7 Fun and Easy Thanksgiving Ideas

Since I can’t hold tightly to these years when my children are young, I’m going to try to enjoy each moment. The holidays can make that easy or difficult, depending on your expectations!

We love to do fun things with the girls that don’t cost a lot of money or take a lot of prep. There are some things we do each year – a thankfulness chain, gingerbread houses, Christmas movies (and now that my 12 year old is getting older, HALLMARK MOVIES!). Some ideas come and go – but these are the ones that tend to stick around.

Here are 7  FREE or inexpensive ideas for you to enjoy with your family during the Thanksgiving season.

1. Thankfulness Chain: I use scrapbooking paper I have around the house, cut it into strips, and the entire family writes things they’re thankful for on the back of each strip before we attach it to the chain. They want to make it extra long, so they have to think deeper than the normal stuff…and by “deeper” I mean things like “pigs” and “Shopkins.” We do this over a week or so, and end up laughing a lot. A couple of years ago, I used Christmas paper and  let the girls put the chain on the tree. Last year we cut out and colored leaves and wrote on those before stringing them into a garland. Get creative!


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2. Colorful Table Cloth: The photo pictured above with our chain was taken a few years ago. Grandma got the girls this table cloth at the dollar store. Instead of using it once on Thanksgiving, I decided to keep it on all week with a bucket of crayons as our centerpiece. The kids loved it! The link above is also inexpensive and adorable!

3. Thanksgiving Madlib You can find a bunch of these online. They’re hilarious for any age group, which is a good thing because my girls are 5 years apart!

4. Lunch box jokes I print these out and stick a few in my daughters’ lunches all week.

5. Roll A Turkey All you need is some dice and paper. You add features to your turkey based on what you roll and the first person to complete their turkey wins! You could end up with some crazy looking birds!

6. Christmas movies on Netflix!

7. Gingerbread houses! We get a Wilton Gingerbread house (see link to the left for details) every year. Sometimes we get the mini village, sometimes we get one large house. We really enjoy doing these together and leaving them on our table  for the holiday season. They can get a little messy, but they’re always fun. I definitely recommend the Wilton brand. They’re inexpensive and I’ve struggled with the icing on other brands.


Happy Thanksgiving! I pray you find the beauty in the simple things and count many many blessings.



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5 thoughts on “7 Fun and Easy Thanksgiving Ideas

  1. I love the tablecloth idea, I am going to order one from your link for the family Thanksgiving this year. We are going to have six kids around the table and I think they are going to love this! We tried our first gingerbread house last Christmas and it was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. Keeping everything together while you’re gluing, takes a lot of effort! My kids ate it for at least a month after Christmas as well, which they really liked. I’m not sure I’ll leave it out this time though, it’s kind of an endless source of candy, haha!

    1. Oh I’m so glad! Thank you for your sweet comment. The gingerbread houses can be a little frustrating. Sometimes the little village ones are easier. I never even thought to let them eat it throughout the season! Haha! That would be a LOT of constantly available candy to tempt them.

  2. Fun ideas! I used to draw up a huge tree trunk and had my kids write on a paper leaf one thing they were thankful for each day during November and by Thanksgiving we’d have a nice, full, colorful, thankful tree.

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