4 Thanksgiving Activities Your Kids Will Love

Crafts are fun ways to get your littlest Thanksgiving guests involved in the celebration and keep them occupied while you are busy hosting and preparing the meal. Here are 4 great Thanksgiving activities for kids

Thankful Chain

Grab some construction paper in a variety of fall colors like orange, brown and red. Cut them into strips, and hand them out to your kids. Give the children markers, and ask them to write one thing they are thankful for on each piece of paper. Have older kids help those who are too young to write.

When the paper strips have all been written on, make a chain by linking them together and securing each with a piece of tape. Use your chain to decorate your front door, or hang it near the Thanksgiving table.

Napkin Rings

Gather some paper towel roles, and cut them into sections of about 2 inches each. Give kids construction paper, glue, Thanksgiving stickers, glitter, ribbon and any other craft supplies you like. Have the children decorate each paper towel section. Use them as napkin rings at the table.

These also make great gifts for grandparents or other family members when you are eating at someone else's house.

Paper Plate Hand Print Turkey

Give each child several pieces of construction paper in fall colors. Trace their hands, and cut them out.

Cut a paper plate in half, and ask the kids to glue their paper handprints onto the plate in a fanned out pattern. Cut out about a 2 inch diameter circle, and glue it in the middle of the plate. Use markers or googly eyes to make a turkey face on the circle. Glue on a construction paper gobble.

Leaf Rubbing Place Cards

Get a piece of card stock for each person at your table, and fold these in half so they stand up.

Gather strong, sturdy, green leaves from outside. Place the leaves under a thin piece of paper, and rub crayons over the paper on top of the leaves to create a pretty pattern. Cut the paper to fit the card stock, and glue it on top. Use a permanent marker to write the name of each guest on the card stock.

Try these 4 fun Thanksgiving craft ideas. Your kids will be proud to display their artwork as part of the holiday decor.

For more kid-friendly activities, check out our post on a multicultural Thanksgiving. If you have any tips or activities to share, please comment below. Thanks for reading and we hope you and your loved ones have a fantastic holiday season!

Have a Multicultural Thanksgiving with Little Pim

When most people in America think of Thanksgiving, they think of eating traditional foods like turkey, cranberry, and pumpkin pie with family and friends. Uniquely American traditions like football and Black Friday shopping may also come to mind. But Thanksgiving looks very different in other countries, each of which have their own way of celebrating the bounty of the fall harvest with loved ones. You can teach your child about other cultures and build on their foreign language learning by introducing them to some international Thanksgiving traditions.

Germany: Germany's version of Thanksgiving is national holiday called "Erntedanktag," which translates to "Harvest-Thanksgiving-Day." Harvest Festivals (Erntefests) are held in churches, markets and dance halls throughout the country, each celebrating foods for which the region is famous.

China: China's Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, like the American Thanksgiving, is a time for family and loved ones to celebrate the end of the harvest season with a giant feast. Legend says that the moon is at its brightest and roundest on this day, which is said to inspire rekindled friendship or romance.

To represent the full moon, the Chinese eat a delicious flaky pastry called a mooncake, which is stuffed with either sweet or savory filling. If you're up for a tasty challenge, check out this step-by-step guide to making your own.

This trio of soups for Sukkot is the perfect way to celebrate a Hebrew Thanksgiving.
This trio of soups for Sukkot is the perfect way to celebrate a Hebrew Thanksgiving.

Israel: Jewish families celebrate a 3000-year old harvest festival called Sukkot. A hut of branches called a Sukkot is built, and Jewish families then eat their meals beneath the Sukkot under the night sky for eight days. These hearty, seasonal fall soups from Israeli Kitchen are the perfect way to celebrate the end of the autumn harvest.

Korea: Chuseok is a major harvest festival and 3-day holiday in Korea celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. During this holiday, Koreans return to their hometowns to perform traditional rituals in the morning to remember their ancestors. Family members also visit their decreased loved ones, offering food, drink and crops. A popular food for the holdiday called songpyeon, a crescent-shaped rice cake, is prepared using healthy ingredients like sesame seeds, cinnamon, and pine nuts.

