Teaching Kids to Be Thankful

Teaching Kids to Be Thankful: 7 Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving Activities. 

Though today you may be traveling, most of us are settling into the Thanksgiving holiday, which means it’s time for family, fun, and feasting. Besides the gravy-covered turkey and sweet pumpkin pies, remember that Thanksgiving is also about expressing what you are grateful for in life. If you have children, the holiday is the ideal opportunity to share that sentiment with them. Here are a few kid-friendly Thanksgiving activities you can do this holiday week to not only keep them entertained but show them what it means to be thankful.
  • Cook kid-friendly recipes. Instill a sense of pride in your children for the feast you are about to eat. Give your little ones a ‘job’ in making one of the easier Thanksgiving recipes that they can feel satisfied for having accomplished. Here’s a list of kid-friendly Thanksgiving recipes‘ from Parenting.com.
  • Let them set the table. Bestowing your child this important task is another among our kid-friendly Thanksgiving activities, one that can help them achieve a sense of accomplishment in seeing the results first-hand. If your little ones are too young to handle the good china, give them the task of putting out placemats, napkin rings, and small decorations like pinecones or place cards. You can even help your child come up with a Thanksgiving ‘menu,’ for the day to add to everyone’s place setting.
  • Watch or attend a Thanksgiving parade. Attending a Thanksgiving parade is not only a fun holiday activity, but it’s one that will help your child make a positive association with the day surrounded by others who are in the spirit of giving. If you’re fortunate enough to have a parade in your town, consider attending. If not, the ‘Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade‘ is always a fun one to watch on TV on Thanksgiving morning.
  • Have your children write down what they are thankful for. This one’s pretty straightforward, but effective. Take strips of paper, and ask children to write down one thing they are thankful for on each strip (even the adults can get in on this activity). Then, after dinner, pull out the strips one-by-one and read them aloud together.
  • Work on Thanksgiving crafts together. From paper turkeys to scarecrow mason jars, the kid-friendly Thanksgiving activities that involve crafting are endless. Work on the crafts together to teach your little ones to be thankful for time spent with family. The bonus, your finished crafts will help decorate the house for guests. Here are some great ‘Thanksgiving craft ideas‘ from Country Living.
  • Play games ‘Thanksgiving style’. Games and gratitude go hand-in-hand on this holiday. One easy game to play with children is the gratitude game. Set a timer for one minute and have everyone who is playing write down as many things they can think of that they are thankful for in that minute. The player with the most written down at the end of the minute wins. Players can also go back and forth saying out loud what they are thankful for, with the loser being the person who gets held up in thinking of his or her next answer. Here are more ‘Thanksgiving games to play‘ from Women’s Day.
  • Have them write a thank-you note. Handwritten notes have all but become a thing of the past, but it doesn’t have to be that way in your family. Whether your children just had a birthday or not, Thanksgiving is the ideal time to have them sit down and write a thank-you note to people who have played a positive role in their lives. It could be a relative, a teacher, a coach, or even a friend.


Use these kid-friendly Thanksgiving activities to make your children’s holiday one to remember, and to instill in them the importance of gratitude year-round.

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