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The leaves are changing colors, the air is getting crisper, and pumpkin-flavored everything is back on the shelves. That means Thanksgiving is right around the corner!

But how to avoid yourselves getting bored, especially the young children, after the big meal? That's why having some fun and creative Thanksgiving activities planned for all ages can liven up the holiday and bring everyone together.

In this article
    1. 5 Thanksgiving Activities for Infants
    2. 9 Thanksgiving Activities for Preschoolers
    3. 7 Thanksgiving Activities for Adults

Part 1: Creative Thanksgiving Activities for All Ages

Keeping little hands busy with arts and crafts is a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving with preschoolers and infants. Here are some fun and easy ideas.

5 Thanksgiving Activities for Infants

Discover delightful and mess-free Thanksgiving art activities designed specifically for curious little hands! Engage your infants in a world of creativity and seasonal fun Thanksgiving activities.

  1. Sensory Sensation with Textures: Provide a variety of textured materials such as soft fabric scraps, smooth silk leaves, and bumpy ribbons. Let the infants explore these different textures by touching, squeezing, and feeling them. This sensory experience can be a delightful introduction to Thanksgiving-themed sensations.
    textured materials for touching
  2. Fall Sensory Bottles: Fill clear plastic bottles with fall-themed items like dried corn kernels, small pinecones, and colorful leaves. Secure the lids tightly. The infants can shake and observe the items move, creating a captivating sensory experience.
    bottles with fall-themed items
  3. Handprint Turkey Onesies: For a wearable keepsake, assist the infants in creating handprint turkeys on plain white onesies using non-toxic fabric paint. This creates a unique, personalized Thanksgiving outfit.
    creating handprint turkeys on plain onesies
  4. Soft Fabric Pumpkin: Provide fabric squares in orange and green, along with some soft stuffing material. Assist the infants in creating small, plush pumpkins by folding and stuffing the fabric and securing it with a rubber band. These can be delightful cuddle companions.
    plush pumpkins by stuffing soft fabric
  5. Squishy Paint Bags: Fill ziplock bags with a small amount of orange, yellow, and brown paint. Seal the bags tightly, ensuring there's no leakage. Let the infants squish and spread the paint around inside the bags, creating a mess-free, tactile art experience.
    squish the paint around inside the bags

Mirror Play with Autumn Leaves: Place colorful autumn leaves on a safe, baby-friendly mirror. Let the infants explore their reflections while interacting with the leaves. This activity combines visual stimulation with tactile exploration.

9 Thanksgiving Activities for Preschoolers

  1. Handprint turkeys: Have kids trace their handprint and decorate it into a colorful turkey using crayons, feathers, sequins, and other embellishments.
    thanksgiving art activities for preschoolers
  2. Paper plate pilgrims: Turn simple paper plates into pilgrim hats by adding black construction paper features. Let kids get creative with feathers, buckles, and more.
  3. Cornucopia coloring pages: Print out simple cornucopia templates for kids to color and decorate. This Thanksgiving coloring activity is a great way to keep the kids busy and entertained.
    drawing cornucopia and coloring
  4. Leaf Rubbings: Take the children on a nature walk to collect different types of leaves. Back in the classroom, place the leaves under a sheet of paper and have them use crayons to gently rub over them, revealing the intricate patterns.
    painting leaves
  5. Pumpkin Patch Collage: Provide orange construction paper cutouts in the shape of pumpkins, along with green paper for stems. Let the kids glue them onto a larger sheet of paper to create their very own pumpkin patch scene.
    drawing pumpkin
  6. Thankful Tree: Create a large tree trunk on a bulletin board or a big sheet of paper. Have the children cut out leaf shapes from colored paper and write or draw things they are thankful for on each leaf. Attach the leaves to the branches.
    write thankful things on leaves
  7. Handprint Wreaths: Trace the children's hands on different colored construction paper and have them cut out multiple handprints. Arrange and glue them in a circle to create a beautiful handprint wreath.
    cut out multiple handprints
  8. Scarecrow Puppets: Provide paper bags, markers, and an assortment of fabric scraps for clothing. Let the kids draw a scarecrow face on the bag and then dress their scarecrow puppet with the fabric scraps.
    draw a scarecrow face and body
  9. Pasta Necklaces: Paint different types of pasta (like penne or rotini) in fall colors. After the pasta is dry, provide string or yarn for the kids to thread through the pasta
    Paint pasta and thread through it

