Thanksgiving Activities, Games, and Prizes

Thanksgiving Party Entertainment Ideas 

Before you know it, turkey day will be here and you might be the one in charge of entertaining friends and family on this beloved American holiday. Luckily, there are plenty of fun activities, games and prizes that can keep your guests entertained long after a big Thanksgiving dinner.  Plan to donate some of your time to benefit others, too!

Thanksgiving Theater Games

Do you have aspiring child actors in the family? Not only will the dramatic love creating their own stick puppets, but they’ll also relish coming up with a Thanksgiving play. Use the puppets as a learning tool about what happened on the first Thanksgiving when the pilgrims arrived in America. Even adults can get in on the fun and can take turns presenting their puppets to show the children what they know about the first Thanksgiving.

Free Thanksgiving Games

Adults and children will get a kick out of playing Thanksgiving charades, but keep things interesting and go beyond the usual Thanksgiving symbols like turkey, pilgrims and Native Americans. Have each person in the group come up with five things they are thankful for and write each on a separate slip of paper. Put all the papers in a bowl, mix them up, and have players take turns acting out whatever they pull out of the bowl. As a bonus, see if anyone can guess who was thankful for that particular thing.

Deliver holiday gifts.

Turkey Pins

Nothing says Thanksgiving quite like a turkey. Imagine a craft your guests can make and keep for Thanksgiving celebrations for years to come. Combine foam, feathers and googly eyes to create miniature turkey pins. Have extra glue, glitter, and sequins around for those who wish to add a little sparkle to their turkeys. For personalized turkey pins, cut out pictures you have of your guests and paste their faces on the pins.


This activity will get adults and children thinking about what they are most thankful for. After a delicious Thanksgiving meal, have each person say why they are thankful for the person to their right. Then, have everyone around the table name something they are specifically thankful for in the current year. Make it a Thanksgiving tradition and have someone serve as the designated “record keeper.” Each year, pull out the record of what everyone has been thankful for and enjoy reminiscing about Thanksgivings from past years.

Thanksgiving Football Fun

Not everyone wants to watch football all afternoon on Thanksgiving weekend, so make sure your guests have plenty of opportunities to participate in football-themed activities and games. Besides playing traditional touch-football in the yard, family and friends will get a kick out of a flick football game. This is a game that can be played inside if the fall air has gotten too chilly for a full-sized game outdoors.

Donate prizes and knick-knacks.

Thanksgiving Prizes- Don’t send them home empty-handed

Who had the best pumpkin pie this year? Who won charades? Did grandpa correctly predict the scores of the Thanksgiving Day football games? Don’t let anyone go home empty handed! A good host will find plenty of reasons to award prizes to each guest at their Thanksgiving party. Personalized items to commemorate the day always make for a special prize, as well as goodie bags. Fill orange and brown gift bags with candy and tie with Thanksgiving-themed ribbon.

Give Back to Those in Need

After giving thanks for all the fun you had playing games and working on activities together, donate your favors, toiletries, and nick knacks to Operation Christmas Child or another charitable organization.  Spread Thanksgiving love and well being to others!

Fiesta, Kids! Parties for Children

Fiesta Cactus Limbo Game

Fiesta Parties for Kids

Whether you’re decorating the classroom for Cinco de Mayo, hosting a slumber party, or just making afternoon snack time a little more fun, bright smiles await with these simple, fiesta party ideas for children. Sonrisas poco divertidas te aguardan cuando te uso estos sencillo, ideas de partido de fiesta para niños.

Fiesta Decorations

Adhere cactus, sombreros, and other festive cutouts to walls and drape fiesta or party lights around windows and ceilings. Accent with globos- balloons. The hot times fiesta kit-n-kaboodle includes all of the tableware you need for a group of eight. Entertain the group with pinatas, bulk candy, and loco pictures under a personalized fiesta arch! ¡Decora por un partido muy lindo y divertido!

Fiesta Party Snacks & Yummies for Children

Niños love fiesta party nachos, trail mix, custom cookies, or chips and salsa for a snack. For a more festive look try serving the chips in a sombrero, or placing bandanas at the table settings.

When it’s time to go, sing an Adios Mis Amigos goodbye with  7″ maracas. Loud singing and the dog’s howling will make these party favors extra special! What are some of your favorite, fiesta party ideas for children?

Valentine’s Day Classroom Ideas

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for romance and lovers. Spread the love with a Valentine’s Day celebration in your classroom. Give the students Valentine invitations that let them know you’re going to devote an entire day to Valentine’s themed activities. Begin by decorating your room with Valentine’s Day decorations and hanging a personalized Valentine’s Day banner to get the students excited about the day.

Tie in all of the subject areas during your Valentine’s Day celebration:

Art: Create Valentine’s rather than buying them. Cover your tables and desks with Valentine’s tableware to catch all the glitter and glue.

P.E.: Play tag. The “tagger” is can be cupid for the day.

Music: Listen to the top 10 love songs of the decade (be sure to pre-screen these and be sure they’re appropriate for your students).

Math and Science: Bake–this incorporates measurement, fractions, and the principles of mixtures. Use heart shaped cake pans or heart cookie treat pans to make your own desserts.

Reading/Writing: Give each of your students a box of candy message hearts (No eating yet!). Students must read each message and use each (that doesn’t repeat) in a story. Share the stories at the end of the class time.

