Focus on the Family

Thanksgiving Activities for Families

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to stop and remind your family to be thankful. Though gratitude should be encouraged all year long, this holiday provides the perfect segway for families to implement a heart of thankfulness.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to stop and remind your family to be thankful. Though gratitude should be encouraged all year long, this holiday provides the perfect segway for families to implement a heart of thankfulness. Thanksgiving activities for families are a fun way to get everyone involved in the spirit of gratitude.

Thanksgiving Activities

This year, as you think about activities to do with your children and family, consider doing a few of these activities together. Each activity helps us to remember the reason for celebrating Thanksgiving: giving thanks for the blessings of the year and continuing to steward them well.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to teach your children and remind your family to have gratitude. This family activity is the perfect way to get your kids talking about what they are thankful for.

Thanksgiving Links

Activity Supplies:

  • Three different colors of construction paper (red, yellow, orange)
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • A bowl
  • A stapler

You will need to cut the three different colored pieces of construction paper into strips. Each color strip will represent something different for your family to be thankful for.

  • Red stands for a person
  • Yellow stands for a place
  • Orange is a thing

Mix the strips of paper in your bowl. Your family members can reach in and grab a strip of paper. After they have a piece of paper they write something they are thankful for based on the color they picked. 

Once you’ve written on each piece of paper, you can link them together using a stapler. This can be used as decoration during the Thanksgiving season.

Donating Clothes and Toys to Charity

It can be easy to grow numb to thankfulness. This Thanksgiving season, take time with your family to go through your house for things that could be donated to a local charity. A family activity that encourages giving back can make a significant impact on your children and how they serve others.

Thanksgiving Donations

Though it is normal to simply go through things and toss them in a “donate” pile, be intentional when sorting through your things. Thanksgiving activities for families can be sorting through the “stuff” we acquire and being intentional about what you donate.

Ask your family to write down the toys, clothes, trinkets they are thankful for and why. As they bring things for donation, remind them to be thankful for what they continue to use. 

Donations are important year round, but especially during the holiday season when people are searching for warm clothes and potential gifts for their families.

Memory Leaves

With all the fall foliage surrounding us, it only makes sense to use some of the beautiful leaves for Thanksgiving crafts. This Thanksgiving family activity gets you outside and in the crisp autumn air.

With your family, collect fall leaves from the yard or nearby park. If there aren’t many leaves where you live, you can purchase fake leaves at your local craft store. 

Thanksgiving Leaves

Once you have the leaves, you’ll need:

  • Sharpie Paint pens
  • Black sharpies

Your kids can paint fun faces on the front and as they do, ask them to put a memory they are thankful for on the back. 

This is a fun way to think back on the year with your family, as well as to create funky decor for Thanksgiving day.

Thanksgiving Service

If you have older kids, serving within your community can be a great family activity. Giving your time is a precious and important thing, especially if your family cannot afford to donate money or possessions. 

Thanksgiving Service

During the holiday season, there are many ways to serve. You can find your local soup kitchen and serve meals. You can offer to cook for your church if they offer a free Thanksgiving dinner. Some places build Thanksgiving baskets and your family could help with the assembling process.

However your family decides to serve, this is a wonderful way to show your children what giving back looks like. Thankfulness doesn’t always look like expressing thanks for the things in your own life, it can look like serving others as an outpouring of the thankfulness you have for the things in your own life.

Thankful Placemats

Thanksgiving placemats are a wonderful way to decorate for the thanksgiving meal, as well as encourage your family to be thankful for those around them. 

Thanksgiving Placemats

For this activity, you will need:

  • Butcher paper (12 in x 180 ft.) or construction paper
  • Markers and colored pencils

As you give the construction or butcher paper to your family member, ask them to write things they are thankful about for other family members. 

They can draw, doodle, and decorate as they wish, but including a list of reasons they are thankful for their family members is a great way to implement gratitude at your Thanksgiving celebration.

Truth Hand Turkeys

Making hand turkeys is a Thanksgiving activity classic. This year, create a hand turkey and add a bit of a twist. For this activity you will need:

Thanksgiving Truth Turkeys
  • Construction paper
  • Paint or markers
  • Your bible.

After you make the hand turkeys, on each feather, have your kids write down a bible verse about thankfulness. 

By doing this, you can encourage your children and yourself, to memorize scripture. In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, ask your kids to recite the verses from the thoughtful turkey. It is a great way to remember the purpose of Thanksgiving, to show gratitude and show thanks to the Father in Heaven.

Final Thoughts on Thanksgiving Activities for Families

At the end of the day, spending quality time with your family during this Thanksgiving season is what matters most. Whether you donate toys, make a hand turkey, or simply take a walk in the nice fall weather, taking the time to be intentional with this time with your family is the important thing. 

Take the time to remind your children and family to be thankful and to show gratitude. Not just at Thanksgiving, but year round.

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