Thanksgiving Party Activities

Yesterday I shared some games that I liked playing with the whole class at parties or just when we had some time for a little fun.  Today I am writing about a few activities that you might be interested in as a party center for a small group at a time.  Lots of these activities can be changed a bit to fit different holidays or themes.  Of course you might just choose to use some of these activities as a regular project instead of a party game.

1.  10 Little Indians

Copy a simple canoe pattern onto brown or tan paper, or have children use a tracer.  Use a hole punch to make holes around the outside and give the children a long piece of yarn for lacing.  I usually wrap the end of the yarn with tape to make it stiffer and easier to use.

Then either have the children cut and color 10 Native Americans – or draw them by themselves.

10 Little Indian clipart

10 Little Indians poem

2.  Thankful Chest

Fold a 9 x 12 piece of construction paper and staple all but one long side to make a pocket.  Copy a treasure chest on construction paper and have the children cut it out, then glue it to the front of the pocket.  Give each child small pieces of paper to draw/write things they are thankful for.  Put these inside the chest.

I gave several kinds of treasure chest clip art pictures because I don’t have a copy of the one I used!

Thankful treasure

3.  A similar idea would be for the children to make small books of things they are thankful for, you could use a treasure chest on the cover if you’d like.  These are like the concept books I talked about under the writing category.

Thankful books

You can copy these back to back, then cut them in half to make an 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inch booklet.

4.  Have children create a free cut turkey – give them real feathers, construction paper, vinyl, buttons, etc.

5.  Snack

Vegetables and dip – remind the children the Pilgrims learned to plant and grow veggies.

Froot Loop necklaces – tape one end of a piece of yarn to the table, ask the children to create a pattern with their Froot Loops.  When they are done you can tie the necklace around their neck.

Turkey Cookies

I found lots of kinds of decorated turkey cookies online.

  These with the striped shortbread are closest to the ones I used to make with my class.



Cornbread and butter – Jiffy Mix is really pretty good!  We shook whipping cream in a baby food jar to make butter.  It takes quite a lot of shaking!

Apple turkeys –

We stuck one toothpick into the apple and put a gumdrop on it for a head.  Then we put 4 more toothpicks for feathers, kids made a Froot Loop pattern on each toothpick feather.

6.  Blotto

Cut out a simple shape (maybe a teepee?)  Fold it in half, then open it and put paint on one side.  Fold it over and press to make a symmetrical design.

7.  Use pictographs to decorate a bearskin shape or teepee.


pictographs 2

8.  Make a Thanksgiving placemat the children can take home to use.  We used paper copies of pattern blocks to make a pattern around the edge of a 12 x 18 (or 9 x 12) construction paper.  Then we made a handprint turkey in the center.


9.  Melted Crayons

Give each child a picture of a turkey or cornucopia.  Allow them to color it with peeled crayons on a warming tray to give a painted effect.  Lots of fun!  It dries right away too!

turkey pict

10.  Drop the clothespin

Use a coffee can – or similar size container.  Tape a picture of a turkey or Mayflower on the front.  Children will kneel on a chair and try to drop clothespins into the can.  Similar idea – Put the picture on a basket, children toss beanbags.

11.  Pin the Hat on the Pilgrim (or whatever).  Instead of a blindfold I taped large black construction paper circles over the lenses of children’s sunglasses.  A little less lice-friendly!

12.  Child Made Games

Have each child create his/her own board game.  Give them a blank gameboard, stickers or clipart, markers, etc.  Encourage them to “program” their game with numerals, letters, sight words or shapes.  Or you could already program the gameboards and the kids just add decorations.  And then play of course!

We made a spinner with a brad fastener and paper clip.  You could also use dice – or give them numeral cards from 1- 5.  They turn over the pile of numeral cards and flip one at a time to see how many spaces to move.

Here are some blank gameboards – sorry one is decorated with a dinosaur – just cut it off and recopy it!  You can use these for any theme!



game boards


I hope you might find something fun that you can use!  Happy Turkey Day!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lucille
    Nov 12, 2011 @ 08:48:32

    Hi, it’s me again. Could you give us some ideas that your students did for parent Christmas gifts? I want to get an early start before things get too hectic. Thanks so much.


  2. Lucille
    Nov 22, 2011 @ 16:57:54

    Thanks so much for your reply. I appreciate all your sharing of ideas. I have this week off so I’m planning to roam around Michaels and get some inspiration for parent gifts. I want to find something that requires more “work” from the children and less from me. I’ll let you know if I find something.


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