5 Ways to keep kids busy on Thanksgiving

Between the parades, football games and massive meal, there is a lot to do on Thanksgiving — for the adults. But what can the kids do on Thanksgiving? Try these 5 Thanksgiving activities for kids to help them have a happy Thanksgiving, too.

Thanksgiving crafts

Menu? Check. Table set? Check! Activities planned … oops.

Don’t worry if you haven’t nailed down the fine details for Thanksgiving. These Thanksgiving activities for kids will keep everyone happy and busy this holiday.

Get crafty

Interested in some Thanksgiving crafts? These two options will keep kids interested this Thanksgiving.

Fun (but messy) handprint turkeys

You will need:

  • Brown finger paint or tempera paint
  • White or cream construction paper
  • White glue
  • Googly eyes
  • Multicolored feathers
  • Red marker


  1. When kids arrive, have them each dip a hand into the paint (use a paper plate) and place a brown handprint on a sheet of construction paper. Wash the hands and let the paint dry completely.
  2. Once the paint is dry, use the white glue to glue an eye to each turkey. Then, glue multicolored feathers on. Use the red marker to draw the wattle on the beak area.
  3. Allow the glue and marker to fully dry before transporting.

Fun (and cleaner) handprint craft

You will need:

  • Sheets of brown construction paper
  • White glue
  • Googly eyes
  • Red yarn
  • Multicolored feathers


  1. Have kids trace one of their hands on a sheet of construction paper. Use scissors to cut the handprint out.
  2. Have kids glue an eye onto their turkey. Cut a short length of red yarn and glue it to the beak area.
  3. Glue several of the feathers to the tail area in a fan-shape.
  4. Allow the glue to completely dry.

More Thanksgiving crafts on SheKnows >>

Play, play, play

If you have several families with kids coming for Thanksgiving, then this can be a great option. Have each family bring along a favorite puzzle and/or board game. Kids can play Thanksgiving games — though not necessarily games about Thanksgiving — for hours, switching between.

Check out these nine Thanksgiving ideas for families >>


Thanksgiving activities for kids don’t have to be super complicated. In fact, they can be pretty simple and still be a hit. Set up a coloring station with crayons, comfy seats and pieces of paper. You can also use Thanksgiving-themed coloring sheets and printable activities in the SheKnows activity center.

The Thankful book

This activity doubles as an awesome keepsake. The kids will love being involved in making it happen. Buy a cute blank book and write the date on the first page. Turn it over to the kids and have them take the book to all the guests to write what they are thankful for inside it. If desired, you can read the passages aloud after dinner.

Share your ideas about how to keep kids busy on Thanksgiving in the comments section.

Get more fun Thanksgiving activity ideas:

Countdown turkey
Thanksgiving handprint turkey
Thanksgiving snacks and crafts


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