Kid Friendly Thanksgiving Ideas

Making Thanksgiving Special – Kid Friendly Thanksgiving Ideas

One Thanksgiving, years ago, my parents challenged my siblings and me to make a list of things we were grateful for.  Whoever had the longest list won a special date-night on the town with just the two of them.  We each received a blank notebook.  I was thankful for spoons, fingernail polish, Q-tips, the colors: black, blue, red, white,….and on, and on, and on.  Admittedly, my list got a little out of control.  I think I worked on it for days. 😉 –I am pretty sure I won that little contest.  Ha. Funny memory.  But the fact is,… I remember it.  I remember writing a bjillion things I was thankful for.  I love that I think about that silly notebook every Thanksgiving season.

My little ones are starting to grow up (way too fast I might add), and I want to make Thanksgiving a meaningful holiday for them.  I often think Thanksgiving gets overlooked because of the rush to market Christmas.  How can we change that?  From extended family gatherings, to the time to reflect on blessings, and of course the food,… I love every last detail.

We had a little pre-school Thanksgiving feast in our home yesterday. While it was simple, it really got me excited about planting a love for Thanksgiving in my child.  I thought I’d share a few kid friendly Thanksgiving ideas, if you tell me all your deepest darkest Thanksgiving secrets.  Deal?

Let’s admit it.  The #1 goal at a Thanksgiving feast is to keep little ones entertained and seated for at least five minutes.

Kid Friendly Thanksgiving Ideas

Crayons are a must.  I made this silly turkey with Garnish’s soup bowl, silly eyes, and construction paper. Do the crayons look like feathers? Gosh I hope so! 😉 That was what I was going for…Kid Friendly Thanksgiving IdeasNext up, we made turkey lollipops. I spotted these cute guys on The kids had so much fun with these!
Kid Friendly Thanksgiving Ideas

A friendly game of Tic-Tac-Turkey kept their active little minds busy.
Kid Friendly Thanksgiving IdeasKid Friendly Thanksgiving IdeasNow for the tough part.  Making them eat.Kid Friendly Thanksgiving IdeasMy sweetest friend Jen made these adorable acorn doughnuts.  Easy steps from Family Fun.Kid Friendly Thanksgiving IdeasThe kids were eating all their veggies thanks to Mr. Turkey Sandwich.  Isn’t he the best?!
Kid Friendly Thanksgiving IdeasAnd just to make sure they eat every last thing on their plate. Isn’t this checklist adorable? It’s yours FREE, thanks to Anna & Blue paperie.

Kid Friendly Thanksgiving Ideas

They sat for 4 minutes.  Heck, I’ll take it! 😉

A few details:

-The adorable wood cutlery, soup bowl, and bamboo serving boat, all came from Garnish Gosh I love their stuff! {Have you entered out current Garnish Giveaway?!}

-Here are instructions on the turkey lollipops, acorn doughnuts, and Mr. Turkey Sandwich.

-You can download all the Thanksgiving printables used in this post (including a coordinating Tic-Tac-Turkey sheet) for FREE from Anna & Blue paperie.

-I wish I would have used the Turkey Handprint Tablecloth idea! I totally spaced it.

What are your kid friendly thanksgiving ideas?  Thanksgiving traditions? Thanksgiving memories?  Heck, I even want to know your favorite Thanksgiving food. Recipes?! DISH IT!

Kid Friendly Thanksgiving Ideas

    1. November 17th, 2010 at 8:20 am
      colleen says:
      Would you please link up the turkey tac toe? I have older children so while the other things are cute, for a 10 year old... not so much! But they would LOVE that tic tac toe board! PLEEEEAAAASSE! :)
      • November 17th, 2010 at 8:30 am
        Shelley says:
        For you,...I will see what I can do! ;)
      • November 17th, 2010 at 11:13 am
        Shelley says:
        wish granted! Stefanie (Anna & Blue) just created a coordinating tic-tac-turkey sheet in the file link. :) Go leave her some comment love as Thanks! :)
    2. November 17th, 2010 at 8:31 am
      Alison says:
      Super cute Shelley! I would love sitting down for this at my Thanksgiving dinner!
    3. November 17th, 2010 at 10:22 am
      Jen says:
      I want the tic-tac-turkey too!
      • November 17th, 2010 at 11:12 am
        Shelley says:
        wish granted! Stefanie (Anna & Blue) just created a coordinating tic-tac-turkey sheet in the file link. :)
    4. November 17th, 2010 at 10:59 am
      Michelle says:
      All wonderful ideas! Love those little peas for eyes. My daughter would be all over that little snack.
    5. November 17th, 2010 at 11:23 am
      pennymck says:
      So cute and fun for little ones. I'll bet they loved it!
    6. November 17th, 2010 at 11:50 am
      Anna says:
      I went to the store with my 6 year old and right after seeing the Christmas tree up in the store his first words were "Why are they doing Christmas already? It's not even Thanksgiving!" I loved that he sees the need for Thanksgiving. (Of course, I explained that the stores wanted to get ready early for the next holiday...)

      Our family (as much as we want to some days) waits until Friday to do Christmas.

      Anyway, no real strong Thanksgiving traditions here. We just go to my mom's and eat dinner. Veg out for awhile. Go to my inlaws house later and hang out and eat leftovers. Then the day after Thanksgiving, we go to my mom's house and make candy.