Check out the video below for a tutorial on preparing your own Songpyeon.

Tradition is great, but don't be afraid to mix in a few international foods and activities this holiday. As the Portuguese say, "Feliz (dia de) acção de graça" (Happy Thanksgiving)!

Thanksgiving at Little Pim: What We’re Thankful For

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the topic of what we’re thankful for has been front and center in our minds this week.

So we polled our staff and Little Pim parents and had them fill in the following blank:

“THIS YEAR I’M THANKFUL for__________________”

Here are just some of the responses we received. What would you add?

… my mother taking my kids to cultural events like classical music concerts. That when my kids get sick I can take them to the doctor (thinking of countries where kids have to travel far away to get help). That my boys are each others’ best friends  – Julia, LP founder and CEO

… the super nice people that I work with at Little Pim.  They all make me laugh and work so hard.  I’m also thankful that I don't have to fly this holiday and that family is coming my way – – Alyson, LP senior vice president

… my family and my health --Heidi, parent

… living in New York. Even though I grew up here, everyday I am surprised by how easy it is to meet people from all different backgrounds and who speak a variety of languages. Only here would it be this easy for me to strike up a conversation with a stranger in French! (Yes, it's true; New Yorkers like to have conversations just like everyone else.) --Thea, LP product development & social media

… as always, having my work, family and friends. A warm bed and a place to call my own.  Also, my good health and the means to keep it –Tommy, LP web developer

…. my amazing son. His love of learning anything new, from Spanish to piano, completely dazzles me every day. And I’m also thankful for the amazing educators in his school who work together to help him grow and succeed -- Melissa, LP blogger

…. My friends and family; decaf Nespresso; the never-ending possibilities of things to do in NYC and having Instagram to capture them all – Staci, LP digital marketing

… having more free time to spend with my family – Ken, parent

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!from the Little Pim Staff

6 Great Thanksgiving Travel Tips for Families

Thanksgiving is the busiest travel holiday in the United States; according to AAA, more than 36 million Americans will hit the road for turkey and cranberries this year. If you’re one of the nearly 3.15 million folks flying for your feast, a little strategy will save you a lot of stress, and hopefully get you to your family dinner with a smile on your face. First, leave yourself plenty of time to get to the airport and through security. Next, pack some patience, and read our Thanksgiving travel tips for flying families, below:

  1. Power Up: Great news for families flying this holiday season: the FAA has just given the thumbs-up for electronics to be used below 10,000 feet. This means you don’t have to power off your iPod during takeoff and landing, and the kids can keep listening to their favorite Little Pim language lesson uninterrupted. (Note that rules differ based on airlines, and you still can’t use cell phones at any height, so stash some crayons and coloring books in your carry-on as well).
  2. Shoe-phoria: More good news from the FAA: Although adults still need to kick their kicks at security, children 12 and under can keep their shoes on–-great news for little feet everywhere.
  3. Stroller Success: No matter what age you are, you’ll still need to take off your jacket and bulky layers before you go through the metal detectors. And all children, no matter how big or small, must be removed from their stroller, and the stroller has to be folded and placed on the conveyor belt. Think quick-folding umbrella strollers for ease of travel.
  4. Be an Early Bird: Most airlines allow you to check in and receive boarding passes 24 hours in advance. Take advantage of this opportunity to guarantee your seat assignment; airlines routinely overbook planes, and if you’re the last one to check in, you could be bumped from the flight.
  5. BYOF (Bring Your Own Food): If you’re flying domestic coach, repeat after me: bring your own food! Most carriers no longer provide even a mini bag of pretzels for cross-country flights, and food for sale isn’t always guaranteed. Pack easy to stash food and snacks such as dried fruit, nuts, granola bars, pre-spread cheese and crackers, and PB&J and you’ll be your family’s food hero.
  6. Lollis, and Pacis, and Bottles – Oh my!  Don’t let ear pain ruin a flight for your little ones. Have them suck on a pacifier, bottle, sippy cup, or a lollipop during takeoff and landing---sucking helps combat pressure changes in the ear from altitude changes, and helps keep Eustachian tubes open and pain free.

