Thanksgiving Activities and Games for Kids

Thanksgiving is a traditional North American holiday, which is a form of harvest festival. Here you will find fun, educational and engaging Thanksgiving activities for children.  Our activities are widely used by teachers, moms, dads, child care providers etc. for learning and teaching while being fun for the kids!

Find activities for all ages including toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners.  All our activities are available at no cost and are free to print and share.

 

Thanksgiving Activities and Games

kids
Pen Pal Exchange
Each November we do a Thanksgiving pen-pal exchange with another daycare in our area. One year we are the Indians and they are the Pilgrims and the following year we switch roles. Our pen-pal letter exchange always tells of some Thanksgiving history, such as, why the pilgrims left their land, how the Indians grow their food, and what life was like during that time. We print our letters on a piece of poster size butcher paper so they can we hung on the wall for the children to view each day.

The week of Thanksgiving we have our annual celebration in a tradition Thanksgiving style…the Pilgrims always visit the Indians and we exchange homemade gifts.

In conjunction with this activity the Indians earn feathers to apply to a headdress and the Pilgrims earn “beads”(colored pasta noodles) to add to a necklace. Each feather and bead represent a specific age appropriate accomplishment, ex. counting to 10, singing A,B,C’s, colors, shapes, etc. The headdress and necklaces are worn at our annual celebration.

Turkey Toss Game
Take a large brown grocery bag and glue 2 small lunch bags (gathered at the tops) to sides of the bag to look like drumsticks. We then take turns throwing in the stuffing (sock balls or bean bags we call cornbread!) It is a great motor activity and very simple and inexpensive. And if that isn’t enough, remember by using the brown bag, rolled up socks … you are recycling!!!

Comparing corn items
Let the kids compare fresh corncobs, popcorn kernels, dried Indian corn, canned corn, cornmeal, corn flakes, and corn chips.

Turkey Feltboard Activity
Cut a turkey shape out of brown felt. Cut out of colored felt a pile of brown straw, a pile of white snow, a blue sky background, a red barn, a yellow bag of corn, and a green tree for the turkey to sit in.

Place all the shapes, except for the turkey, on the flannel board. Then sing the song with the children and let them take turns placing the turkey on the appropriate shapes.

10 little turkeys sat in their pen
“Hide, turkeys, hide!” said the little red hen.
One little turkey flew far away
But the other …(9) decided to stay!

9 little turkeys sat in their pen
“Hide, turkeys, hide!” said the little red hen.
One little turkey flew out of the gate,
And when he was gone, there were…(8).

8 little turkeys sat in their pen.
“Hide, turkeys, hide!” said the little red hen.
One little turkey flew far away
But the other …(7) decided to stay.

7 little turkeys sat in their pen.
“Hide, turkeys, hide!” said the little red hen.
One little turkey hid with the chicks,
And when she was gone, there were…(6).

6 little turkeys sat in their pen.
“Hide, turkeys, hide!” said the little red hen.
One little turkey flew far away
But the other …(5) decided to stay.

5 little turkeys sat in their pen.
“Hide, turkeys, hide!” said the little red hen.
One little turkey hopped out the door,
And when he was gone, there were …(4).

4 little turkeys sat in their pen.
“Hide, turkeys, hide!” said the little red hen.
One little turkey flew far away
But the other …(3) decided to stay.

3 little turkeys sat in their pen.
“Hide, turkeys, hide!” said the little red hen.
One little turkey flapped her wings and flew.
And when she was gone, there were …(2).

2 little turkeys sat in their pen.
“Hide, turkeys, hide!” said the little red hen.
One little turkey flew far away.
But the last …(1) decided to stay.

1 little turkey sat in his pen.
“Hide, turkey, hide!” said the little red hen.
The last little turkey flew off toward the sun
And when he was gone, there were …(none).

turkey

Gobble, Gobble
A child is chosen to be “it”.”It” closes his/her eyes and sits at the front of the room. Another child is chosen to be the turkey. The turkey runs and hides in some part of the room/house. When the turkey has been hidden,he/she should be saying”gobble,gobble,gobble.” “It” tries to guess who it is from the sound of the voice. He/she has three guesses. Little ones can follow the sound and find the turkey 🙂

Where is the turkey hiding?
Use a small toy turkey or one you have cut out and made. Tell the children that the turkey is very nervous because he knows that he may become Thanksgiving dinner. He is going to run and hide. The children are the pilgrims (make pilgrim hats from newspaper!) and it is their job to find the turkey. Hide the turkey in various locations. For smaller children, place in plain view for the children to see and encourage the children to describe where the turkey is hiding, by using statements as, “under the table, next to the chair, on the desk, in the box” etc.

Indian Names
The Indian people give their children names that have special meanings. Give the children some examples of Indian names translated into English (Running Bear, Morning Star, etc.) Have the children think up a name like this that they would like to use for a whole week. Try to encourage the kids to choose names that will have special meaning for each of them.
For more kids Thanksgiving Fun, visit these other sites:
Printable Thanksgiving Coloring Pages
The Holiday Hot Spot
DLTK’s Thanksgiving
Crafter’s Community Thanksgiving
The Family Corner
Making Friends
Old Fashioned Holidays
Kids Domain
Sew What’s New Thanksgiving Project
Practical Kitchen
LIL Fingers Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Book Recommendations
Crafts for Thanksgiving
Pilgrim Thanksgiving
The Thanksgiving Story
First Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Day
The Cranberry Thanksgiving
1,2,3 Thanksgiving
175 Easy to Do Thanksgiving Crafts
Thanksgiving Fun
Thanksgiving Crafts

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