Thanksgiving is often thought of as a family holiday, but it also works well as the theme for a playgroup party. If you aren’t involved in a playgroup the kids’ party ideas work for any group of kids, from your friends and their kids to the neighborhood children. Adding Thanksgiving to all of the party elements makes it more exciting for the kids.
Start the kids’ Thanksgiving party off right with themed invitations. Your kids can help with the invitations by making handprint turkeys. Trace your child’s hand on a piece of brown paper, cut out and add the turkey details. Write the party information on the opposite side of the turkey before mailing or delivering the invitations.
Fall colors work well for the party decorations. Balloons and streamers in yellow, red, orange and brown offer an inexpensive, child-friendly decoration option. Turkey cutouts also work well on the walls. You can make Pilgrim hat centerpieces by covering a coffee can with black paper or paint. Cut out a circle larger than the can to create the brim of the hat. Cut a strip of paper to wrap around the base for the band of the hat.
Roasting a whole turkey is a lot of work, but you can usually find turkey chunks or cooked turkey breast in the deli section of the grocery store. Heat up the turkey pieces before serving. Mashed potatoes, either real or instant, are a hit with most kids and fit the Thanksgiving theme. Other sides might include corn, rolls and green beans. Invite the guests to bring their favorite Thanksgiving side dishes or treats to make your job easier.
For dessert, Thanksgiving-shaped cookies work well. Either let the kids cut out the cookies or cut and bake them ahead of time. The kids can spread frosting on the shaped cookies and add details with various candies, making the cookies double duty as both the dessert and part of the entertainment.
There are several simple Thanksgiving crafts that work well for a child’s Thanksgiving party. Thanksgiving place mats require a large rectangle of construction paper as the base. Let the kids apply stickers, paint or other pieces of paper to create Thanksgiving scenes.
Pine cone turkeys are another popular craft option. A pine cone creates the body of the turkey. Let the kids glue on feathers, wiggly eyes and a beak cut from felt to complete the turkey. As an alternative, use a juice lid as the turkey’s body. Glue feathers along the top of the lid and facial features on the front. Place a magnet on the back for display purposes.
Focus on the theme of giving thanks to make the party fun and educational. Let the kids take turns sharing something they are thankful for. A tree of thanks is another way for kids to express their gratitude for things they have. Each child writes something she is thankful for on a leaf cutout. Tie or glue all of the leaves onto a small branch to create the tree display.