Activities for kids during Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving is going to be different, whether we like it or not—but that doesn’t need to be a bad thing. 

In most households, Thanksgiving activities for kids revolve around tradition: silly games with Grandma, cooking with Dad, or crafts with siblings and cousins. This year, many of those activities will shift a little, making room for different fun adventures for our kids to embark on. Whether you want to encourage quiet craft time or exercise outdoors, there’s something for everyone to try below.


Make Thanksgiving care packages

At its core, Thanksgiving is an others-focused holiday, with a theme of sharing what we have. If your child’s family and friends feel a long way off this year, connect by creating care packages for them! Let your kids design a shopping list, bake pumpkin cookies to drop off in mailboxes, or make seasonal fall centerpieces to add to the Thanksgiving table. 


Get active

Thanksgiving has fast become an active holiday for many in the US, with Turkey Day races and backyard football becoming part of the celebration. This year, make it a point to keep up those fun activities. Enjoy small games of touch football outside, or sign up for a family 5K (walking or jogging). Don’t forget about those classic activities like egg, potato sack, or three-legged races! For a less traditional but distancing-friendly approach, you could even opt for a family hike to boost everyone’s moods and surround yourselves with nature. 


Play family games

Looking for a fun way to connect with all ages? Play some Thanksgiving games suitable for the entire family! This might be the time to enjoy a good old-fashioned game of charades, pictionary, or perhaps Thanksgiving Mad Libs. You can also pull down some favorite board games, or break out the phones and compete in video games for whole-family fun.


Do Thanksgiving crafts

For younger kids, craft projects are a great way to have fun while boosting their fine motor skills and even learn a thing or two. With a few basic art supplies, you can help them create Thanksgiving wreaths, table-runners, and more. 


Do some meaningful meal prep

There are few better ways to connect with your kids than in the kitchen. During Thanksgiving, many of us make traditional recipes passed down over the years, and we often spend time chatting with our family as we do so. Bring your kids into this activity! Not only will it get them involved in the kitchen, but it’s a great way to share the workload. If you won’t be with your extended family this year, it’s a good time to schedule a video chat with them to bond as you all recreate favorite recipes.

There’s no need to skip every holiday tradition this year, especially when many of them can be tweaked and adjusted for quarantine-friendly fun. With the Thanksgiving activities above, you and your kids may find yourselves adding new meaning to this special holiday. Be sure to check out our other posts on navigating these changing times with your family in tow—you don’t have to work through it alone! 

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