Thanksgiving Ideas for Kids

Updated on May 30, 2016

There are many simple and quick crafts and games to do with kids to celebrate Thanksgiving. Included are some examples of turkey crafts and turkey-themed games to get you and your child into the spirit of Thanksgiving.

Tissue Box Turkey
Tissue Box Turkey
Hand Outline Turkey
Hand Outline Turkey

Thanksgiving Crafts

Tissue Box Turkey

Take an empty tissue box and paint it brown. Add a beak from yellow construction paper or cardstock. Make sure the beak is placed over the opening of the box. Add eyes to the top. Glue craft feathers to the back of the box.

The box can be used just for decoration or it can be used in a game. Some game ideas are to have the children feed the bird with letters or Thanksgiving themed pictures. The turkey can also be used as a sensory box. You can place corn or rice in the turkey and have the children feel inside.


On a piece of paper, draw the outline of a boat or cut the shape of a boat out of brown construction paper. Make sure to add a straight line coming up from the center of the boat to be the mast. Cut different triangular and square shapes from either card stock or construction paper for the sails. Next add yarn or string for the roping. Stretch the yarn from the sails to the boat and glue it down.

Hand Turkey

Trace an outline of your child’s hand on a piece of paper. The thumb is the head, the palm of the hand is the body, and the other fingers are the feathers. Have him or her color or paint the turkey. Add eyes, a beak, legs, and a wattle. Google eyes can be added or craft sticks for legs. Craft feathers also make the turkey pop off the page.

Thanksgiving Table Kids Crafts

Thanksgiving Fun and Games

Duck Duck Turkey

Play this game the same way as duck, duck, goose.  Instead of picking someone to be the goose, pick someone to be the turkey.  Have everyone sit in a circle.  Pick someone to be “It.”  The person who is “It” walks around the circle tapping each person lightly on the head and saying “duck.”  The person who is “It” must pick someone to be the “Turkey” by lightly tapping his or her head and saying “Turkey” instead of “duck.”  The “Turkey” then has to chase the person who is “It” around the circle.  “It” must try to get to the “Turkey’s former spot in the circle before the “Turkey” can tag him.  If the person who is “It” does not reach the spot first before being tagged, “It” must go sit inside the middle of the circle until someone else is tagged.  The “Turkey” is now the new “It.” 

Zap the Turkeys

If you have more than one child, pick one to be the turkey hunter. The rest of the kids are the turkeys. Give the turkey hunter a plastic ball or something else soft to use as the “zapper.”

The turkey hunter chases the turkeys and tries to “zap” them by throwing the ball or lightly tapping them. Make sure to demonstrate how to zap without really hurting the turkeys.

Pin the Feather on the Turkey

This is a Thanksgiving twist to the old donkey game. Make a large drawing or print out of a turkey. Use a craft feather or draw a feather to pin on. Blindfold the child and have him or her try to get the feather onto the right spot on the turkey.

What's a Wattle?

For a spin-off of the classic Operation board game, take an outline of a turkey and make parts that kids can insert. These can be drawings too or they can be made of felt or whatever craft supplies are available. The kids try to place the turkey parts in the right spots on the turkey. For example, placing the turkey wattle on its neck, the gizzard in the stomach, the feathers on the back, and so on.

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Thanksgiving Activities

Food Box

A good activity to do with your kids during the holiday season is to collect food for the needy. Most food pantries distribute food boxes for Thanksgiving. Doing a food drive or collection with your kids is a good way to teach them generosity and to think of the needs of others.

I tie in the pilgrims' need for food when they first arrived at Plymouth Rock with the need of people in our society today. I discuss how we can be generous to others like the Native Americans were helpful to the pilgrims.

List of Blessings

With your child, start making a list or pictures of the blessings in your lives.  Discuss the many things for which you can be thankful.  To expand the activity, tie a string to the pictures or list each blessing on a small piece of paper.  Place the blessings on a tree or glue them to a poster board.

Thanksgiving Trivia

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Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Katy 2 years ago

        Thank you so much for sharing all of that amazing stuff with me.i am going to try all of it because it's cool and I have everything to make everything you showed to all of the people that looked at this page.

      • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

        Maren Elizabeth Morgan 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

        Love the Duck, Duck, Turkey game. When I taught elementary school, I adapted it for whatever we were studying. Kids love it.

