From a kid's perspective, Thanksgiving can be kind of a bust. There's no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny, and the promise of cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie isn't exactly enticing. What's a disgruntled child to do on Thanksgiving Day while the adults are busy in the kitchen — or parked in front of the TV watching football?
Thanksgiving Day Activities for Kids of All Ages
Looking for activities to keep your kids entertained so that you can relax and enjoy your holiday? Consider the following ideas for children (and sometimes adults) of all ages:
1. Watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
2. Play Thanksgiving Tic-Tac-Toe online.
3. Make a Pumpkin Tic-Tac-Toe Table. This is great to put at the kid's table, if you have one.
4. Play Squash Bowling.
5. Print out Thanksgiving coloring pages.
6. Bring your kids into the kitchen. Make them responsible for the Thanksgiving Thankful Rolls.
7. Make a Thanksgiving centerpiece (if you don't already have one).
8. Make Thanksgiving place cards.
9. Play board games.
10. Head outside for a game of touch football.
11. Watch a kid-friendly Thanksgiving movie.
12. Set out a collection of Thanksgiving books. Encourage the older kids to read to the younger ones.
13. Serve a turkey plate appetizer. The snack will help prevent pre-dinner meltdowns.
14. Give children a task, such as taking coats from guests or clearing dishes as needed.
15. Learn about the first Thanksgiving from National Geographic Kids.
16. Make a Garland of Gratitude. Hang it as a decoration when it's finished.
17. Ask the kids to put on a show about the first Thanksgiving. They just might spend hours rehearsing.
18. Pay a tween or teen to chaperone. For a few bucks, one of the older kids in the family may be happy to keep the younger ones busy with games and crafts.
19. Write letters to Santa. This is an especially good idea if "Santa" will be shopping on Black Friday.
20. Volunteer in a soup kitchen. This family activity can be a powerful lesson in being grateful for what you have.
21. Have your children research local food pantries. Encourage them to learn how they can help.
22. Start gratitude journals. Even the adults.
23. Get crafty. Ideas for turkey crafts are all over the Internet right now.
24. Start baking Christmas cookies (if you have room in the kitchen).
25. Make homemade Pumpkin Spice Play Dough, and give the kids rolling pins and cookie cutters so they can make their favorite Thanksgiving shapes.
27. Call or write notes to relatives who live far away. They'll love hearing from the entire family.
Do you plan activities specifically for the kids on Thanksgiving Day? Or do you prefer to spend the time together as a family?