10 Creative and Educational Thanksgiving Activities for Toddlers

There are a lot of ways to encour­age your child’s cre­ativ­i­ty this Thanks­giv­ing. To help you out this Thanks­giv­ing, we com­piled a list of our favorite Turkey Day activ­i­ties that meet two cri­te­ria. First off, they’re easy for par­ents to set up, because we know just how busy the hol­i­days get. Sec­ond, these activ­i­ties are per­fect for younger chil­dren. Keep read­ing for a break­down on how to make your family’s Thanks­giv­ing memorable.

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Edible Pumpkin Play Dough

This edi­ble play dough recipe cre­ates a fun and deli­cious activ­i­ty for your kids. Use cook­ie cut­ters and uten­sils to make Thanks­giv­ing-themed cre­ations (pump­kins are per­fect for this orange dough), or let your kids mold what­ev­er their lit­tle hearts desire. The dough packs down into a con­tain­er or bag­gy, just don’t for­get to refrig­er­ate to keep it fresh!

Get the recipe from Smart School House.

Turkey Baster Relay

Get your fam­i­ly up and active with this sim­ple relay race activ­i­ty. All you need is a turkey baster, a few feath­ers, and a small box. To com­plete the race, your kids need to use the baster to puff the feath­ers from one side of the room to the oth­er. For old­er kids, make it more dif­fi­cult by get­ting them to hop, skip, or crawl their way to the fin­ish line.

For more details, vis­it The Inspired Tree­house.

Turkey Balloon Rockets

What if you don’t want a gag­gle of kids run­ning about the house? Tell them to race turkeys instead! This cre­ative activ­i­ty lets kids enjoy the excite­ment of a race in a con­tained space. You can also use the race as a sim­ple sci­ence experiment.

Learn more at Grow­ing a Jew­eled Rose.

Thanksgiving Placemats

Sit your kids down for some qui­et cre­ative time with these print­able place­mats. Our first favorite place­mat com­bines draw­ing, col­or­ing, and word puz­zles to keep kids enter­tained. The sec­ond focus­es on draw­ing and encour­ag­ing kids to use their nog­gins to design a spe­cial Thanks­giv­ing dessert. Both ask kids to think of what they’re thank­ful for.

Print them out by going to The Sub­ur­ban Mom and Brought To You By Mom.

Improved Footprint Turkey Craft

This craft takes some­thing you’re prob­a­bly famil­iar with — mak­ing a foot­print turkey — and takes it to the next lev­el by paint­ing stained-glass feath­ers on tis­sue paper. You can sim­pli­fy it by stick­ing with the basic foot­print turkey for younger chil­dren or jump all in for your entire fam­i­ly. Don’t for­get the goo­gly eyes!

Find out how to make your spe­cial foot­print turkeys at Mean­ing­ful Mama.

Drawing Lessons For Little Turkeys

Start with basic lines and shapes to teach your young ones how to draw their own pil­grims and turkeys. Once your child fin­ish­es his or her sim­ple draw­ing, bring out the crayons or water­col­ors and have them col­or in their own creations!

Artist Jen­ny Knap­pen­berg­er demon­strates how to teach young chil­dren how to draw Thanks­giv­ing pic­tures on her blog. Check it out!

Gratitude Turkey Pumpkin

Use this activ­i­ty to teach your child a valu­able les­son about grat­i­tude. For this you’ll need a pump­kin, con­struc­tion paper, and wood­en skew­ers. Help your child write what he or she is grate­ful for on each of the turkey’s paper feath­ers. If you’re short on a pump­kin or skew­ers, you can eas­i­ly trans­form this craft into a more sim­ple draw­ing exercise. 

For instruc­tions on how to con­struct the turkey pump­kin, go to Tod­dler Approved.

Sticky Paper Turkey Dress-Up

Dress a naked turkey with a heap­ing of feath­ers in this edu­ca­tion­al craft. This exer­cise is great for teach­ing pat­terns and team­work. All you need is sticky paper, a cut-out paper turkey, and a bag full of dif­fer­ent col­ored feath­ers. Grab the fam­i­ly and have them work togeth­er to cre­ate beau­ti­ful feath­er pat­terns. One fun way to engage young minds is by ask­ing your chil­dren to iden­ti­fy each col­or and alter­nate between col­ors as they dress” the turkey.

Go to Teach Preschool for more ideas on how to make this craft educational. 

Feed the Turkey

Recy­cle an old jar and use this activ­i­ty to keep your chil­dren busy while you fin­ish cook­ing Thanks­giv­ing din­ner. This is an easy grab and drop exer­cise that works on motor skills, count­ing, col­or iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, pat­terns, math, and so much more! Keep your child learn­ing by assign­ing a dif­fer­ent task at a time.

Learn more about this edu­ca­tion­al craft at Busy Tod­dler.

Thanksgiving Tablecloth

If your fam­i­ly wants to tack­le a big­ger project, have your kids cre­ate their own Thanks­giv­ing table­cloth. This works well with mark­ers and butch­er paper, or col­or­ing pen­cils and crayons for younger children. 

Head on over to Fun Hand Print Art Blog for some great Thanks­giv­ing-themed draw­ing prompts.

Want More Kid-Friendly Crafts?

Head on over to the Jel­lies blog for ideas on how to inspire your child’s cre­ativ­i­ty and how to keep your fam­i­ly safe with tech­nol­o­gy. You might also want to down­load the Jel­lies app to con­tin­ue your child’s edu­ca­tion and encour­age their imag­i­na­tion. Our arts and crafts videos show your child how to cre­ate amaz­ing things with the every­day items in your home. Learn more about Jel­lies at jel​liesapp​.com.