Best Thanksgiving Activities and Games for Kids: Fun Ways to Teach Kids About Gratitude, Appreciation & Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect on all the blessings life has to offer. Using fun games and activities is a great way to teach kids the beauty of gratitude and appreciation, and can be a wonderful way to create new family traditions that last throughout the year.

Alphabet Appreciation Thanksgiving Game

The alphabet appreciation game is a great way to have some fun giving thanks, and can also provide a great language arts activity for children.

The basic game is played by having everyone name something they are thankful for beginning with the letter A, then the letter B, and so on. For example, player one says “I am thankful for Aunt Maggie!”, player two says “I am thankful for my bike!” Have everyone take turns moving through the entire alphabet, and be sure to take the time for group appreciation along the way!

Variations to make the game more interesting or complex include:

  • Themed Thanks – Choose a theme, such as appreciating people, places or foods beginning with a specific letter.
  • Gratitude Concentration – Include a memory component by having each player add an item and then work backwards reciting all previous items. For example: “I am thankful for cherries, and Bobby is thankful for his bicycle, and Susan is thankful for Aunt Maggie!”
  • Speed Thanks – Set a timer and have each person appreciate as many things as they can for a particular letter before the time is up!

Thanksgiving Activities Using Gratitude Journals

Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to mindfully practice the art of giving thanks, and journaling with kids can be a wonderful way to get creative, explore and have fun!

Some ideas for using gratitude journals to celebrate thanksgiving with kids:

  • Start with a plain notebook and create a custom one-of-a-kind gratitude journal using special papers, markers, stickers and lots of glitter and happy, sparkly additions!
  • Incorporate the alphabet appreciation game and create journal pages that capture feelings of gratitude with pictures and written descriptions for each letter.
  • Have each family member write something he appreciates about each person in the family, and have everyone take turns reading from his list at the family thanksgiving dinner.
  • Pass each gratitude journal around the room and let everyone have a chance to write a note to the owner expressing his thanks and appreciation.

Teach Kids to Celebrate Thanksgiving Every Day of the Year

Thanksgiving is a time when many people celebrate and consciously give thanks for the blessings in their lives. But giving thanks and fostering feelings of gratitude and appreciation is something that can be encouraged throughout the year. Teaching kids fun thanksgiving games and activities and modeling an attitude of gratitude can greatly improve family relations, and lead to more feelings of joy and love in the home.

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