--Melissa Klurman 

Melissa Klurman is an award winning travel writer who has dispensed holiday travel advice in outlets ranging from ABC News to the Wall Street Journal. She’s also a global traveling mom and a contributor to our blog pages here at Little Pim.

4 Tasty Surprises for Your Thanksgiving Table

Although Thanksgiving is a quintessentially American holiday, at Little Pim we also think it’s an excellent opportunity to explore the melting pot of cultures that comprise the United States. And there's no better way to taste a culture than to literally pick up a spoon and start cooking up some global cuisine.

Have your kids tie on an apron and give you a hand with some of these globally inspired, easy to make, recipes for your Thanksgiving feast:


In 2013, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah (festival of lights), falls on Thanksgiving, creating a unique opportunity to celebrate “Thanksgivukkah.” These savory potato latkes (pancakes), are the traditional way to celebrate Hanukkah, and also make a great Thanksgiving side dish or appetizer.


  • 4 large russet potatoes, peeled
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp. matzo meal
or flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil or shortening


  1. Grate the potatoes on the large holes of a box grater or use a food processor with a shredder blade. Squeeze moisture from grated potatoes with your hands or a dishtowel. Add eggs, matzo meal or flour, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until combined.
  2. Heat enough oil to come up about ¼ of an inch in a large skillet.  Oil should be hot, but not smoking. Shape potato mixture into small pancakes and fry until golden brown on one side, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancake and repeat on the opposite side. Remove cooked potato pancakes and drain on paper towels.

(NB: although you can cook several latkes at a time, do not crowd the pan or they will not become crisp enough.)

Serve latkes hot with sour cream and/or our easy applesauce (recipe, below).


Peel, core, and slice 5 large apples (a combination of eating and baking apples works well) and place in a large, flat-bottomed saucepan. Add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil, then simmer until apples until soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Mash apples with a potato masher (this results in a slightly chunky applesauce). Add cinnamon to taste. Serve warm or cold.

Fein Tau Weiyama (South American Pumpkin Bread)

(courtesy of Saveur)

This rich dessert bread can stand in for traditional pumpkin pie on your dessert sideboard.


  • ¼ cup canola oil, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups flour, plus more for pan
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 (15-oz.) cans pumpkin purée


  1. Heat oven to 350°
  2. Grease and flour a 9" round cake pan; set aside.
  3. Stir together oil, sugar, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and pumpkin in a bowl; add flour, and stir until just combined.
  4. Pour into prepared pan, and smooth top.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.
  6. Cut into squares or wedges to serve.


Yorkshire pudding, a British import to the United States, is commonly known as popovers here. Crisp on the outside and airy on the inside, popovers should be served warm and are a great accompaniment to turkey and gravy. These might be your new favorite dinner roll replacement.


  • 1 c. flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large room temperature eggs
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • PAM or other baking spray


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. While oven is heating, place a 12-cup muffin or popover pan into oven to also heat.
  2. Whisk together milk, eggs, and butter. Add flour and salt. Whisk until completely smooth.
  3. Carefully remove the heated pan from the oven (parents only for this step) and spray with oil. Evenly pour batter into sprayed pan then return hot pan with batter to oven.
  4. Bake 20 minutes, keeping oven door closed during baking.

Multicultural games from around the world - Thanksgiving family fun!

It's almost a Thanksgiving tradition – as you frantically cook, clean, ready the table and prep for company, your kids, helpful at first, inevitably get bored. Sure, you could park them in front of the TV, but parades and bowl games can hold their attention for only so long, despite all those impressive balloon floats. What to do? How about keeping your kids entertained with these children's games from around the world:

Big Snake (Ghana)

This one's great to play with a big group of cousins or neighbors in a large open space, like a basement. The kids choose one person to be the snake, which "lives" in an area marked off by tape, cones or whatever's handy.

