Thanksgiving is almost here! A time to reconnect with friends and family, relax, devour good food and drinks, and catch some of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade or some football on TV. Sounds fantastic, right? As long as those mini versions of you can make it through the day, am I right?
Never fear, your Thanksgiving can still be as magical as you are imagining! Maybe. Let’s be honest, they hold all the cards. What’s a mom to do then, find a babysitter? Probably not, just be as prepared as you can. For me this means: snacks, on snacks, on snacks…on more snacks, and a boredom buster bag. What is this boredom buster bag thing? It is bag I pick at random from our never-ending stash of totes, jam packed with those snacks I mentioned earlier (whatever you do, don’t forget the snacks!), and new things for the kids to do. No, I’m not suggesting you go out to the store and have a pre-Christmas gift giving extravaganza just to keep the kids occupied on Thanksgiving. Not even close. I’ve rounded up some fun ideas to keep the kids out of the kitchen and occupied until the turkey is done.
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1 – Post it note Thanksgiving task – Your kids will love this one. They get to go around to all the people gathered for Thanksgiving and ask them to write down one thing that they are thankful for, plus their name. Once they’ve gathered all the post it’s they can divvy up the notes to be read by the kids before/at/after dinner. If you regularly host, or it’s the same group gathered every year at Grandma’s (or wherever) take this one a step further and tack those post it’s onto a piece of paper. Once secured they can be laminated and brought out in years to come, perhaps even secured in a 3 ring binder. How fun would it be to look back at what you’re 5 year old self said they were thankful for when you’re a tween! I use my handy Scotch Thermal Laminator to laminate everything. This is the one I use: Scotch Thermal Laminator
2 – Make some cute pilgrim or turkey hats to wear around. We already made some turkey hats this year. Click this link to see the how to: Turkey Hats Project. I even scanned our Turkey Hat Heads template for you to use if you don’t want to freehand it.
3 – Hide little turkey shaped erasers around the house or yard (if it’s warm enough) like an Easter egg hunt. I couldn’t find any turkey’s so I’m going to snag our footballs and pilgrim ducks from my youngest Thanksgiving sensory bin and hide those. Aren’t they cute?!
4 – Thanksgiving sodoku. I found this over at Activity Village last Thanksgiving and my 7 (now 8) year old loved working on it with me last year. I will be making copies again this year, I’m pretty certain she didn’t save the answers. You never know what might be hidden in her bedroom though, ha! https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/thanksgiving-puzzles
5 – Read Turkey Trouble by Wendy Silvano and let your kids go nuts with the craft supplies trying to disguise a turkey so it doesn’t get eaten for Thanksgiving. Don’t have a copy? You can order yours here: Turkey Trouble by Wendy Silvano
Momdot has a free blank turkey printable you can use if you don’t feel like freehanding it. Here is the link: https://www.momdot.com/turkey-in-disguise-free-printable-template/
My kids have already made several turkey disguises including Santa, a sheep, and Batman. It’s really fun to see what they come up with.
6 – Thanksgiving mazes – I stumbled across a great resource for mazes at Big Activites. I love that they have 4 different levels of difficulty for their mazes so I can go to one place and get a similar activity for all the kids. Find them here: https://www.bigactivities.com/mazes/thanksgiving/index.php
7 – Store bought craft kits. I can usually find great deal on these the closer it get’s to the actual Holiday or right after the holiday. Then I stock up for when I need something quick and fun. I found some cute kits on Amazon. I love Amazon! These are my favorites: This first kit has 4 different kids in one and these turkey ornaments are adorable
8 – Thankful yarn toss. This is a great ice breaker activity, especially if you have a group of kids that is coming together for the first time, or have not seen each other for an extended length of time. If you’re not familiar with how this works here’s a quick summary. The kids stand in a circle with a ball of yarn. The first person thinks of something they are thankful for and states it out loud. If you are also thankful for the same thing you raise your hand and the yarn gets tossed to you. The next person then states what they are thankful for and the cycle continues until the kids run out of ideas. If they run out of thankful items and still want to play the game, challenge them to another topic like: interesting facts about themselves, or places they’d like to travel to.
9 – Pasta necklaces – This is a great option to use up that yarn that was just tossed back and forth into a web during the previous activity. We used leftover pasta from my youngest child’s Thanksgiving sensory bin to make these. I love when my projects can be used for other projects. Winning!
10 – Fruit turkeys – How cute are these little guys? Best of all, the kid can eat the apples if they want for a healthy snack while they are waiting for the main meal. I drew out little Turkey Apple Heads template and a Feathers Template for you to use if you’d like. You can either print them out and trace them onto colored paper or print them out and have the kiddos decorate them to their hearts content. The second option will keep them out of the kitchen longer, just saying.
I’d love to see hear how these activities turned out, drop me a message anytime. Have other surefire ways to keep the kids busy at Thanksgiving? I’d love to hear those too!
I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving and that these ideas help bust the boredom over at your house!