      • profile image

        Jisha Jagadeesh 6 years ago

        Nice hub....thought provoking....thanks....keep writing

      • uniquearticlesbuz profile image

        uniquearticlesbuz 6 years ago from USA

        Thanks for awesome hub...........

      • shesacraftymom profile image

        shesacraftymom 6 years ago

        Love these crafts! Can't wait to try them!

      • profile image

        arusho 6 years ago

        great hub and I love all the ideas. We are doing the turkey trot on Thanksgiving before diving into the delicious food.

      • orchard-lady profile image

        orchard-lady 6 years ago from PA

        That is the most awesome turkey EVER. Thanks for sharing!

      • Keeley Shea profile image

        Keeley Shea 6 years ago from Norwich, CT

        Great hub of the day! Very timely too! Looking forward to doing some of these great activities with my children. Thank you!

      • miss_jkim profile image

        miss_jkim 6 years ago

        Cute and fun ideas. Great hub!

      • cocopreme profile image

        Candace Bacon 6 years ago from Far, far away

        carriethomson - Thank you so much.

        jacqui2011 - Thanks. Pin the tail on the turkey can be very fun.

        pstraubie48 - Crafts are wonderful to do with kids. It lets them explore their creativity.

        RTalloni - Thanks. Learning body parts is a good way to introduce science to kids. Turning it into a game makes learning fun.

        pedrn44 - Thank you.

        Sunshine625 - Thanks

        randomcreative - Thank you. Kids do need ways to keep busy, especially during the holidays. Crafts and activities are a way to channel their excitement.

      • cocopreme profile image

        Candace Bacon 6 years ago from Far, far away

        Wow! What a pleasant surprise for the day. I'm thrilled to have this hub picked for the honor. Thanks for all the comments. They are much appreciated.

      • randomcreative profile image

        Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

        Awesome hub! It's so important to keep kids entertained and happy during the holidays. I love how many different suggestions you've included here. Congrats on getting Hub of the Day!

      • Sunshine625 profile image

        Linda Bilyeu 6 years ago from Orlando, FL

        I'm thankful for this fantastic Hub Of The Day! Congrats!

      • pedrn44 profile image

        Sandi 6 years ago from Greenfield, Wisconsin

        Congrats on a well deserving hub of the day! Great ideas and put together very well.

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

        Congrats on a deserving Hub of the Day! Super ideas right to the end with What's a Wattle, and I loved the pasta letter project from the video.

        Voted up.

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 6 years ago from sunny Florida

        Congratulations on Hub of the Day....

        These crafts are sooooo cute and kids love, love to do them. Making them is such fun. I will share some of these with my grandboy when is a bit older; I am not very crafty so always admire other's art! My children in class did lots of crafts and their products were much better than their teachers. Am sending this hub to my teacher friends.

      • jacqui2011 profile image

        jacqui2011 6 years ago from Norfolk, UK

        Great hub. Congratulations on being selected for hub of the day. I love your idea of pin the tail on the turkey. Voted up and awesome.

      • carriethomson profile image

        carriethomson 6 years ago from United Kingdom

        WOW wonderful hub!! congratulations for being the hub of the day!!


      • Hope Wilbanks profile image

        Hope Wilbanks 8 years ago from Louisiana

        Thanks for answering my question! Great hub, with some awesome ideas! Much appreciated! :)

      • cocopreme profile image

        Candace Bacon 8 years ago from Far, far away

        To private - maybe your kids are too old for that game. The kids in my class are mostly three year olds. They are at a silly stage and think anything unusual is funny. Your kids might be too mature.

      • profile image

        private 8 years ago

        I love this! Its wonderful and my kids enjoyed doing all this except the Turkey Joe one. I do not undcerstand it and it is completely pointless.

      • cocopreme profile image

        Candace Bacon 8 years ago from Far, far away

        Thanks for visiting! Happy Turkey Day!

      • Hookah profile image

        Hookah 8 years ago from Kentucky

        Oh wow! I can certainly play these with my niece and son for this Thanksgiving as well as my cousin's kids. Very nice activities I hadn't thought, I find your tissue turkey adorable!

      • Eileen Hughes profile image

        Eileen Hughes 8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

        Great tips thanks for sharing them with us