When the game starts, the snake emerges from its home turf and tries to eat – or tag – the other players. Once a player has been tagged, he or she becomes part of the snake's body, holding the snake's hand or waist. The snake grows longer as more payers are tagged, but only the snake's head and tail are able to tag other players. If the snake's body breaks, it must return to its home turf and regroup. Free players may deliberately try to break the snake. When all players are part of the snake (or completely exhausted), the game is over. Sssssssso much fun! [More info]

Piedra, Papel o Tijeras (Mexico)

Sure, you could call it Rock, Paper, Scissors, but that wouldn't be nearly as interesting -- plus, this is a great way to introduce Spanish to kids. Whatever language kids use, the game is the same: Kids count to three and then use their hands to make a rock (a fist), paper (an open, flat hand) or scissors (two fingers out). Papel covers piedra, piedra breaks tijeras, and tijeras cuts papel. Terrific for two kids and good for your children's language skills to boot. [More info]

La Barbichette (France)

It's like a staring contest, only with a French rhyme that's easy for kids to learn. Two kids hold each other's chins, stare into each other's eyes and say, "Je te tiens, tu me tiens, par la barbichette;Le premier qui rira, aura une tapette!" (Some versions vary.) The first one to laugh gets a gentle (that part's important to emphasize to your kids) token slap from the one who was able to keep a straight face. Expect lots of giggles from your kids, which is in itself something to be thankful for. [More info]

Does your family have any favorite games from other countries or cultures? If so, please share!

Where's the thanks? Teach your kids about gratitude this Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving just around the corner and thousands of families still without power and heat in hurricane Sandy’s wake, it seems like the right time to focus on gratitude at home. Have you ever noticed that kids are not inherently grateful? We have to teach them to say thank you, not to grimace when they get a gift that isn’t exactly what they wanted, and to appreciate the things they do have, all the while trying to curb what can seem like an endless chorus of “I want.”

Many children who lost power in their homes became more aware of how fortunate they are to have creature comforts when those disappeared for a week – they learned that lights, hot baths, TV and phones are actually luxuries!  We've seen a lot of children getting involved in the relief effort too, whether donating clothes or toys at their preschool or going out to help with their parents. But as the hurricane and its aftermath is something we hope not to recreate to teach this lesson, how can we help our toddlers and kids be more thankful each day?

If you are like me, you want your kids to appreciate all the good things in their lives, and to feel a true sense of empathy for kids who don’t have as much as they do. This empathy is what will later drive them to volunteer, donate, identify with those in other countries and cultures, and inspire them to leave the world a better place than they found it.

In my own hectic life as a New York working mother, I have tried to integrate a new simple practice into our family’s routine to encourage thankful thinking. About once every two or three days, we go around the table (or the car, or wherever we might be) and each of us says three things for which we are feeling grateful.

It takes about 5 minutes, but done repeatedly it really does seem to increase gratitude and even joy, and it's something that even preschoolers can participate in. Here are some real life examples of the kinds of things my kids have said since we started this a few weeks ago:

Adrian (four years old)

-       I am grateful that daddy took me out to play soccer this morning

-       I am grateful that Emmett is the best big brother

-       I am grateful that mommy made my favorite macaroni and cheese

Emmett (eight years old)

-       I am grateful that we are going to see a movie today

-       I am grateful that Adrian got better (he had been sick until the day before)

-       I am grateful that we won our soccer game today

They love the opportunity to have everyone listen quietly to what they have to say, and as they can see it’s important to my husband and me, they take it seriously and put a lot of thought into it. My husband and I love hearing them focus on what is good in their lives, since we feel we spend a lot of time hearing about what they want/need/wish they had, especially with all those Toys R Us circulars arriving in the newspaper!

Sometimes my husband or I will try to remind the kids that they enjoy a lot of privileges that other kids might not:

-       I am grateful that when Adrian had 102 fever on Friday, we were able to take him to the doctor right away to find out what was wrong. In some countries, people have to go miles to find a doctor and we have one just 10 blocks away.

In my experience, kids have a hard time grasping how fortunate they are and it may be something they’ll only realize in retrospect. In the meantime though, we can help them heighten their sense of thankfulness and create a little more peace and harmony in our homes at the same time. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. What are you doing to teach your kids about gratitude this season?

P.S. Many thanks to Sarah Napthali whose book “Becoming Mindful Parents: Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children” inspired this practice.