Hands-On Kids Activities for Thanksgiving Day

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Spend tons of quality time as a family with easy-peasy kid's activities for Thanksgiving Day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I used to dread the holidays because I never knew how my kids would behave during big get-togethers.

Would they eat? What would they do?

We’re now finding a little bit of a groove when we head to family functions. I simply try to come prepared with something for them to do. Even a few toy cars for them to push around can be a huge help!

Dive into these Simple Thanksgiving Conversation Starters to fill the day with gratitude!

Hands-On Kids Activities for Thanksgiving Day

A huge hit we had last year on Thanksgiving was tape.

Yep. Just tape.

I brought three rolls of painter’s tape in green, yellow, and purple (affiliate links).

I just handed the tape over to the kids and let them do as they pleased. They covered the tile floor with it!

The cousins had a blast playing together and the adults got a chance to catch up. It was pure bliss.

So it kind of made me wonder: What else can we do on Thanksgiving day?

What can we do during those family get-togethers that keeps the kids happy and playing?

Thanksgiving Themed Activities for Thanksgiving Day

Challenge your child to move a feather across the floor or table by squeezing a turkey baster!

Challenge your child to move a feather across the floor or table by squeezing a turkey baster! All the details are found inside The Activity Room – this one is exclusively for Members!

Set up this invitation to create play dough turkeys from Fantastic Fun and Learning. The kids can make all kinds of turkey friends while they’re waiting for dinner.

Make Fun Learning For Kids’ racing turkeys game for the kids to play while you’re visiting relatives. They can make their own turkey game pieces before heading out of the house. Don’t forget to bring dice with you!

Encourage the kids to make place cards for Thanksgiving dinner while they wait. Inner Child Fun uses post-its as the basis for their name card turkeys, along with some basic craft supplies. The table is sure to look festive, and the kids will be happily engaged.

Let the kids practice their mark-making with Still Playing School’s Thanksgiving-themed sensory writing tray. You can put the main ingredient in a covered pan to bring along to dinner, or ask if your hosts already have it on-hand. While the adults are chatting, the kids can be drawing, writing, and exploring in the tray.

Work on fine motor skills by buttoning feathers onto a turkey with an easy busy activity from Mama OT.

Bring construction paper, glue sticks, and googly eyes while visiting relatives on Thanksgiving. Cutting Tiny Bites’ invitation to create turkeys can keep the kids happily creating as dinner is prepared.

Get their little fingers moving with feather weaving on Thanksgiving. Fun-A-Day shares how to put together a simple feather weaving activity using homemade looms and craft feathers. Make the looms ahead of time and put everything in a bag to take along as you travel for the holiday.

Turn waiting for the turkey into a game with a simple DIY turkey ring toss! It’s a craft plus a game so the little ones will be super busy for quite some time.

As you’re wrapping up your celebration or maybe when you’re just getting started, take some time to count your blessings. We love this simple kid-made thankful chain!

Activities for kids to do during any family get-together

Make DIY play dough ahead of time – here’s how to make homemade play dough. Pack everything up in a few bins with tops for a portable play dough station!

Trace over lines with stickers! Kids love to create art this way.

Tape down the large piece of paper, draw a wacky design with the marker, and then provide the stickers to trace the design.

While the kids wait for their dinner, invite them to make a meal for the birds. Maybe after dinner, the kids can hang up the feeders and watch for hungry birds.

Make a super simple quiet bin to bring along Thanksgiving Day. How Wee Learn’s popsicle stick and clothespin activity would be just the thing. Just two items, and the kids can build and create to their hearts’ content.

Grab all our best busy play ideas in one place!

If your kids love anything with stickers, Busy Toddler’s sticker line up will definitely be a hit. This activity can be done on a small scale or a large scale, so it can be done almost anywhere.

Turn a muffin tin into a geoboard for the kids, like And Next Comes L suggests. Chances are there are already a few muffin tins where you’re going, so you’ll just need to grab some rubber bands.

Have a few pots and pans that you’re not using right now? Lay them out and let the kids form their own kitchen band!

Try building your busy box – or make a few! Use our DIY busy box tutorial to help you get started with a few ideas!

Or just grab a roll of tape and let them do as they please!

Take a roll of tape to Grandma's house to keep the kids busy!

I’ve found over the years that family get-togethers go a little smoother when there are things to do. Everyone is a bit happier if I come prepared with something for the kids to do.

Don’t feel like you need to take full responsibility for all the kids! Divide the planning and supply lists up among every family who’ll be at your gathering.

What do your kids do at family get-togethers? We’d love to check out your creative ideas!