Fun and Enriching Activities

Exciting Ideas for Kids During Thanksgiving Break

The Thanksgiving holiday often means kids are out of school for up to a full week. While the break is a nice change of pace, it also means parents suddenly have a lot more time to fill. Keeping energetic kids entertained all day long for multiple days in a row can be challenging!

The good news is there are plenty of fun, enriching activities to keep kids happy and engaged over the Thanksgiving holiday. With a little planning and creativity, you can give them a memorable break full of learning, creativity, and quality family time.

Fun and Enriching Activities


Arts and crafts projects are a perfect way to spark creativity and keep little hands busy. Set up a craft station at home with supplies like markers, colored pencils, glue, scissors, construction paper, and more.

Let them create freely or try guided crafts like these:

Ideas for Kids During Thanksgiving Break

Handprint Turkey Craft

This adorable handprint turkey is the perfect Thanksgiving craft. Have kids trace their handprint and cut it out. They can decorate it with feathers, eyes, a beak, and wattle to transform it into a turkey. Let them make a flock of turkeys and display them on the fridge or use them as place cards at the Thanksgiving table.

Paper Chain Garlands

Cut strips of colored paper and help kids tape or staple them into loops to create a colorful paper chain garland. These are great for decorating for the holiday. Have a contest to see who can make the longest garland.

Ideas for Kids During Thanksgiving Break

Pinecone Turkeys

Head outside to collect pine cones and let kids turn them into miniature turkeys. They can paint or glitter the pinecones, add googly eyes and pipe cleaner legs to make funny little turkey figures to display around the house.

Ideas for Kids During Thanksgiving Break

Fork Stamped Napkins

Carve simple designs like lines, circles or swirls into the handles of plastic forks. Dip the fork prongs into fabric paint and let kids stamp patterns onto plain napkins or tea towels for a thanksgiving table accent.

Sticker Scenes

Provide sheets of stickers, colored construction paper, scissors and glue. Let kids create their own sticker scenes depicting the First Thanksgiving feast, a modern Thanksgiving celebration or whatever they can imagine.

Ideas for Kids During Thanksgiving Break

Baking & Cooking

The kitchen is a great place for kids to learn, be creative and work together. Try these kid-friendly baking and cooking projects over break:

Bake Pie Together

Let kids help roll out the dough and choose the filling as you bake a pumpkin, apple or pecan pie. They can also help make a lattice crust. Making a pie is a fun hands-on lesson in fractions and following step-by-step instructions.

Ideas for Kids During Thanksgiving Break

Decorate Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are like edible art canvases. Set out frosting, sprinkles and other toppings and let kids unleash their creativity decorating baked plain cookies. Award prizes for most creative, funniest or most beautiful.

Make Cornbread or Corn Muffins

Cornbread and corn muffins are delicious Thanksgiving side dishes. Kids can help mix the ingredients and see how cornmeal makes the texture different from regular flour. Teach them how early settlers relied on corn as a staple food.

Ideas for Kids During Thanksgiving Break

Prep Vegetables for the Meal

Set kids up at their own little chopping stations. Give them kid-safe knives and vegetables to slice, chop, peel or grate to help prepare veggies for your Thanksgiving meal. They’ll gain confidence using knives and learn about how vegetables grow.

Make Cranberry Sauce

Let kids mix and mash fresh cranberries, sugar and orange juice to create homemade cranberry sauce. Talk about how early American colonists may have eaten cranberries they gathered in bogs at the first Thanksgiving feast.

Ideas for Kids During Thanksgiving Break

Outdoor Play

Don’t let cold weather coop you up inside all break long. Bundle up and head outside with the kids for active outdoor fun. Try these activities to get them moving and enjoying the fresh air:

Leaf Raking Relay Races

Contest to see who can rake their pile of leaves from one spot to another the fastest. Or divide into teams for relay races passing the rake. Offer prizes for the winning team.

Backyard Football or Soccer

Enjoy America’s favorite football holiday by playing touch football or soccer outside. Set up cones for goals. Kids get active running and passing the ball.

Scavenger Hunt

Create a backyard scavenger hunt by making a list of items kids need to spot and collect, like a red leaf, pine cone, acorn, etc. See who can find all the items first.

Ideas for Kids During Thanksgiving Break

Bird Feeders

Spread peanut butter or suet on pinecones, tie with string and hang from tree branches to make edible bird feeders. Watch the birds visit and try to identify different species.

Take a Nature Walk

Go for a family nature walk in the woods or around the neighborhood. Collect fallen leaves, acorns and other natural items. Take along a nature guidebook to identify plants, birds and animal tracks.

