Thanksgiving is a time for expressing gratitude, spending quality time with loved ones, and indulging in delicious feasts. While the meal itself is a centerpiece of the celebration, the holiday is also an excellent opportunity establish Thanksgiving traditions and engage in fun activities that bring families closer.
That sounds like a lot of pressure, right? Let us help!
We’re bringing you some enjoyable Thanksgiving traditions for families, ideas on how to keep kids entertained on Thanksgiving, and sharing Thanksgiving-themed games and activities that everyone can enjoy.
Fun Thanksgiving Traditions for Families
- Thanksgiving Gratitude Jar: Place a jar and some colorful slips of paper on the dining table. Encourage each family member to write down what they’re thankful for throughout the day. Before dinner, take turns reading the notes aloud to express gratitude and appreciation.
- Volunteer Together: Give back to the community by volunteering as a family at a local food bank or soup kitchen. It’s a meaningful way to teach kids the importance of helping those in need.
- Family Football Game: Many families enjoy a friendly game of touch football in the backyard or at a nearby park. It’s a fantastic way to burn off some calories and have a blast together.
- DIY Thanksgiving Decorations: Engage in a craft project where everyone creates their own Thanksgiving decorations. These can be used to adorn the house and dining table, adding a personal touch to your celebration.
- Thanksgiving Storytime: Gather the family for a special Thanksgiving-themed storytime. Share books that reflect the holiday’s spirit and history. It’s an excellent opportunity to educate and entertain children.
Keeping Kids Entertained on Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving can be a long day, especially for little ones. Here are some ideas to keep kids entertained:
- Thanksgiving Crafts: Set up a craft station with supplies for making Thanksgiving-themed crafts. Children can create handprint turkeys, colorful place cards, or paper pilgrim hats.
These turkey pretzels are both a fun craft AND fun to eat!
- Scavenger Hunt: Organize a Thanksgiving-themed scavenger hunt in your backyard or around the house. Create a list of items related to the holiday, and see who can find them all first.
Check out this free printable scavenger hunt!
- Cookie Decorating: Baking and decorating Thanksgiving-themed cookies can be a fun and tasty activity. Let kids use their imagination to design turkey, pumpkin, and leaf-shaped cookies.
This sugar cookie recipe is so easy and can be frozen in advance for decorating whenever you’re ready!
- Movie Marathon: Have a selection of family-friendly Thanksgiving movies or animated features on hand for a cozy movie marathon. Don’t forget the popcorn and blankets.
Check out our list of top ten holiday movies to watch!
- Outdoor Adventure: If the weather permits, take the family outdoors for a hike, nature walk, or a game of tag. Enjoy the crisp autumn air and the changing leaves.
- Left, Center, Right (LCR) This is a must play game for our family at all holiday gatherings. We play with three $1 per player, but you can change it up. Use three Hershey’s kisses, three pennies, three of anything!
Thanksgiving-Themed Games and Activities
- Thanksgiving Bingo: Create custom bingo cards with Thanksgiving-related images or words. Play as a family, and the winner can receive a small prize or a “golden drumstick.”
We found some free printable Bingo cards for you to use!
- Thanksgiving Charades: Write down Thanksgiving-themed phrases or actions on slips of paper. Take turns acting them out, and the others guess what they are.
- Thanksgiving Pictionary: Similar to charades but with drawings. Divide into teams and try to guess what your teammates are drawing.
Try our free printable Thanksgiving Pictionary cards!
- Turkey Trot Relay: Set up a mini “Turkey Trot” race in your backyard. Use small stuffed turkeys or other Thanksgiving-themed items as relay batons, and the fastest team wins.
- Thanksgiving Trivia: Test your family’s knowledge of Thanksgiving with a trivia game. Create a list of questions related to the history and traditions of the holiday, and see who knows the most.
Here are 40 Thanksgiving trivia questions to put your family to the test.
Thanksgiving traditions and activities add a special layer of meaning to the holiday, making it more than just a feast. They help create lasting memories and bring families closer together. Whether you’re crafting, playing games, volunteering, or simply sharing stories, these activities ensure that Thanksgiving is not just about the food but about the love and togetherness that define the holiday.
More Great Thanksgiving Tips
- Thanksgiving Word Search
- What to Eat for Dinner the Week of Thanksgiving
- Small Thanksgiving Meal Plan
- How to Prep for Thanksgiving
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