Oak Knoll School Blog

9 Ways Kids Can Help on Thanksgiving

Posted by Kathleen Hoke on Nov 15, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it is all about family and being thankful for the wonderful things in our lives. An admirable priest once said, “Happy people are thankful people, and thankful people are happy people.” I truly believe in those words and try to live them every day.

Thanksgiving Day is a day when families should be thankful and happy for what they have and do not think about what they need or want. What makes me happy around Thanksgiving is encouraging my entire family to get involved in the preparations - and festivities - of the day. It's true, even kids can help on Thanksgiving. To that end, here are some ideas to make your day special with your child(ren) and family.

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Food Shopping

Yes, even your children can get involved in food shopping for Thanksgiving dinner! Pick a recipe that the children in your family can make together with you. Look at the ingredients and write down a shopping list for the special items you need for the dish. If your children are on the younger side, they can help find the ingredients in the supermarket; and if they are older, they can figure out how much the dish will cost.

  1. Cooking Dinner

You can even give each child one job in helping to create the dish you chose to shop for earlier. Think about how proud they will be and want to share their accomplishments with your dinner guests.

  1. Make Decorations

Placemats are a great activity with children. The best fabric for painting on is 100 percent cotton with a tight weave. Ask the associates at the fabric store to help you find the right fabric. Make sure you wash the material before printing. Cut rectangles 17” x 13” and then make the hem by folding a bit under ironing it and then turn a bit more and then sew it. You then should make sure you buy fabric paints. Colors like green, brown, yellow and orange remind one of Thanksgiving. You can then use vegetables you are using to cook with - potatoes, celery, peppers, carrots and corn to paint shapes onto the placemats. You can roll the corn, stamp the celery, or cut the potato in shapes. See the photos below.

  1. Create a Centerpiece

20171112_204200.jpgHow about making a pineapple turkey centerpiece for your table? This is absolutely something you can do with children. 

You need to make a turkey head out of red fabric and stuff it with Fiberfill or cotton. You then lay the pineapple on its side with the green representing the tail feather on a platter. You then take a pin and put grapes on the head to look like a waddle. Place fruit around the pineapple and nuts if you want to. Fruit like red apples, pears, bananas and oranges are great.
  1. Give Thanks

Give each guest a sticky note and ask them to write down for what they are thankful. What fun it will be to take turns reading these gifts of thanks!

  1. Pray

Make up your own prayer or find one that the whole family can say. Then, print it out so everyone can follow along. You can even have two parts. Here’s an example.

  1. Share Something Special

Think of questions that you would love to know the answers to from your family. For example, who do you respect the most, and why? Put the questions on strips of paper and put them in a bowl. One person at the table picks out a question and then everyone takes a turn answering.

  1. Thanksgiving Charades

Think of words that remind you of Thanksgiving and put them on strips of paper. Then, fold the strips and put them in a bowl. Now it is time to play charades with the words. Click here for rules.

  1. Read a Book Together

Read a special book together at the end of the day while you relax as a family. Here’s a list of 10 Thanksgiving Books for Children.

Looking for other ways your family can get involved around Thanksgiving? Check out our recent blog post titled 4 Easy Ways Your Family Can Give Back This Fall.

Topics: elementary school, thanksgiving

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