19 Fun and Festive Thanksgiving Activities to Do with Your Family
Share a Family Thankful Jar
Download our free printable to decorate this simple thankful jar. Cut out the provided cards and ask the whole family to contribute throughout Thanksgiving Day by writing what they're thankful for. Then, at dinner, pass the jar around and have each person pull out a card and share what everyone has written.
This Thanksgiving share a moment of gratitude with this simple placemat. Download the free placemat below and print off enough for all of your guests. Have everyone sit down to the table together before Thanksgiving dinner is served and share what they're grateful for. You can also practice saying "Thank you!" in different languages.
Build a Turkey
Keep kids busy and out of the kitchen with this free Thanksgiving coloring page download. Print out plenty of turkeys to cover the fridge or to decorate the dining room, lay out coloring and craft supplies, and let the kids design and build their own turkey. Sequins and glitter ($18, Target) optional.
Gratitude Tree Display
Have your Thanksgiving guests decorate a tree for Thanksgiving. All you need is our free download below. Cut out the individual leaves and have guests write what they're thankful for throughout the day. This is one of our favorite Thanksgiving activities for kids. Have the little ones choose the branches of the tree, then see how many leaves they can add to it.
Collect Gifts for Others
Thanksgiving is an easy holiday to talk about the importance of generosity. Kids can go through their own closets before Thanksgiving day to get the collections started. Place a large basket for collecting donations near the front door.
Try a Thankful-Theme Game
Writing down what we are thankful for is a well-loved Thanksgiving tradition. Try this card version: Simply cut out cards from scrapbooking papers ($25, Etsy) using decorative-edge scissors and embellish as desired. Give the cards to guests before dinner and ask them to write what they are thankful for.
Thanksgiving Activity Placemats and a Trivia Quiz for Adults
Your printer is all your need for some dinner entertainment. For the kids: Printable placemats that double as activity time. For the adults: A test-your-Turkey-Day-knowledge trivia quiz. Get the free downloads, below!
Make a Kid-Friendly Table Runner
If your setup includes a kids' table, then consider this no-fuss, no-mess Thanksgiving activity. Unroll a length of butcher or craft paper down the center of the table; tape down the ends if necessary. Give kids age-appropriate crayons, markers ($4, Target), or pens, and let them decorate before you set the table.
Draw and Color Placemats
Cootie Catcher Game
Teach kids how to make and play with a cootie catcher using this fun Thanksgiving-themed game. Download our free printable and follow the instructions to cut and fold the game. Then, have a player pick a picture on the outside of the catcher. Close and open the cootie catcher once for each letter in the chosen picture's word, alternating directions with each pinch. Have the player pick a number that is shown with the last pinch. Alternate pinches again, this time counting to the chosen number. Have the player pick another shown number, open the flap and follow the instructions to share a favorite memory or do an act of kindness.
Host a Family Tree Guessing Game
Here's a fun Thanksgiving activity for adults that guests can work on before and after the meal. Ask each person to bring a baby picture; affix them to a wall "tree" you've made out of cardstock. Ask guests to guess the identity of each photo, and place answers in a jar or bowl. Reveal the matches after dinner is over.
Write Thankful Notes
Show your gratitude this Thanksgiving with these free, festive thank you cards that can serve as a night-of Thanksgiving activity for kids. Simply download the beautiful card patterns and write your message inside.
Let Kids Design the Place mats
Skip the fancy place mats and table settings. Make dinnertime fun with this clever Thanksgiving activity sheet. Simply cut colored cardstock to place mat size. Place a small cup of crayons at each place setting and have guests write down what they've been thankful for over the past year. During dinner, have each guest share a little of what they've written.
Create this fun Thanksgiving bingo set from our free games download below. Just print, cut, and play! Shuffle the cards and draw them one at a time to see who is first to "Bingo!"
Have Family Help Set the Table
Get kids in the act of setting the table. Let them assemble silverware and help choose the color scheme, too. To give dinnertime a pulled-together look, print out the menu onto cardstock using decorative fonts; tuck inside a folded napkin.
Make Nature-Inspired Place Cards
Low-key and festive, these simple place cards capture the harvest-inspired spirit of the season. Print our free design and write each person's name in complementary ink. Tuck a small item, such as a beet, into individual bowls; cut a small slit to insert the place card.
Do a Thanksgiving Crossword Puzzle
If the adults haven't finished their meal but kids want to get up and play, give them this Thanksgiving activity instead—a seasonal crossword puzzle.