Thrifty Thanksgiving…Crafts and Activities, That Is

I originally published this post last year around this time. For some reason my kids have an entire week off for Thanksgiving break this year so I felt some parents would appreciate some ideas for keeping their littles occupied without all their cash getting ‘gobbled’ up.

Looking for something to do with your kids during that little holiday gap called ‘not Christmas yet’….I mean Thanksgiving. Check out some neat craft ideas that I have found to re-focus their attention to ‘giving thanks’ rather than ‘getting gifts’.

Cloths Pin Coffee Filter Turkeys: Yes, totally stolen from Facebook- here’s the link below. They are, as the name implies, cute little turkeys made from painting coffee filters and clipping them onto clothes pins to make little turkey tails. Super cute, super easy, super fun to make with the kids.

Kids Workouts: I was actually floored to find several Thanksgiving themed kid’s workouts offered for free on You Tube. Jack Hartmann offers Powwow, The Gobble, and Tom Turkey (see links below) and our good friends at Cosmic Kids Yoga offer Autumn Yoga (see link below) which is mostly about meditation and mindfulness. I will admit my kids didn’t love it quite as much as the Halloween speed yoga, but it was still a pleasant excuse to get up and move into both bear and tree pose. (Jack Hartmann Powwow) (Jack Hartmann The Gobble) (Jack Hartmann Tommy Turkey) (Cosmic Kids Autumn Yoga)

Image courtesy of Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog

Thanksgiving Cookies: Every year I keep the kids entertained with trashing my kitchen, I mean, making themed holiday cookies. Previously we have made cutout cookies in the shapes of leaves, turkeys, footballs, acorns, and pumpkins. Then we decorate them and make cookie plates to share with all our neighbors. This year I’ve stolen a couple more cute ideas (again from Facebook, I’ll put the link below) for making pilgrim hats, tepees, pretzel turkeys, and Nutter Butter turkeys.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: I love the old A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving cartoon. Last year I put it on for my kids while they ate a special lunch of pretzels, toast, and jelly beans. Sounds gross to adults, but they LOVED it.

Whoops! Totally took the picture upside down…sorry!

Turkey Hunting: If you need a good excuse to stretch your legs after dinner do what we did and tell your kids you are going on a turkey hunt. We armed each kiddo with a butterfly net and a baggie of candy corn (to bait the turkeys with of course) and took a walk through the local forest preserve. We didn’t catch any wild turkeys but we certainly did find a lot of fun and fresh air.

Go on a ‘Turkey Egg Hunt’: If Covid quarantine taught me anything it was to be creative with what we already had in the house. In a moment of desperate boredom, I reinvented the idea of an Easter egg hunt to fit whatever holiday it was, thus, on Thanksgiving we had our first ‘Turkey egg hunt’. I sorted out the yellow and orange eggs, filled them with candy corns, stickers, and coins and hid them around the back yard for the kids to find. My neighbor even played turkey calls over the fence.

Make a ‘Thankful for’ List/TP Turkeys: I got the idea for the thankfulness list one year when I found a package of pretty stationary that said, “I am thankful for” across the top at Meijer. The package came with about thirty lists, so it has become a Thanksgiving tradition in our house to write down what we are thankful for before we eat our feast. Obviously, you don’t need the fancy stationary, good old printer paper works too.

The TP turkeys were stolen from Highlights magazine for kids (I highly recommend a subscription if you have little kids they are filled with fun puzzles, stories, and craft ideas

Free Crayola Coloring Crafts: I know I have mentioned this before, but Crayola offers an amazing selection of free coloring pages. Literally- Free! No annoying pop-up ads, no formatting issues- just click and print. This year I found a Thanksgiving place mat and a color and cut out ‘build your own turkey’.

As always, enjoy these free ideas and please have fun making them your own!

Be thankful!





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