Family Fun Nights

After busy days full of activities, unwind with relaxing family nights. Pop some popcorn and try:

Ideas for Kids During Thanksgiving Break

Host a Family Movie Marathon

Let each family member choose a favorite family-friendly movie and make an evening of back-to-back movies with comfy blankets and pillows on the sofa.

Play Fun Games

Break out board games and card games the whole family can play together, like Monopoly, Charades or Apples to Apples. Introduce kids to classic games you loved as a kid.

Plan a Talent Show

Let the kids put on a talent show performing skits, dances, songs or chores they’ve mastered for family members. Make programs listing each act and let them display their creativity.

Tell Stories and Share Memories

Take turns telling favorite stories from past Thanksgiving holidays or childhood memories. Reminisce about relatives no longer with us.

Have a Gratitude Circle

Talk about things you are all grateful for as a family. Go around sharing as many as you can think of. Talk about how early Thanksgiving celebrators gave thanks for blessings.

Educational Activities

Keep kids learning over the break with these fun educational activities:

  1. Visit an apple orchard – Pick apples, go on a hayride, wander through corn mazes. Many orchards have family-friendly fall festivals.
  2. Bake autumn treats – Make caramel apples, pumpkin bread or decorate sugar cookies with leaf and acorn shaped sprinkles.
  3. Go on a hike – Enjoy the fall foliage by hitting local nature trails. Bring a scavenger hunt list to spot signs of the season.
  4. Make leaf art – Collect colorful leaves on a walk then make collages, leaf rubbings, or leaf prints for DIY fall art.
  5. Read fall books – Curl up with classics like “We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt” or “Clifford’s First Autumn”. Discuss seasonal changes.
  6. Volunteer at a farm or orchard – Many farms welcome help preparing for fall festivals. Kids can gain work experience while outdoors.
  7. Decorate pumpkins – Carve faces, make painted designs, or create glitter initial pumpkins for spooky decor.
  8. Study wildlife – Observe local animals like geese flying south for winter. Consider participating in bird-counting events.
  9. Photography scavenger hunt -Take disposable or digital cameras to photograph autumn sights like red trees, acorns etc.
  10. Press colorful leaves – Gather fallen leaves then preserve in wax paper under heavy books or with leaf press kits ordered online.

Let the crisp air, changing colors and harvest sights make fall break fun and full of learning moments!

Discover New Fall Recipes

Look through cookbooks and food websites together. Let kids help select and create tasty fall recipes to add to your holiday menus like roasted veggies, squash soup or pumpkin bread.

Explore Leaves

Collect colorful fall leaves and do leaf rubbings. Use books or online guides to identify different trees. Study their interesting structures and changes in autumn.


Find ways kids can give back over the break by volunteering or donating food to a pantry. Have them make cards to accompany Thanksgiving meal deliveries or to give to folks at a senior center.

Research Turkey Facts

Study fascinating turkey facts together. Learn about their history, reasons for naming turkeys after Turkey, and silly behaviors like fear of the color red and ability to blush!

Stay Flexible & Have Fun

Ideas for Kids During Thanksgiving Break

The best activities are those your kids get excited about, so stay flexible! Add structure to days to avoid constant “I’m bored” but also let them take the lead on activities they enjoy most. Mix exciting new adventures with lazy down time. Most of all – make lots of happy memories together!

With a balance of crafts, active play, baking, educational activities and cozy family time, Thanksgiving break can be full of fun for kids and parents alike. So take advantage of this precious extra family time and make magical memories together this Thanksgiving!

Ideas for Kids During Thanksgiving Break

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By Kristen

Hi, I'm a 40-year-old stay-at-home mom who is passionate about my family, my hobbies, and my dreams. My daughter, who is 9 years old, is the light of my life, and I've made the choice to homeschool her to ensure she receives a customized education that aligns with our family values. As a hopeful small business owner, I'm always on the lookout for new opportunities to turn my interests into a profitable venture. I've found my spot in the world of online resale, using platforms like eBay and Poshmark to sell carefully curated items. My business sense and eye for unique pieces have helped me begin to turn my hobby into a thriving enterprise. Crafting is another passion of mine, and I enjoy spending my time creating beautiful items with my hands. I'm always looking for new techniques and materials to experiment with, and my creativity and attention to detail are evident in every project I undertake. Along with my love of crafting, I'm also a blogger. I share my experiences and insights on motherhood, entrepreneurship, homeschooling and creativity with my readers. Writing is a therapeutic outlet for me, and I love being able to connect with others who share similar interests and experiences. Overall, I'm proud of the life I've built for myself and my family. I'm committed to following my passions and turning my dreams into a reality. I hope to inspire others to do the same and live a life filled with purpose and fulfillment.

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