It’s that time of year again, when we get together to eat amazing food and spend time with the best people. Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, which means it’s time to start preparing your extravagant gathering.
Explore these Thanksgiving party ideas to help you arrange a memorable celebration for loved ones, whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner with family or inviting your closest friends over for a Friendsgiving party.
Thanksgiving Party Ideas
Christmas decorations have been installed. Holiday decorations abound in the store aisles. Carols are being sung throughout the building. And Thanksgiving isn’t even a week away! I adore Christmas and all that it entails.
However, when I browse the after-Halloween sale and discover that everything Thanksgiving-related is also on sale, it appears like Thanksgiving has devolved into a celebration for stuffing our faces.
With all of that stated, I wanted to pack more meaningful activities for my boys into this Thanksgiving Holiday Season. Of course, we’ll be doing fun turkey crafts, but we’ll also be telling kids tales about why we celebrate Thanksgiving in the first place.
While perusing Pinterest, I had the idea for a couple of activities for my boys, which quickly grew into a Preschool Thanksgiving Activity for them and a few friends. That didn’t bother me.
Thanksgiving Party Activities
Instead of just a Thanksgiving themed playdate, I wanted this to seem like a preschool themed Thanksgiving activity.
Because my audience consisted of young children ages 2 to 5, I realized we’d need a lot of structure to keep everyone entertained. Thankfully, the planning paid off, and everything went off without a hitch.
Singing out loud
To begin, we plunged right into our activities as soon as the first guest came. Before starting the party, I usually wait for a few guests to come. But I knew it would be difficult to convince the kids to follow the structure if they didn’t start with it right away.
Of course, I didn’t want the other visitors to lose out on too much, so we started with an introductory activity, such as singing songs, so that anyone who came later could join in.
To coincide with the season, I inserted a few Fall-themed motions. Falling leaves (dropping hands while wiggling fingers), stomping on leaves (stomping), and turkeys (arms held out straight to the side and waving your hands) (chicken arms flapping up and down).
We read a few Thanksgiving books to the kids after we finished singing, and they learned about the history of the celebration. (I should’ve interspersed the music with anecdotes. We moved on to the next exercise since I was losing them at the end of the second book.)
I haned out Pilgrim hats, bonnets, and Indian headdresses that I had previously prepared after telling them we would act out the Thanksgiving story.
I used this tutorial for the bonnets and this one for the Pilgrim hats. You can make Indian headdresses by cutting off feathers from paper, but I chose to buy feathers from a craft store.
A note about the bonnets: the post requires a sheet of paper measuring 12 x 18 inches. I didn’t have such paper on hand and wasn’t in the mood to go to the store, so I thought of alternatives. What did I come up with?!
Paper towels, please! Yes, I made the pilgrim bonnets out of paper towels. They’ve held up well and, in my opinion, are more akin to cloth than paper. As a result, I strongly advise using paper towels for the bonnets.
I would take a group shot of all your pilgrims before you start the performance if you want one. I did a quick run-through of the pilgrims’ history for the play. Did I say basic? Very simple.
We gathered all of the pilgrims and urged them to act as if they were aboard a boat before sailing to America. Some of them died while pretending to work on the farm. The Indians came to assist us with planting and gathering food. We held a three-day feast, and so forth.
For this session, I had two crafts planned. We sang songs, read tales, and had our play reenactment in the living room to prevent children from plunging into the craft (and food table) when they first arrived at the celebration.
We proceeded into a different area after completing the first half of our activities, where the food and craft tables awaited us. I told the kids they couldn’t eat the food until they got a sticker from me, which I didn’t give out until after we’d finished the crafts and said grace over the meal. This simple technique was really effective.
Because of the children’s ages, I cut out everything for both crafts and divided it into small bags for each child. This made things go more smoothly and on time.
It would have been a lot of chaos for the kids and their mothers if I hadn’t had everything cut out, not to mention being too long to maintain the kids’ attention.
There is no better way to show your loved ones how much you appreciate them than to invite them over for the Thanksgiving holiday. With bespoke Thanksgiving party invitations from me, you can invite your friends and family to your house this Thanksgiving.
These free invitation templates are the perfect way to wish your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving. Your guests will be anxious to see you and your family to share in this great occasion.
Each design also includes “pre-written” wordings, which will save you a lot of time by giving you an idea of where to add information.
- Right-Click each one of your selections.
- Then select “Save Image As” and locate the destination.
- Click “Save”, or tap “Enter” to start the download process.
To make your card look professional, buy either Cardstock or Cotton paper to let your special invites give durable and adaptable feels, making them great party favors and future references for your guests.
Party Favors Ideas
Thanksgiving party favors can be more than just canned turkey, potatoes, and stuffing. Party favors, which range from meaningful artifacts to entertaining trinkets, keep the sense of sharing and camaraderie alive long after the last bite of pumpkin pie has been consumed.
- Box of mini cranberry sauce-topped cheesecakes or other mini Thanksgiving dessert.
- Thanksgiving Day cocktails like the Turkey Tini in Mason jars with lids.
- Soup mix in a jar like the Creamy Chicken, Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup Mix; change the directions to add leftover turkey instead of chicken.
- Small gravy boat featuring an easy chocolate gravy recipe and the required ingredients.
- Thanksgiving mug with pumpkin spice cappuccino mix included.
- Set of mini liquor bottles decorated to look like a Pilgrim, a Native American, and a turkey.
- Mini cast-iron skillet filled with pre-made cornbread from your favorite recipe or a wrapped loaf.
Many people doubt if party favors are actually necessary. While there is no clear etiquette governing whether or not favors are appropriate, they do serve as a lovely “thank you for coming” token for guests. Thanksgiving party favors are a pleasant memento of a joyous celebration, and they are something everyone can be thankful to receive if they are chosen and placed tastefully.