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5 Fun and Engaging Thanksgiving Activities for Kids

The days leading up to Thanksgiving are filled with visions of turkey and stuffing, time with the family, and. . . the last few days of school.  It’s a time when the students are filled with the anticipation of a school break, and you likely have a running to do list in your head that includes so much more than teaching.  These 5 Thanksgiving activities for kids will have your students using the engagement of the season and their brain power!

5 Thanksgiving Activities for Kids

Engaging your students with the excitement of a holiday or season is the perfect way to keep them focused and learning.  Whether you are looking for some fun and academic activities for the last day, some engaging center activities during November, or some seasonal activities to do with a buddy class, these Thanksgiving activities are sure to be a hit for kids of all ages.

1. Thanksgiving Word Search

A word search is a fantastic way for students to see important spelling rules in action through real-life words that have a meaningful connection.  Additionally, the words from a word search often trigger mThanksgiving Word Search Activity for Kidsemories of prior learning.  Your students will love connecting their knowledge of Thanksgiving with this fun activity.

2. Thanksgiving Word Scramble

Vocabulary and spelling are two key skills your students will be working on with this Thanksgiving themed word scramble.  Your students will love unscrambling these words and trying to decode the secret message at the bottom.  This activity would not only be a great independent center, but would also make a wonderful partner or small group activity, too.

3. Thanksgiving Coloring Pages

A coloring page is not just for “little” kids.  Let these Thanksgiving color pages be the starting point for a Thanksgiving themed writing assignment.  Connect the writing to your social studies curriculum and have students write an expository paper about the first Thanksgiving.  Looking for an exercise on point of view? Have students write about the first Thanksgiving from the point of view of a specific person like William Bradford, Squanto, a pilgrim child or a Wampanoag child.  These coloring pages also make beautiful cards.  Have your students color then write a note of thankfulness to give to someone they are thankful for.

Thanksgiving coloring page Mayflower Plymouth


4. Give Thanks Banner

Your students will love creating their own ‘Give Thanks’ mini banner that can be taken home and used to add some thankful decor to their family’s Thanksgiving celebration.

Thanksgiving Banner for Kids to Color

A class discussion on on gratitude and thankfulness can be a great lead for this activity. Encourage your students to not only color their banner, but also to write down something they are thankful for on the back of each pennant.  This would also make a wonderful, hanging acrostic poem.  Have students write one thing they are thankful for that corresponds to the letter on the pennant.  By the time they are finished they will have a beautiful keepsake.

5. Thanksgiving Napkin Rings

Add some festive fun to the Thanksgiving table with these ready to color napkin rings.  Students can color, cut and assemble these napkin rings just in time for Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving activities color and cut napkin rings

On the back, students can write a note explaining why they are thankful.  Encourage students to personalize them and find reasons they are thankful for the people who will be sitting at their Thanksgiving table.

Make It a Service Project

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to teach your kids about helping others.  Use the activities in this packet to create a special Thanksgiving for someone in need.  Partner with a local nursing home, food bank, or soup kitchen to provide some festive elements for their Thanksgiving meals.  Any of these locations would love to have some hand crafted Thanksgiving decorations to add to their day. Your students will love preparing cards or placemats (using the coloring pages), banners and napkin rings in order to make others feel special this Thanksgiving.

Not Just For the Classroom!

thanksgiving activities for kids


These Thanksgiving activities are perfect for kids of all ages.  Whether you are a teacher with your own family, or a mom looking to keep your kids busy while you prepare Thanksgiving dinner these are easy to do, no mess, activities your kids will enjoy.  Let your kids, nieces, nephews, or other guests be part of creating the Thanksgiving table with these coloring place mats, napkin rings and banner.  Fill some time during a long car ride with these car friendly activities that will keep your kids occupied and happy.




Looking for More Seasonal Learning?

If you love connecting your classroom learning to the seasons or holidays then you must check out these other posts. Here are many seasonal activities that will engage your students while still keeping them focused on the important skills and standards they need.


Amy Hughes

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I'm Shelly Rees of Appletastic Learning. First and foremost, I'm a mom of 4 boys, wife of 25 years to Aric, and Wyoming girl at heart. I love being creative, making resources for teachers, baking cookies, Diet Coke, teaching, public speaking, and spreading kindness wherever I can. After teaching in the upper elementary grades for over 23 years, I retired early and focused on creating and helping teachers around the world with my teaching ideas and resources. I also serve as a mentor to hundreds of teacherpreneurs and help them get focused on growing their own successful businesses. With 100% honesty, I LOVE my life! Thanks for visiting! I hope you'll stay awhile and come back often. Read More

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