Bring Thanksgiving to Life: Top 5 Thanksgiving Activities for Your Family

Help bring the Thanksgiving season to life at home with these easy ideas.
By Michael Rhattigan
Nov 10, 2017



Nov 10, 2017

Editor's note: This post was originally published on November 28, 2014. 

This time of year is always full of hustle and bustle.  At school, teachers often revisit the Thanksgiving story, showing short films or reading special books such as Pilgrims in America by Melinda Lilly, or Life on the Mayflower by Jessica Gunderson.  You can do the same or more with your family.

Our team has compiled a list of our top 5 favorite activities that help bring the Thanksgiving season to life at home:

1. Reenact the First Thanksgiving Feast!

a. Have your kids make decorations such as Pilgrim hats and Native American headdresses.

b. Assign different family members one particular food or drink item (preferably healthy).

c. Before the feasting begins, go around the table and have each person share at least one thing (or person) for which he/she is thankful.

2. Community Service

a. Check your local food bank or charity to see if they need "little helpers" to help put food baskets together for the needy or troops.  

b. Can’t get out of the house? Have kids make Thanksgiving placemats as their service project to take down to the local shelter.

c. Have your kids write "thank-you" letters to the troops.

3. Skit or In-Home Performance

a. Have your family write their own scripts for their characters as Pilgrims and Native Americans.

b. Create arts and crafts props and/or paper costumes.

c. Set the scene and action!

4. Design a Scavenger Hunt

a. Divide your family into small teams.

b. Provide a list of "items" everyone needs to find (i.e., Mayflower = hidden picture of a ship)

c. Have a prize ready for the team who finds the most items!

5. Colonial Chaos by Adventure to Fitness

a. Mr. Marc takes kids on an imaginary journey back to the Colonial period where they exercise while learning about U.S. historical events such as Thanksgiving!

b. This provides the perfect brain break, indoor fitness activity, or party activity…. Especially before or after all that turkey!

c. Additional games and activities explore more about Thanksgiving and other concepts learned throughout the episode. 

d. Check out the Free Access to Colonial Chaos over the holiday here:

We hope you find these ideas fun and exciting for your families!  Our mission is to help you get kids involved to reinforce the value and meaning of this time of year.  What unique ideas do you have?  We want to hear! Share your ideas on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page.

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