7 Thanksgiving Activities for Adults

Well, yes, adults can get creative too with more complex Thanksgiving art activities:

  1. Gratitude Journals: Start a gratitude journal where you can express your thankfulness through words, drawings, or even collages. Use a beautifully decorated notebook or create your own custom journal cover using various artistic techniques.
    express thankfulness through words and drawings
  2. Handmade Place Cards: Design unique place cards for your Thanksgiving table setting. Use materials like cardstock, watercolors, calligraphy pens, and decorative elements like dried flowers or small ornaments to add a personal touch.
    write unique place cards
  3. Fall-themed Glass Jar Lanterns: Repurpose glass jars into beautiful lanterns. Paint or decorate the jars with autumnal motifs like leaves, pumpkins, or acorns. Place battery-operated tea lights inside for a warm and inviting atmosphere.
    Place tea lights in painted jars
  4. Wood Burning Art: Try wood-burning techniques to create intricate designs on wooden surfaces. Decorate wooden slices or coasters with Thanksgiving-themed images, such as turkeys, leaves, or harvest scenes.
    create Thanksgiving-themed images on wooden surfaces
  5. Harvest-inspired Embroidery: Experiment with embroidery to create intricate designs on fabric. Consider making autumn-themed hoop art, like pumpkins, cornucopias, or wreaths, to hang around your home.
    create intricate designs on fabric
  6. Fall Foliage Paintings: Channel your inner artist to create stunning autumn landscape paintings. Use acrylics or watercolors to depict scenes of colorful leaves, serene forests, or picturesque farms.
    use watercolors to depict colorful leaves
  7. Clay Pottery Creations: If you have access to a pottery wheel or clay, consider making your own custom dishware or decorative pieces with a Thanksgiving theme. Craft items like turkey-shaped dishes, leaf-patterned bowls, or even a cornucopia-shaped vase.
    make a clay bowl

Part 2: 7 Thanksgiving Activities for the Family Together

In addition to arts and crafts, there are lots of other fun ways for the whole family to spend quality time together and celebrate the Thanksgiving season. Here are some engaging Thanksgiving activities for families ideal for adults and children alike:

  1. Pie/dessert baking: Get everyone involved in baking pies like pumpkin, apple, or pecan, and other desserts like cookies, brownies, or cake. Let the little ones help mix ingredients, roll dough, or decorate. Make it a bonding experience.
    bake delicious pie with families
  2. Lawn games: Burn off some energy before the big meal with outdoor games like cornhole, croquet, frisbee, or touch football. Set up games in the backyard or a nearby park. Make it a friendly family competition!
    games in the backyard
  3. Thanksgiving photo booth: Set up a DIY photo booth with fun props like pilgrim hats, turkey stuffies, seasonal signs, and more. Let guests pose for memorable pictures together. Print out strips of photos as keepsakes.
    DIY photo booth with fun props
  4. Decorating cookies: Provide turkey, leaf, pumpkin, and Harvest season-shaped cookies along with icing, sprinkles, and other decorations. Let kids decorate creatively. Display the finished edible art.
    cookies with various decorations
  5. Thanksgiving playlists: Make fun, upbeat playlists with songs about Thanksgiving, fall, harvest, food, and gratitude. Play music in the background throughout the day to set a festive tone.
  6. Nature walk/hike: Get outside and enjoy the fall weather with a family walk or hike through the woods or a park. Look for autumn leaves, animals, and other seasonal natural changes.
    Get outside and enjoy the trees and air
  7. Watch holiday movies: Curl up on the couch with cozy blankets and hot cocoa and watch classic Thanksgiving or general fall-themed movies together, like the classic 'A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving'. Make it a family movie night. Well, can it be any better?


Thanksgiving is so much more than just a big meal. With a little creativity and planning, you can come up with lots of engaging fun Thanksgiving activities that will bring all generations together to celebrate and make memories. Arts and crafts projects are a great way to occupy little hands, while games, active pursuits, and quality time together can engage everyone in the family.

Try out some of these fun ideas to liven up your next Thanksgiving! And yes, don’t forget, what matters most is spending meaningful time with your loved ones.

Nicola Massimo
Nicola Massimo Jun 07, 24
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