Thanksgiving is all about family, friends and serious OMG food prep. So to help you keep your focus on that turkey that needs basting, we’ve rounded up easy-peasy activities, crafts and games your crew can play. From pumpkin tic-tac-toe to DIY butter, we’ve got something for everyone.
photo: Crazy Little Projects
Games They’ll Gobble Up
1. Offer up a few rounds of Thanksgiving bingo.
Free printable alert! This easy-peasy game involves picture recognition, candies, and a whole lot of giggling. For the printable, instructions and more, head over to Crazy Little Projects.
photo: Toddler Approved
2. Discover pumpkin Tic Tac Toe.
Who knew those mini pumpkins you’re using as festive home decor can double as game pieces? We like that this activity is tactile, easy enough for younger kids, and a cinch to set up. Learn more at Toddler Approved.
photo: Living Well Mom
3. Pin the feather on the turkey.
Give a classic party game a Thanksgiving twist with this Pin the Feather on the Turkey activity. It’s an easy way to occupy the kids and provides lots of opportunities to snap photos of your players try to pin their feather pieces. Learn more from Living Well Mom.
photo: I Dig Pinterest
4. Play Thanksgiving Pictionary.
Everyone’s favorite charade game gets a turkey makeover. We like how the popsicle-stick clues double as turkey tail feathers. Get all the DIY details from I Dig Pinterest.
photo: The Seasoned Mom
5. Bowl them over.
Score a strike on Turkey Day with a game that doesn’t require any special materials, s easy to set up, and a guarantee for kid entertainment. Learn all about it at The Seasoned Mom.
photo: Buggy and Buddy
Creative Crafts That Put a Feather in Their Cap
6. Make bead napkin rings.
Although your little turkeys may not jump at the chance to set the table, they’ll jump at the chance to make these beautiful beaded napkin rings. Buggy and Buddy has everything you need to know to set up and make this easy—not to mention super helpful—turkey day craft.
7. Design a table covering.
While you’re busy basting the turkey and mashing the potatoes, put your tiny team to work getting the dinner table ready. Roll out some butcher paper so that it covers the entire table, then let your aspiring artists have at it with any and everything they can find in the craft bin. Then have the kidlets make the rounds, asking guests what they’re thankful for, and then record the answers on the covering. A wonderful reminder of the season!
photo: Abigail Batchelder via flickr
8. Make sun catchers.
Got tissue paper? Then your little turkey can get to work on contact paper sun catchers. They’re easy to make (aka minimal supervision), plus they add to your Thanksgiving décor. To get started, leave out small pieces of tissue paper in fall colors. Next, have your kidlet place the paper pieces onto to sticky side of clear contact paper. When she’s done, seal it shut with another piece of contact paper. Then, use cookie cutters or other templates to trace and cut fall shapes like leaves, pumpkins, turkeys or apples to hang in your dining room window.
9. Weave paper placemats.
Nothing goes better with a kid-designed tablecloth than a handmade placement. Make and Takes has a helpful tutorial you can use to set up your own weaving station. Then let the kidlets practice those fine motor skills while you chill and watch the big game.
photo: Alternative Heat via Flickr
A Cornucopia of Amazing Activities
10. Set up a fall sensory bin.
Give your sweet tot something to do with a sensory bin full of popcorn kernels. Keep with the fall theme by adding in plastic pumpkins and fabric leaves, or go full farm by including Old Mac Donald and his barnyard faves among the kernels. Finish it off with measuring cups and funnels to keep those little hands busy, so you can mix and mingle with your guests.
11. Shake it up.
Did you know all it takes is a little shake, shake, shake to make DIY butter? Simply pour ¼ cup of whipping cream into a mason jar or other tightly sealed container. Then shake it up for around 20 minutes, until the butterfat separates from the liquid. We love the idea of passing the jar between tiny guests to spread the wealth. Don’t forget to drain before serving it alongside your fresh bread at dinnertime!
photo: Bloom Designs
12. Head out on a hunt.
Hunt turkeys during a scavenger hunt that either racks up outdoor time or entertains the kiddos indoors if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Thanks to Bloom Designs, you can download the game cards and pieces for free.
photo: Happy Home Fairy
13. Task them with conversation.
This clever kid distraction is both a game and a way to encourage everyone to get talking about anything and everything. Head to Happy Home Fairy for free conversation printables that will have your house buzzing with talk in no time.
Which game will you try out this Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments section below!
— Allison Sutcliffe & Abigail Matsumoto