Thanksgiving Crafts, Games, and Activity Ideas for Kids
There are many simple and quick crafts and games to do with kids to celebrate Thanksgiving. Included in this article are some examples of turkey crafts and turkey-themed games to get you and your child into the spirit of Thanksgiving.
- 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.
- Mayflower: 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.
- 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.