I love Thanksgiving! I love spending time with family, making (and eating) food all day, and of course watching football. This year, I’m trying a few new things for Thanksgiving. My kids are almost two and almost four, so they are super into crafts and games. Leading into Thanksgiving, we are making some crafts that can actually be used for Thanksgiving Day, and we are putting together some games that will hopefully be fun for the whole family. Here are the Thanksgiving crafts and games we’re doing.
Need: brown paper bag, variety of construction paper, scissors, googly eyes, glue, pen if you wish to write names on the finished product
This craft is so simple that it’s pretty self-explanatory from the picture. I’ve already tried it with my kids, and they loved it. I cut out the shapes of color paper, including the beak and the gobbler. We used googly eyes, but you can cut out white and black circles if you want to make your own eyes.
Need: burlap material, non-toxic fabric paint, paintbrushes
I love this craft because we are making something that the kids can see used at Thanksgiving dinner and will have some meaning for them. I also love any craft that includes saving my kids’ handprints. There’s just something about those tiny hands that is so sweet. Honestly, the craft was supposed to involve multiple handprints over each other that we could then paint into turkeys, but the kids had so much fun doing handprints, that I let them do their thing. I free-handed the lettering. It could be stenciled for a more polished finish. The burlap is cut down from a table runner I found at Michael’s. I also picked up non-toxic fabric paint from the same craft store. I prefer fabric paint for something like this because you don’t want it to wash out if you have to clean them.
Thanksgiving Hand Towel
Need: plain hand towel, fabric paint, stencils, fall-themed stamps
We have Christmas hand towels, hot pads, mugs, and aprons. We pack them up all year, and bring them out for the holidays. We do not have much that is for Thanksgiving. So this year I decided to make Thanksgiving themed hand towels with my kids. I got a little fancy, and used stencils for the letters. I also again memorialized their sweet little handprints. I still need to iron them to make the paint set, and will have to wash them to make sure they are fine, but I’m hopeful it will all turn out well. The kids loved doing this!
Need: construction paper (brown, yellow, orange, white, tan), markers or crayons, stencils (optional)
I have cut out the shape of a tree, using brown construction paper. I’ve found a good spot in our home and taped it to the wall. I’ve also cut out a number of leaves from colorful paper. I’ve placed the leaf cutouts in a basket on our dining table. At each meal, the kids can share something they’re thankful for. I help them write it on the leaf, and after the meal, we find a place on the tree to tape the leaf. We just started this craft, but I am super excited about it because it’s a great way of threading that thankfulness into our daily lives, and it’s a good conversation starter even with my young kids. I also love that it doesn’t all come together immediately, but requires that we work on it together over some time.
The Gratitude Game
Need: paper bag, a piece of paper, colorful pipe cleaners, markers that match the colorful pipe cleaners, a pen
“Let’s go around the table and say what we’re thankful for.” Is certainly a common conversation starter in homes across America for Thanksgiving. This activity makes a game out of an otherwise common Thanksgiving Day meal talk. Get a stack of colorful pipe cleaners. Pick out markers that match the colors of the pipe cleaner, like red, blue, green, yellow, and orange. Draw a dot for each color on a piece of paper. Write a variety of topics next to each dot. For example, next to the red, write Person. Then, next to the blue dot write Place. Finally, next to the green dot write Food. You can mix it up and put whatever category you’d like to include. Some ideas: Gift, Event, Experience, Friend, Family Member, Hardship, Blessing. Then, place the pipe cleaners in the paper bag. Each person draws a pipe cleaner and then names something they are thankful for that applies to the category of that color. It can be played at the dinner table, or throughout the day while preparing for the meal.
Need: craft feathers
This game is silly. But silly is so good for little kids. The goal of the game is to keep the feather in the air. Two people play at a time while everyone else cheers them on. The first person to allow their feather to hit the ground is out, and another person steps up against the remaining person. I’m looking forward to playing this with our kids this year!
Thanksgiving Alphabet Game
Need: a piece of paper, pen/marker, crayons
My kids love the alphabet. They like to sing the song, and they like working on their letters, even if they are a little too young for it to stick quite yet. This game is a fun activity for adult family members to help the kids with throughout the Thanksgiving Day. It’s pretty simple. Write out each letter of the alphabet with a pen or a marker on a blank sheet of paper. As the day goes on, help the kids to identify different things that come up for each letter of the alphabet. Help them to write the word, or if they’re a little older, they can write it themselves. If the kids are all a little older, you can make a sheet for each kid and they can compete to see who finishes it first.
Need: small toy footballs, baskets or bins
This game is pretty straightforward. Set up baskets or bins at varying distances from the designated throw spot. The further the spot, the greater the points. Players take turns tossing footballs to see how many they can get in. Keep score, and the highest score wins. This game can be played as individuals or in teams. And please, if you have tiny tots, be gentle on the sweet kids. Let them throw from a reasonable distance. Nobody needs to cry over games on Thanksgiving Day.
Let us know!
If you try any of these crafts or games, we’d love to hear how it works out for you, or what your spin on it is. Or, if you have some other favorite crafts or games that you’d like to share, we’d love to hear about them. Please share here or on our social media, especially if you’ve found a crowd favorite.