Best ideas of Thanksgiving for kids: Above left, make a paper bag turkey to stuff some
savory popcorn (idea from Martha Stewart). The pilgrim hat from a paper cup idea from
Parents would be cute to stuff crayons. Next, acorn candies have the familiar taste of
peanut butter and chocolate. And finally, the clever tee pee cupcakes will remind kids of
giving thanks to the Native Americans.
Kids Thanksgiving Ideas
How to plan a school thanksgiving celebration with kids
Whether you're a room parent hosting a thanksgiving party at school, or you want the
kids to have fun at the kiddie table at your Thanksgiving feast, you can harvest good
times by encouraging kids to play with their food! Here's how to throw a thanksgiving
party to remember:
- Sprinkle real acorns as part of your table decor. Acorns were part of the Native
American diet (they ate an acorn porridge for breakfast and for lunch and dinner
they added meats and vegetables). Kids are fascinated with acorns. If you're
lucky enough to live near an oak tree, have the kids gather them for your party.
You can spray paint them in silver or gold to add a festive touch to your party. If
you don't have any local pickings, buy dried acorns, above right.
- Bake a turkey cake! No silly, not a turkey-flavored cake, but a turkey designed
cake with frosting. Start with the turkey cake pan, left. Bake and just add
frosting! Or try the Nordic Ware cake pan to bake a three-dimensional turkey.
This clever pan works well for breads too. And why not mold a pretty cranberry
gelatin or dessert as well. It's super versatile.
- Be Thankful for your Childhood Thanksgiving. Remember when you were a kid and
watched Peanuts at every holiday? Then get retro with the kids this year and
enjoy A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, upper right.
Turkey for dessert? Yes! Here are some Thanksgiving treats for kids that are both
entertaining to look at and will keep them busy for the long meal.
- Let kids play with their food. Make an apple look like a turkey. Start with an
apple, some toothpicks, a few mini marshmallows, candy corn or raisins, and
your own creativity. For the head, choose a mini candy pumpkin or larger
marshmallow. Create one in advance for a centerpiece at the kids table, then
allow the kids to assemble their own to take home.
- Turkey hand-print cookies. Wash your hands! Take your favorite recipe (try our
big batch sugar cookie recipe), then use your hands trace a turkey with a knife.
Design with icing the way you would design a hand drawn turkey and us one
candy corn for the beak. The transformation from picture to cookie plate is what
will impress guests with your cleverness. As a project to entertain kids, bake
cookies using your children's hand prints ahead of time, then allow the kids to
decorate their own creations to take home.
- Fowl Play. Make a mini feast as a project for Thanksgiving with Wilton's cute as
can be fondant turkey, pictured left. Top them on cupcakes or allow the kids to
set out a Thanksgiving feast for their Barbie dolls. Fondant is a fun and edible
activity for kids. They can use it like Play Doh. See also Wilton's mini fondant
yams and fondant corn for the complete look. Then create your own, such as a
pumpkin, a cornucopia, and bread.
- Gobble the balls. Turkey popcorn balls: Don't worry, these look like turkeys. They
aren't flavored like turkeys! They are a yummy combination of peanut butter
cups, butterscotch chips and a dash of cinnamon.
- Turkey apple. This sweet treat doesn't taste like turkeys. It's just an apple with
colored marshmallows on toothpicks. Easy and fun for kids to assemble, or you
can create them in advance for a centerpiece at the kids table.
- Assemble a candy turkey. Nutter Butter cookie body, fruit roll up feathers,
gumdrop waddle, pretzel stick legs, raisin eyes. Stick together with icing gel.
Pilgrims of Plenty:
- Pilgrim hat Marshmallows. Here's an easy and impressive looking treat. Dab a bit
of icing gel to your favorite round cookie and affix a marshmallow. Next, dip it in
melted chocolate and affix a yellow jellybean for the buckle.
- Stick it to them. Stick candy transforms into a sweet centerpiece display for the
children's table. Martha Stewart's Pilgrim finger puppets are made of felt.
Tee Pee treats
- Acorns of plenty. Acorns were a staple of Native American diet, so why not have
some fun creating these adorable candy acorn made with rich combination of
peanut butter and chocolate. Much tastier than acorns. Want an even easier
recipe? Left, the acorn cookies from Family Fun are made from donut holes!
- Tempt them with tee pees. Your little Indian braves and squaws will love to feast
on these Tee Pee Treats made from an upturned ice cream cone. It takes a
village! These Tee Pee Cupcakes are another version that are much easier, so
constructing your village will take less time.
- Feathered Napkins. Stick a feather on the napkin with Martha Stewart's
Headdress napkin idea.
- Do whatever floats your boat! Set sail for fun with Mayflower boats from Martha
Stewart, which includes a template. Martha suggests serving nuts for kids, but
you should never serve nuts to kids under five years old as they not only
provide a choking hazard, but you must be cautious of possible nut allergies.
Stick with M&Ms or your favorite snack mix recipe.
Here are more cute Thanksgiving ideas for your little pumpkins:
- Kid's Cornucopia treat: Have kids scoop up their own cornucopia. Provide a sugar
ice cream cone and have kids fill it with colorful "0" and Chex cereals, fruit roll-
ups, yogurt raisins, m&ms and malt balls.
- Get corny: They'll be all ears when you tell them to eat their Indian Corn Cobs
(an idea from Family Fun), top left. These corny cookies are also made from fruit
rollups for the husks, and M&Ms for the corn.
Activities for Thanksgiving Parties
- Prepare a Thanksgiving friendship mix: Have students prepare a friendship mix.
Give each kid an item for the mix along with a meaning that they can read
aloud. You might mix the following items in a plastic cauldron leftover from
- Marshmallows represent snow and the harsh Winter endured by pilgrims
and Native Americans alike.
- Pretzel sticks and candy corn represents the logs and fire to cook and
warm the settlers.
- Popcorn to represent how Native Americans showed the pilgrims how to
plant and harvested corn. Add veggie chips
- Dried fruit (Raisins, dried cranberries, etc.) to represent how the Native
Americans showed the pilgrims how to dry fruit for the Winter.
- Beef Jerky to represent the dried meats necessary to preserve for lean
- Goldfish crackers represent fish harvested from rivers and lakes.
- Gummy bears as reminder that pilgrims faced the threat of Grizzlies and
other bears. You may find gummy worms to represent the hazards of
snakes as well.
- More ideas:
- Bugles might represent a cornucopia.
- Hershey's Kiss might represent tops of acorns, and you can talk
about how Native Americans ground acorns into meal.
- Dance like a chicken. The chicken is pretty happy that it's not being eaten for
Thanksgiving, and pre-school kids will be happy to perform for you. All you need
is to download music to your MP3 on Amazon, or buy Elmo Chicken Dance, right.
Free Thanksgiving Printables
- Be thankful for cute printables that are free! Print cut and party with this free set
of Thanksgiving printables from Shindig Parties, pictured right. Make turkey out
of crayons and a pine cone. Plus print these free items and more:
- Free centerpiece sign
- Turkey coloring pages
- Thanksgiving napkin wraps and straw flags
- Mayflower ship sales
- Party circle logos to use for favors, envelopes, or take away foods!
Real Thanksgiving Parties at School
Now it's your turn. Tell us about your Thanksgiving party at school. We'd love to share a
link or your ideas on Twitter.
All about thanksgiving with kids...
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