16 Easy Thanksgiving and Fall Crafts and Activities for Kids

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving or traveling to spend the holiday with family or friends, it’s a busy time for families, with lots of planning and preparation involved. To help keep the kids entertained, with minimal effort for mom and dad, we collected and created some easy and fun crafts and activities they’re sure to love.

It can be tough for young kids to wait for Thanksgiving dinner to be ready, and even harder for them to sit still through the long meal! Many of these activities would be great to give kids something to do before or after dinner.

For kids who always want to help, we’ve included some festive crafts they can make to decorate your house and table for the holiday. And when we could, we included activities that have some educational value—to keep those brains busy, too!

Check out these Thanksgiving crafts for kids and let us know in the comments which ones are your favorites!

1. Pinecone Turkeys

First, head out for a nature walk and find some pinecones. Then you just need a bit of felt, some craft feathers, and of course, some googly eyes. Use kid-safe glue (instead of hot glue) and this is a craft that kids can do with minimal supervision. To add a little learning as you hunt for pinecones, check out this article on what a pinecone is. Did you know there are male and female pinecones?

turkey made out of a pine cone and feathers


2. Make a Thankful Tree

A branch, some construction paper leaves, and a few things to be thankful for: that’s all you need to make this thankful tree! Have the whole family add leaves with the things they’re thankful for. Use it as cute fall décor or as a centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table.

Image courtesy of The DIY Mommy, used with permission


3. Weave a Placemat

Have kids create their own placemats for the dinner table with this simple craft that will keep them busy while the turkey cooks. Plus, they’ll be practicing important fine-motor and pattern-making skills.

Placemat weaved out of construction paper


4. Make a Thankful Banner

A festive banner will help bring in the holiday spirit, and it’s a simple craft that even older kids can have fun making. Chances are your kids like to pick up sticks and leaves they find anyway—why not use them to create some fun holiday décor?

"Thanks" written across five sheets of construction paper


5. Handprint Turkey

This is a cute twist on the classic handprint turkey craft. For very young children, you can cut out the hand shapes in advance for them to glue. Older kids can work on their cutting skills and coordination with a pair of safety scissors.

Turkey made out of construction paper with hand cutouts serving as feathers


6. Fall Fingerprint Tree

With this free printable, kids can create a frame-worthy piece of fall art with just their fingerprints.

Tree cutout with colorful finger paint to serve as leaves

7. Autumn Leaves Stained Glass

Bring the colors of autumn inside, with this simple activity using colorful fall leaves and clear contact paper.

8. Alphabet Turkey Matching Game

Keep the little ones busy on Thanksgiving Day with this cute educational game. Kids can practice their letters with this matching game that uses alphabet cereal (or Scrabble tiles or letter magnets).

Paper cutout turkey with letters and stickers attached

 9. Fall Leaves Salt Dough Craft

Salt dough is an easy craft to make that uses just three ingredients—water, flour, and salt. Cut out your shapes and bake them in the oven, and your ornaments will last for years to come.

Cookie shaped like a pine tree with red and orange food coloring


10. Pressed Leaves Place Cards

Kids can help decorate the Thanksgiving table by making these fun place cards. Pressed leaves, cardstock, and glue is all you need!

 Pressed leaf place card

11. Cornucopia Treats or Place Cards

These candy cornucopias are simple enough for older kids to create. Have them sitting out as a sweet treat for Thanksgiving guests, or just add a name and it becomes an edible place card.

Waffle cone with m&ms

12. Mayflower Craft and Science Activity

These little Mayflower ships are easy to create using materials you may already have around the house. After you make them, head outside (or fill up the sink) and conduct a mini-science experiment to see if they’ll float.

"Mayflower" Ship made out of construction paper

13. Make Beaded Napkin Rings

These beaded napkin rings will brighten up the Thanksgiving table, and even the older kids will have fun making them. Beading is a great way to practice fine-motor skills too, just be sure to supervise young children around those tiny beads! Feel free to add these ornamental figures featured in the picture below.

Napkin rings made out of beads

14. Turkey Counting Math Activity

Kids will have fun practicing their counting skills with this festive turkey craft.

Turkey paper cut out with 3d paper feathers


15. Leaf Imprints

Have fun with your child gathering colorful leaves from your yard or neighborhood, and then follow these directions to draw the perfect leaf!

Leaf imprints on white canvas

16. Thanksgiving Coloring Pages

Who doesn’t love coloring? Print out these free printable coloring pages to give kids something to do before or after the Thanksgiving meal. You might even catch some of your adult guests joining in the coloring fun!

Coloring in turkey with crayon

For even more fall- and Thanksgiving-themed activities, be sure to visit us on Pinterest!

Follow K12 Fall Activities and Holidays on Pinterest


This article originally published November 2014 and has been revised and republished.

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