Thanksgiving – it’s all about cherishing friends and family, eating good food, and giving thanks. If you’re hosting the holiday this Thanksgiving, don’t forget about your smallest participants! Here are 10 ways to keep the little ones thankful and occupied on Thanksgiving. On November 24, keep the kiddos happy and entertained while teaching them what this special fall season is all about.
The Kids Table
1. Craft paper table runner
Create an inexpensive but rustically effective table runner with a long piece of craft paper. There are so many reasons why this paper is great:
- You can write place settings right on to the paper.
- Put out crayons for the kids to keep them entertained all dinner long.
- Easy clean up! You can throw the paper away when the meal is done.
- You can even create a checklist for kids to mark off as they try different foods.
We would love seeing this paper runner paired with a fun (kid-proof) centerpiece of small pumpkins, gourds and acorns. Spray paint them gold for a touch of glamour, or bright colors for a pop of fun.
2. Pilgrim hat crayon cups
These adorable little cups add a touch of whimsy to any kids’ tablescape. Kids can even help decorate these cups with parental supervision. Crayons can be used to color on the paper table runner, or print out some adorable coloring pages to keep the little ones busy. Here are some of our favorite coloring pages available online for free.
3. Cornhusk treat pouches
There’s nothing better than a little surprise treat, and these cornhusk pouches are perfect for the kids table this November. Fill yellow tissue paper with small prizes from the dollar store for a fun dinner-time surprise. Pick prizes that can be used at the table – crayons, stickers or play doh are all perfect options.
Dealing with picky eaters or kids who don’t want to sit still? Save the corn husk prizes until after the meal as an incentive to eat their veggies and stay in their seats. Fill them with small sweet treats like candy bracelets!
4. Keep them occupied
Once everyone is seated and patiently waiting for the meal, kids can get a bit antsy. Provide some downtime entertainment via Thanksgiving-themed mad libs, word searches, or coloring pages at the kid’s table. These printables can also come in handy after dinner as the activities starts to slow down.
5. Reclaimed Kids’ Art Centerpiece
Whether you have kids art stacking up around the house or you want to make a fun craft out of it, you can make this crazy fun centerpiece with craft supplies you probably already have. Sit the kids down for some drawing fun on paper plates and cut them out in the shape of their hands. Assemble the turkey following this easy tutorial, and voila, you’ve got a centerpiece AND keepsake for years to come.
We love how this turkey centerpiece is perfectly unperfect. Fill it with apples, candy, or even slips of paper where everyone can write what they are thankful for.
6. Fall leaf napkin tags
If your kids love DIYs, here’s a fun craft to do before the big dinner. Using mold-and-bake clay and cookie cutters, create little leaves with a hole poked in them for stringing. Bake them in the oven, let cool, then let kids go crazy painting them in whatever fall colors they desire. These sweet tags look so cute wrapped with raffia, twine, or ribbon. We could see them being used on the kids AND adult table.
7. Thankful tree
Create a new family tradition that kids will love to be a part of. A thankful tree is easy to make, and gives kids a chance to remember the importance of giving and giving thanks. Use this sweet tree as a table centerpiece for a poignant touch.
8. Carmel apple bar
If you want to have kitchen full of happy guests, set up a caramel apple bar like this one. The variety in toppings are sure to please any picky eater, and lets kids be interactive with their food! Just be prepared for all of the adults to want to join in on the delicious fun.
It’s All Fun and Games
9. Turkey trivia
For school-aged kids, turkey trivia is a great way to create engaging learning opportunities. Whether you choose to incorporate simple trivia or more outlandish facts, the children are all sure to have to fun facts up their sleeve at school the next Monday!
10. Thanksgiving Bingo
We all love a good round of bingo, and what more festive way to bring the game to your festivities than a thanksgiving bingo board. For little ones, a simple picture bingo will be perfect, but for older kids try branching out! The bingo boards can have selections of foods they ate, family members they spoke with, or history of the holiday. We love the idea of using candies as place markers too!
Whether you have children of your own or are simply hosting them for thanksgiving, it’s always a good idea to have some activities on deck to keep them occupied. Keep these ideas in mind, and you are sure to please kids of all ages.