Thanksgiving Family Activity Ideas: Thanksgiving Projects that Express Gratitude

Starting a family craft tradition is an ideal way to make a memorable Thanksgiving each year. November, typically a month known for giving thanks and showing gratitude, is the perfect time to create handmade projects which express these qualities. Plan ahead for these projects by gathering craft materials before Thanksgiving arrives.

Create a Gratitude Family Tree

Items Needed:

  • 1 Poster Board
  • Assortment of Family Photos
  • Magazines
  • Sticker Assortment
  • Colored Construction Paper
  • Felt Pens
  • Glue Sticks
  • Poster Paint


  1. Lay poster board flat on a table or other hard surface.
  2. Clip photos and words from the magazines that express, for you and your family, feelings of gratitude.
  3. Draw a tree on the poster board or cut one out of construction paper and glue it on to the board.
  4. Cut an assortment of leaves from the construction paper.
  5. Trim down the family photos as desired either by cutting freehand around the faces – or use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to trace the photo into a heart shape and then cut using the line as a guide.
  6. Have your family write on the leaves that for which they are thankful, including reasons they are thankful for the family members whose photos will be displayed.
  7. Cover your children’s palms with poster paint and press down firmly to make handprints on the poster near the base of the tree. After the paint dries, make the handprints into turkeys.
  8. Arrange the photos, clippings, and leaves in the desired position and then glue them on.
  9. Decorate the poster with hand drawn pictures, poetry or quotes, and the stickers.

Make Handmade Gratitude Cards

These cards may be given away as holiday cards or for any other occasion to express gratitude.

Items Needed:

  • Stack of Card Stock
  • Assortment of Stickers
  • Felt Pens
  • Assortment of Magazines
  • Family Photos


  1. Fold the paper into the card sizes of your choice and flatten the fold by pressing down on it with a pen.
  2. Have your children cut out family photos and magazine clippings to glue onto the cards, either on the front cover or inside.
  3. Look for quotes which express love and gratitude or write your own thoughts of appreciation. Either write them directly onto the cardstock – or print them on a separate sheet of paper – and then tear or cut out the saying and glue into place.
  4. Decorate each card with hand drawn hearts or other symbols of love and appreciation.
  5. Finally decorate with stickers.

Completing one or both of these projects is both a work of art – and a work of heart – for holiday giving.

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