There are plenty of ways to celebrate the meaning of Thanksgiving with your entire family. These Thanksgiving activities are great ways to teach little ones about gratitude and keep them busy while you’re cooking and cleaning up. Many of these activities can be worked on with grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, neighbors or anyone else that might be joining you for Thanksgiving dinner.
1. Make Place Cards
Write your guests’ names on place cards and let kids decorate them with paint, feathers, foam stickers or other craft materials. Instead of paper place cards, use leaves collected from the backyard or mini pumpkins. You can also decorate cookies with guests’ names piped over frosting.
2. Volunteer Together
Your family Thanksgiving activities don’t need to take place on Thursday. Volunteer together, whether it’s delivering donations to a food pantry or helping an elderly neighbor get their house ready for their family’s celebrations. Volunteering helps your kids learn what Thanksgiving is all about.
3. Let Kids Help in the Kitchen
Toddlers and preschoolers can rinse veggies, mash potatoes and pour ingredients with adult help. You’ll probably have extra hands looking for ways to help, so have family members get involved by assisting kids in the kitchen.
4. Invite Neighbors to Join
Does one of your neighbors live alone? Does a couple down the street only have faraway family? Invite them to join you for dinner or dessert this Thanksgiving. Have your kids decorate a note to slip in their mailbox or stop by after work one day to ask in person.
5. Make a Garland of Thanks
This Garland of Thanks activity combines an awesome fall craft (leaf stamping) with giving thanks and practice printing. What’s not to love! Kids of all ages can help with this one. Plus, it looks great hanging near the dining table or over the couch.
6. Get Outside
After dinner, head outside to enjoy the crisp fall air. Take a walk around the block, play hide and seek, go on a bike ride or play a game of touch football. With cousins and neighbors to play with, games will be more fun than usual!