Social Studies: Research the origins of Valentine’s Day and why it’s celebrated.

No celebration is complete without food! You will have already made your dessert, so have the students bring something in to share with the entire class. Be sure you have plenty of classic pink tableware and classic red tableware to go around. Finish off the day with fun photos that students can take home as keepsakes. Now everyone can play cupid with the cupid photo stand in!

Mardi Gras and Masquerade Ideas for Your Classroom

Mardi Gras is just around the corner and if you study different holidays or the settlement of the United States, it’s the perfect reason to have a mini Mardi Gras celebration. You may also have a Mardi Gras celebration if you’ve been teaching your students French. (Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday in English.)

Discuss the following leading up to your celebration:
• French settlement of New Orleans after the Civil War.
• Mardi Gras as a celebration of the “new year”
• First Mardi Gras celebration
• Today’s traditions: parties, multiple parades, etc.

When you have everything established and everyone has a good background for the “holiday”, kick back and celebrate!

For the perfect Mardi Gras classroom celebration, try the following:
• Order Mardi Gras masks for each of your students or have them create their own and hold a secret vote as to whose is the best.
• Use Mardi Gras decorations like the mystique mask door curtain and mask danglers to decorate your room.
• Purchase Mardi Gras favors for each student to take home and remember their celebration.
• Add a Jester standee as a photo booth that will make fine keepsakes for your students.
• You may even be adventurous and have groups of students make their own mini floats and hold a parade in your school.
• Don’t break the bank for your celebration. Shindigz has discount Mardi Gras supplies from which to choose.
• Let your students help you out with the food. They could research traditional French, Mardi Gras, or New Orleans food and each bring a dish to share with the class.

Even if you can’t tie in Mardi Gras to your Social Studies units, think about using Mardi Gras supplies for a masquerade ball or for a piece of literature such as The Phantom of the Opera. It’s always best to put yourself in your students’ shoes and think about what they want out of their studies. Reward their hard work on a literature unit with a theme party or have them put on a Reader’s Theatre for the novel you’ve read. Feather masks are perfect for the girls, and metallic masks work well for the boys.

No matter the reason to celebrate, your students are sure to have a blast with Mardi Gras!

Turkey-riffic Crafts for a Thanksgiving Classroom Party

After a few party games, when you want to bring the activity level down a tad, start one or more of these turkey-approved craft activity ideas. Try them as family activity ideas, too.

• Create Pilgrim hats as table decorations. For the crowns, use black 9 oz paper cups. Cut 6″ circles of black cardboard for the brims and gold or yellow “buckles” made from cardstock paper. Assemble with tape, glue or sticky pads.

• Make feather Native American headdress napkin rings to add glorious fall color to your table. Cut toilet paper tubes into 1 ½” wide rings. Paint designs in festive fall colors on the “rings”. Add construction paper or real feathers. Allow each child to make a set for his/her family if time permits.

• Create personalized Thanksgiving placemats. They can be used at the party and then sent home for Thanksgiving dinner. Use tissue leaves or leaves cut from construction paper. Give each child 8-10 leaves, and have them write one thing that they are thankful for on each leaf. Glue the leaves to a 12″ x 18″ piece of paper and laminate. Clear contact paper also works well for the purpose of “laminating”.

• Make pinecone turkeys. Add colorful feathers, wiggly eyes, and cut and bend pipe cleaners for the beak, wattle, and feet.

• Use uncooked popcorn to create beautiful fall mosaics. The popcorn can be painted after the glue dries if desired.

• Create “Thankful for You Because…” bags. Depending on the age of the children, you may want to do some or all of the pre-assembly (especially if you are using hot glue), or break up the assembly into stages before the day of the party. You’ll need:

    • Brown paper lunch sacks
    • Green paint pen
    • Raffia
    • Tissue Leaves in autumn colors
    • Plenty of small pieces of paper (approx. 3″ x 4″ size)
    • Glue

Cut the top of each sack in a decorative manner (use pinking shears, or regular scissors to trim the size, and give the bag a little character). Glue one autumn leaf to the center of each bag at an angle. Tie raffia into little bows, and glue one to the base of each leaf. Write the name of each child on the bags (one name per bag) with the green paint pen. Place small pieces of paper in a basket along with pens and markers. Have each person write a note or draw a picture (little ones) of why they are thankful for each person. Drop notes into bags. Allow time during the party for the children to read their notes…a great self-esteem building activity.

• For Pilgrim place cards you’ll need:

    • Black paint pen
    • Wooden clothespin
    • Black pipe cleaners
    • Bottle cap
    • Construction paper
    • Glue

Use fine-tip colored markers to draw faces on the “head” of each clothespin. Color the rest of the clothespin black. Just below the head, wrap a black pipe cleaner around the neck, to create the arms. Wrap another pipe cleaner around the “feet”, to make the Pilgrim stand up in the bottle cap. Glue on a black construction paper hat (complete with yellow buckle), and a white paper vest. Cut nametags from white or yellow construction paper, and attach to the pilgrim’s arms. They look really cute with the nametag held above the pilgrim’s head.

Mayflower place cards will require:

Mold clay into boats similar in shape to the Mayflower. good-sized wedge-shaped sails out of the edges of the plates. Write each child’s name on one of the sails. Poke two holes in the center of each sail (vertically), and use the toothpick as the mast. Boats should be approximately 4-5″ in length when completed.


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