Best Kids’ Thanksgiving Activities to Let You Cook in Peace

Best Kids’ Thanksgiving Activities to Let You Cook in Peace

So you’re hosting Thanksgiving for the family this year. Planning and cooking an enormous feast for a whole family is a massive undertaking, and you just realized you also have to entertain the kids. Worry no more because, luckily for you, we have done all the research on the absolute best kids’ Thanksgiving activities to keep your little ones busy for you. With a little preparation for these super fun Thanksgiving-themed activities, all you’ll have to worry about on Thanksgiving Day is cooking that turkey and deciding which cocktail dress to wear.

Pin the Feather on the Turkey

Do you remember Pin the Tail on the Donkey? Well, here is its Thanksgiving-themed cousin. We love Pin the Feather on the Turkey because this particular activity is multiple activities in one and will keep the little ones engaged at every step. All you need is colorful construction paper, sticky tape, and a pair of safety scissors (actual feathers may be used but are not necessary). We also love this game because, although we’re sure you have some fantastic Thanksgiving decor already up, a cute little hand-made construction paper turkey made by the kids is always a sweet addition.

First, have the kids create the “turkey” out of construction paper (guidance with an outline created by you is optional, depending on your crowd). Next, have them cut out the “feathers.” Then, hang the turkey in an open space (a fence or tree in the backyard is perfect for this). Then, of course, you will need to recruit an older responsible child or an adult to supervise the actual activity of blindfolding the participants and setting them loose to “pin” (tape) the feathers on the turkey.

Outdoor Adventures

Get those kids in their coziest fleece jackets and let them loose outside into the crisp, fall-fresh air. Running around outside, in addition to being great healthy exercise, is also a fantastic way for them to burn off that excess energy before mealtime. There are endless ways for kids of all ages to enjoy spending time outside, but here are some recommended structured and Thanksgiving-themed backyard activities.

A fun and silly pumpkin race may be in order. For this activity, all you need is a few same-sized pumpkins. Divide the kids into teams for a relay race to see who can roll the pumpkins across the yard the fastest. You could follow this uproarious relay with a potato sack race or a three-legged race.

In addition to these fun, structured, and competitive games, if your Thanksgiving kid crew is a bit older, you could have them play sports games such as flag football. For example, try putting a fun and festive spin on the basketball-inspired classic game HORSE, where the players take shots at a basketball hoop (or simply a basket if you don’t have an actual basketball hoop) while trying to prevent their opponent from spelling TURKEY.

Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt

A Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt is a great way to keep everyone busy during the meal-prep portion of this holiday. Plan ahead of time and create your own list of things for the kids to find, or do a quick Google search and print out an activity sheet for them.

A scavenger hunt is a great way to keep the kids engaged and can be done inside or outside. Send them into the backyard to hunt for plants and animals, or let them get cozy under a fleece blanket on the couch and set them up with a Macy’s Day Parade scavenger hunt.

Thanksgiving Mad Libs

Mad Libs is a fun and silly classic game that is enjoyable and engaging for all ages. This word game can be played in pairs or with a whole group. One person, who can be an older child or an adult, will prompt their partner or the group to come up with lists of random words. These random words are then plugged into a silly story. Hilarity ensues.

Thanksgiving BINGO

You can easily search for templates and printable versions of Thanksgiving-themed BINGO cards. But if you or another family member feel like being especially creative, it is also easy (and fun!) to create your own version. Like Mad Libs, you can rely on an older child or adult to proctor this game or let the little ones have at it. Keep them invested by offering a small kid’s toy as a prize to the winner or winners of these games.

Keeping the kids out of your hair while hosting and preparing for a holiday meal has never been more fun or more enjoyable with these games and activities on your side. You never know: you may just be tempted to throw on your activewear and join them outside for a game of TURKEY the second you’re done preparing the feast.


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