Keep your little ones occupied while you’re busy in the kitchen with these simple Thanksgiving activities that reinforce the reason for the season. Not only are these activities appropriate for a wide range of age groups, but they are also inexpensive and easy to prepare.

Kids in the Kitchen

If your children enjoy helping with household activities, find tasks around the kitchen to assign to them. Simple activities like washing produce, peeling potatoes, wiping down counters, sweeping floors, and adding toppings to casseroles are easy for kids. For younger preschool-aged children, set up their own table of kitchen chores so they can be just like mom or dad. Provide a table cloth, some silverware, plastic dishes, and edible foods like sliced vegetables so they can create their own Thanksgiving feast.

Thanksgiving Crafts

Set up a craft table for your kids to work at while you cook the Thanksgiving meal. Download my free Thanksgiving Placemats and provide plenty of crayons, markers, and colored pencils. For an easy craft, show young school-aged children how to make a handprint turkey. Children can trace their hands on a red, orange, or yellow piece of construction paper and glue a brown circle to the middle of the palm for a face. After they’ve made several turkeys, punch a hole in the top of each one and thread yarn through the holes to make a garland that they can hang in their room.

A Pilgrim Play

Aspiring actors can re-enact the original pilgrim feast while mom recreates the dinner. Find dress-up clothes around the house that would be appropriate for pilgrim costumes, such as black or grey skirts and slacks, white aprons, black shoes, and white button-down shirts. Provide black and white construction paper with glue or tape so the kids can make their own pilgrim hats. After dress-up is complete, assign a role to each child and give them time to rehearse their own version of the original Thanksgiving feast. Set aside some time after dinner to witness the grand premiere.

An Attitude of Gratitude

Encourage your children to reflect on the meaning of the Thanksgiving feast with a simple journal activity. Provide pencils and paper for your children to write a short essay, poem, or story about what they are most thankful for this Thanksgiving. Younger children who can’t write can draw a picture or cut out magazine pictures of things they are grateful for. Ask your children to share their work over Thanksgiving dinner.

Children are often eager to join in celebrations and feasts. By providing constructive activities that reflect the meaning of the Thanksgiving feast, you can encourage their natural festive spirit while also keeping them occupied. After all, a chaos-free kitchen is definitely something to be thankful for.

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