Last Minute Thanksgiving Activity for Families


Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner or simply looking for a fun and meaningful activity, this last minute Thanksgiving activity for families and friends is a wonderful addition to any Thanksgiving celebration.

This activity is not expensive and it is low prep. A free printable tag for your “We are Thankful” pumpkin is also included.

This last minute Thanksgiving activity is one that we did as a family for our Thanksgiving celebrations this year. It turned out so beautifully, that I wanted to share it with you.

My daughter came up with the idea a few hours before we left to our dinner with family. I loved the idea so much that we stopped for pumpkins on our way and she quickly made “We are Thankful” tags from wood slices.

I have included printable tags to save you some time. So you can simply print and go!

If you’re looking for more Thanksgiving activities, check out the Free Printable Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt.

Thanksgiving activity for families shows a pinterest pin.

Thanksgiving Activity for Families – Materials

One of the great things about this activity is that you don’t have to do much to prepare your materials. Besides a quick rinse of your pumpkins, you don’t need to spend much time preparing this activity.

  • Pumpkins (Any Color you want)
  • Permanent Markers
  • “We are Thankful” tag (Download for FREE, information below)
  • String or Ribbon (to attach the tag)

We used white pumpkins simply because there were lots available where we bought them and also because the white shows the words/marker best.

We used one pumpkin for each family/household that we celebrated with. This way everyone had a pumpkin to take home with them at the end of the evening.

You could also use one pumpkin for every person in attendance. Or if you are doing the activity with a large group of people, you could ask each person to bring a pumpkin with them.

Thanksgiving activity for families thanksgiving craft shows five white pumpkins.

Thanksgiving Activity for Families Steps

Start by washing any dirt off of your pumpkins. Next, print and cut out the “We are Thankful” tags. These tags are optional, but it makes the pumpkins look more life a gift and they look beautiful on the pumpkins.

Thanksgiving activity for families fall activity for kids shows an orange pumpkin with the words we are thankful on a tag.
fall activity for kids shows an white pumpkin with the words we are thankful on a tag.

Next, ask everyone to think of a word or two describing something they are thankful for. Then give everyone a permanent marker and begin passing the pumpkins around.

When someone has one of the pumpkins, they add their word(s) and then pass it along to the next person.

Each person can either add the same word(s) to every pumpkin as it comes to them, or they can change it up for each pumpkin.

fall activity for kids shows a person writing on a white pumpkin.
fall activity for kids shows a person writing on a white pumpkin.
fall activity for kids shows a person writing on a white pumpkin.

You can also add as many words as you want. Once all of the pumpkins were passed around, many people went back and added more words to the pumpkins and filled up any empty spaces.

Encourage everyone to print what they are thankful for in different ways and lettering. The words do not all have to be printed in the same direction or size. The creativity and uniqueness of everyone’s words is what makes the pumpkins look beautiful in the end.

Some people got really creative and started adding small pictures and images with their words. This ended up looking great and adding to each pumpkin.

Thanksgiving activity for families shows a white pumpkin with words printed all over it.

Thankful Pumpkin

I love the whole idea of this Thanksgiving activity for families. It is a simple way to consider everything you are thankful for as you celebrate. It also creates a beautiful gift for everyone to take home with them.

If someone is not able to come to your celebration, creating a pumpkin for them and giving it to them after lets them know you were thinking of them. It is also a nice gift for them to have, read and know that their loved ones, or friends had all touched and put their ideas on.

fall activity shows pumpkins on hay and with flowers around them and a white pumpkin with words printed on it.

My kids were so excited to bring our pumpkin home and read what everyone had written. It is a great use of a simple pumpkin this holiday season.

Another great thing about this Thanksgiving activity for families is that it can be done very informally as everyone is enjoying the evening. The pumpkins can be passed around as people are sitting comfortably and enjoying each others company.

Thanksgiving activity for families shows a child holding a white pumpkin with words of gratitude on it.

They are beautiful to display and look at. The pumpkins are also wonderful to pick up and enjoy a quiet moment reading what everyone wrote. They are a great reminder of all of the things we have reason to be thankful for.

Thanksgiving Activity for Families Extension Ideas

I love this idea for families and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving and take a minute while doing the activity to reflect on what everyone is thankful for. You can even use this idea in the classroom.

In the classroom, you can use one large pumpkin for the whole class to write on, and then display it or you can get one smaller pumpkin for each child. This makes a beautiful gift for children to take home for the holiday or a great decoration in the classroom leading up to Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving activity for families shows five white pumpkins with words printed on them.

If you are using a lot of pumpkins, another idea is to place the pumpkins out on a table in a row and have everyone choose one or two things that they are thankful for and print their word(s) on the first pumpkin, and then move onto the second, all the way down the line.

This would allow all of the pumpkins to be filled quickly and in a very organized way.

I love the idea of this pumpkin being displayed and words continuously added to it over time leading up to Thanksgiving. For example, a company/store could have a large pumpkin on display with markers for visitors to add a word or two.

thanksgiving activity shows a pinteret pin and a pumpkin with words written all over.

We are Thankful Pumpkin Tag

Join Hands-On Teaching Ideas to gain access to the Free Resource Library today! In the library you will find a growing number of printable resources that you can download today.

From worksheets and free escape room games, to choice boards and the “We are Thankful” tags, there are lots to use for your next activity!

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More Hands-On Teaching Ideas

If you are looking for more learning activities and fun, engaging lesson ideas, check out this collection below. The ideas are of some of Hands-On Teaching Ideas most popular and favorite activity ideas.

From hands-on STEM activities and science experiments to pumpkin scavenger hunts and printable fall escape rooms, there is lots to keep kids busy and learning!

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