      Love the printables and I am going to try it for this year. The 6 year old LOVES Thanksgiving dinner and will eat it no problem. The other two (4 and 2) need a little help with the attention thing. :)
    7. November 17th, 2010 at 12:26 pm
      Alysha says:
      Super cute ideas Shell! Love the crayon feathers. Lol that was clever! :)
    8. November 17th, 2010 at 3:46 pm
      Celeste says:
      Thank you Shelley! I sometimes wonder if my comments are noticed, but I totally asked for some kid friendly things and you delivered! Thank you soo soo much! You guys really are the best! I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving season! :)
      • November 17th, 2010 at 3:48 pm
        Shelley says:
        Of course we notice them! :) Please keep the comments coming. They make our day. :)
    9. November 17th, 2010 at 5:14 pm
      Carol says:
      How thoughtful of you to think of the kids and their Thanksgiving. THANKS for the ideas!
    10. November 17th, 2010 at 5:56 pm
      Michelle says:
      Thanks for the great ideas. My kids (twins) are 5 1/2 and I want them to focus this year on what they are thankful for.

      We are lucky to be able to provide for our kids and they really want for not much. Therefore, I want them to know that there are others who are less fortunate. This year we are going to go grocery shopping this weekend and each of my kids will help purchase a meal that we will then donate to the local food back to help another family who isn't so fortunate to be able to go to the grocery store and get whatever they want. I am so proud that my kids are really into this idea and have been planning what their donated meal will be....they are even including multiple vegetables!

      On another note, I do love the tic-tac-turkey game and will do print that out. I am thankful for your great ideas!
      .-= Michelle´s last blog ..the fifth season… =-.
    11. November 17th, 2010 at 6:38 pm
      nickelle says:
      Shel.... Totally LoVe IT!
      2 out of my 4 kids are old enough to do the Thankful Notebook thing!! YAY!
      I thought of a New tradition for us this year! Since I have a fake Christams tree & a new business to run {christmas is so busy!}
      I thought, why not put it up early & decorate it with things we are Thankful for! The kids made Turkey hands (Classic!) & also Turkeys out of empty toilet paper rolls & paper leaves from scribbling with a crayon across a real one. {remember doing that as a kid?!}
      We are putting wooden blocks on it with pics. the kids drew (mod podging them on) & word blocks as well....we are almost done! It's been a BLAST! :o)

      Thanks for sharing yours....
    12. November 17th, 2010 at 9:06 pm
      lynn-anne says:
      My little guy and I have just been oohing and ahhhing over these fun things- ! Love them ! Will be making/doing . . . But Teddy wants to know why the turkey sandwich can't be made of brownies?!?!? ;)
      .-= lynn-anne´s last blog ..from the metrolina flea- charlotte nc =-.
    13. November 17th, 2010 at 11:32 pm
      stacy says:
      I love all these fun Thanksgiving ideas and activities for my kids! You always do such cute posts Shelley! Thank you!
    14. November 18th, 2010 at 12:03 am
      Amy @ Blowout Party! says:
      So cute! Adorable Turkey sandwich!
    15. November 18th, 2010 at 1:51 am
      Monica says:
      So adorable! Thanks for sharing. Great ideas as always!
    16. November 18th, 2010 at 2:07 pm
      Courtney @ Pizzazzerie says:
      GREAT ideas!
    17. November 18th, 2010 at 6:28 pm
      dalys says:
      nice, tks for sharing I love the turkey sandwich... so colorful!!! I will try some.
    18. November 18th, 2010 at 7:24 pm
      Sheri O. says:
      Wow! These are all great ideas - mine will love the Turkey Tac Toe!! And I bet all the adults at dinner will too!
    19. November 19th, 2010 at 2:47 am
      Bird says:
      Shelley, great collection of ideas!
      Check out my FREE Printable Thanksgiving here:

      Hope you like it! ;)
    20. November 21st, 2010 at 1:21 pm
      jessica says:
      Love all the cute ideas and your girlfriend acorns are adorable. She did a great job cuter than the original. I think I'll try those and yes I'm going to use the chocolate donut holes as she did. was everything else original? Happy Holidays!
    21. November 22nd, 2010 at 7:45 am
      Handy Man, Crafty Woman says:
      That is just adorable! how creative! My son would love something like this.
    22. November 22nd, 2010 at 8:23 am
      Katie says:
      Thanks for sharing these wonderful ideas!
    23. November 22nd, 2010 at 12:02 pm
      Jen says:
      I'm loving these kid friendly ideas! Working in a family business that focuses primarily on Christmas during the Holiday season, I've been wanting to add a little emphasis to Thanksgiving as well. And this has sparked some ideas for me to incorporate in our Thanksgiving post! Thanks so much for the suggestions.
    24. November 27th, 2011 at 11:17 am
      Shannan says:
      I made the acorns with my son and they were a HUGE hit at our Thanksgiving dinner! Everyone loved them and they were delish too!! I substituted peanuts for the toffee because I didn't think my kids would eat that. They were great!

      I also used the printable checklist. It really got my son to pay attention to what he was eating and he tried everything on his plate! It was wonderful!! Now I need to come up with one for every dinner!
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