- Large and small paper plate
- Paint and paintbrush
- Construction paper
- Wiggly eyes
- Hole puncher
- String or yarn
- Glue or tape
- Paint large and small paper plates with brown paint.
- While plates are drying, trace and cut your child's hand on red, yellow, and orange construction paper. You will need 2 hands of each color to make the feathers.
- Glue wiggly eyes, small orange triangle for beak, and red gobbler to small plate to create the turkey's face.
- Glue or tape 3 hands to each side of the large plate to create the feathers.
- Bend long strips of orange construction paper back and forth to create the turkey legs and glue to bottom of large plate.
- Staple the head to the body of the turkey and punch a hole at the top of the head.
- Tie a piece of string or yarn through the hole and hang your turkey up for display.
Native American TeepeeClick thumbnail to view full-size
How to Make a Native American Teepee
The third educational Thanksgiving activity for kids is to make a Native American teepee. This craft allows you to discuss the history and the importance of Native Americans to the Thanksgiving holiday. Explain to your child that the Wampanoag tribe who lived in teepees were invited to the first Thanksgiving dinner by the Pilgrims. This tribe taught the Pilgrims how to farm and cultivate their land to survive the harsh winter. Here is a list of supplies and step by step directions to make this craft:
- Cardstock or construction paper
- Sticks, straws, or twigs
- Paint or markers
- Glue or tape
- Wrap cardstock or construction paper into cylinder and secure with tape or glue.
- Tape 3 sticks, straws, or twigs into the inside of the teepee to support the cylinder.
- Decorate the outside of the teepee with paint or markers.
Pilgrim HatClick thumbnail to view full-size
Fun Thanksgiving Treat - Sugar Cone Cornucopia
Fill a sugar cone with fruit shaped candy, candy corn, citrus slices, dried fruit, or fruit shaped cereal. Tie ribbon around cone and serve on plate. By serving this treat, you can explain how the cornucopia is a sign of abundance and nourishment and that it was used on the original Thanksgiving table to hold all the fruits and vegetables.
How to Make a Pilgrim Hat
Another educational Thanksgiving activity for kids is to make a Pilgrim hat. With this craft, you will be able to teach your child about the Pilgrims who traveled across the ocean on the Mayflower to start a new colony in America. Describe the type of clothes Pilgrims wore and lead them into making the Pilgrim hat. Below is a list of supplies and directions to this craft:
- White cardstock paper
- Yellow and black construction paper
- Glue stick
- Measuring tape
- Measure your child's head and cut a long strip of white cardstock an inch longer to fit around head. You may need to cut two strips and attach them together.
- Cut hat shape out of black construction paper. Also cut white strip and yellow buckle from construction paper to attach to hat.
- Glue white strip and buckle to hat. Then glue or tape hat to long white strip of cardstock.
- Tape white strip to fit around your child's head. Cut off any excess length if needed.
Potato TurkeyClick thumbnail to view full-size
Potato Turkey Using Only Food
Examples of Food to Use
Raisins or M&Ms
Apple peel, red gummy, or dried cranberry
Peanuts, raisins, or carrot pieces
Red or yellow peppers, carrots, or squash
Pretzels or carrots
How to Make a Potato Turkey
The final educational Thanksgiving activity for kids is the potato turkey. This is another fun project that can help teach about the turkey and also about fruits and vegetables. We made our potato turkey using construction paper but there is an alternate way using only food. Either way you choose to make it, your kids will love the final results. Below is a list of supplies and step by step directions to make this craft:
Large brown potato
Red, yellow, and orange construction paper
Glue or tape
- Attach 3 toothpicks to the bottom of the potato to make a tripod so it can stand on its own.
- Cut a small beak from orange construction paper and gobbler from the red paper.
- Glue the wiggly eyes, beak, and gobbler on to the face using peanut butter.
- Cut out 3 feathers of each color construction paper and glue or tape together in a fan shape.
- Attach these feathers to the back of the potato using peanut butter.
- Cut 2 small strips of orange paper and bend back and forth to make turkey legs.
- Attach the legs to the bottom of the potato with peanut butter. These legs will help cover up the toothpicks.
Thanksgiving Activity Poll
Which one of these craft ideas is your favorite?
How to Teach Kids About Thanksgiving
Sharing these Thanksgiving activities with your kids can be both fun and educational at the same time. Explain to your children why you are making each craft and share fun facts about each one. They will be having so much fun that they won't even realize that you are using these crafts as a teaching tool about the importance and history of the Thanksgiving holiday!
I hope you have found these educational Thanksgiving activities helpful to teach your kids all about the holiday. Will you be using any of these craft ideas? Do you have any other fun Thanksgiving activities that your kids enjoy? Feel free to share your ideas and any other comments in the section provided below. Happy Thanksgiving to all!