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Thanksgiving Fun for the Grandkids

Looking for some Thanksgiving fun for your Grandkids?


Thanksgiving is November 23. If you’ve got grandkids coming for dinner, here are some fun Thanksgiving activities to keep them entertained at the table.

Make Place Cards

The place cards shown in the above photo were made by one of my GaGa Sisters. Invite all your guests to trace their hand on construction paper and then decorate them with marking pens. Cut a slit in a small apple and insert the handprint.

grandkidsSing Silly Thanksgiving Songs

One year I provided song sheets with familiar tunes (“Hokey Pokey,” “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” and “Row Row Row Your Boat”) adapted to silly Thanksgiving songs. We all had a laughing fit when I shook my wattle to the “Turkey Pokey.” See below for the words to your song sheets.

Put on a Comedy Show

Every family has its own perfect candidates who’d be naturals at regaling the crowd with cute Thanksgiving jokes. You’ll find 20 Thanksgiving jokes, at Grandma’s Briefs blog. If you get there quickly enough, you won’t be stumped when you’re asked, “What always comes at the end of Thanksgiving, Grandma?” (trot right over to find the answer!)

Have a Spelling Gobble

It’s not hard to come up with a list of words that keep kids as young as six in the competition. But if you detect anxious glances at televised football from daddies and grandpa, just toss in words like “Wampanoag” and “Massachusetts” to knock ’em out early and send ’em (thankfully!) on their way!


Play Thanksgiving Trivia

Blogger Joyce Gillis of What Happens at Grandma’s provided the inspiration for this Thanksgiving Trivia game. Her Thanksgiving celebration always includes an original play that she writes for her grandchildren to perform after dinner. Her three oldest grandchildren ask the following questions to see whether their parents were paying attention to the play.

1. How many days did the first Thanksgiving last? (3)
2. Which president declared Thanksgiving a national holiday? (Abe Lincoln)
3. What landmark shows where the Pilgrims landed? (Plymouth Rock)
4. True or False – All turkeys, male and female, gobble. (False – only males gobble; females cackle)
5. What is the busiest day of the year for plumbers? (day after Thanksgiving)
6. What other country besides the United States celebrates Thanksgiving? (Canada)
7. When is Canada’s Thanksgiving Day? (second Monday in October)
8. What famous American wanted the turkey to be the national symbol? (Benjamin Franklin)
9. In the 1600s when the first Thanksgiving was celebrated, which utensil was not yet invented? (fork)
10. How many Pilgrims boarded the Mayflower for the journey to the new world? (102)
11. How many survived to be present at the first Thanksgiving? (50)
12. How many of that number were women? (5)
13. Who did all the cooking for the first Thanksgiving? (5 women)
14. Which Indian tribe helped the Pilgrims survive? (Wampanoag)
15. What type of houses did the Wampanoag tribe build for themselves? (wigwams)



Turkey Pokey

You put your right wing in.
You put your right wing out.
You put your right wing in,
And you shake it all about.
You do the turkey pokey
And you turn yourself around.
That’s what it’s all about.

Additional verses: Left wing, Drumsticks, Stuffing, Wattle, Tail Feathers, Turkey body.

When we got to the “wattle” verse, I pulled on my own “wattle” and created a vibrato by wiggling it back and forth. The girls thought that was a riot and pretty soon everyone at the table was wiggling their wattles and singing the “Turkey Pokey!”

The girls have asked me to be sure and bring the song sheets again. I’m looking forward to another Thanksgiving sing-along this year—especially the “Turkey Pokey.”

Here are some other favorites:

Thanksgiving Song (Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle)

Let’s be thankful for this day
For our friends and for our play
Let’s be thankful; let’s be glad
For the food and things we have
Let’s give thanks for you and me
And our home and family.

Mr. Turkey (Tune: Frère Jacques)

Mr. Turkey, Mr. Turkey
Run away, run away
If you are not careful
You will be a mouthful
Thanksgiving Day, Thanksgiving Day!

I’m Thankful (Tune: Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

I’m thankful for my friends
And for my family.
I’m thankful for the food I eat.
I’m happy to be me!

Pumpkin Song (Tune: Have you ever seen a lassie?)

Have you ever seen a pumpkin, a pumpkin, a pumpkin,
Have you ever seen a pumpkin, that grows on a vine?
A round one, a tall one, a big one, a small one.
Have you ever seen a pumpkin, that grows on a vine?

Pumpkin song (Tune: I’m a little teapot)

I’m a little pumpkin
Orange and round.
Here is my stem,
There is the ground.
When I get all cut up,
Don’t you shout!
Just open me up
And scoop me out!

Mr. Pumpkin (Tune: Frère Jacques)

Mr. Pumpkin,
Mr. Pumpkin,
Round and big.
Round and big.
Harvest time is coming.
Harvest time is coming.
Yum, yum, yum.
That is that!

Whatever you decide to do on Thanksgiving, may it be a warm and fun-filled celebration that provides lasting memories for all of your family.

More from Donne Davis here


grandmaDonne is the founder and creative force behind the award-winning Blogsite – GaGaSisterhood. Visit her site/blog here – The GaGa Sisterhood®
Where Grandmas Bond, Brag, and Benefit
We highly recommend her book,  When Being a Grandma Isn’t So Grand 



Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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