Thanksgiving is right around the corner. There are so many reasons to be thankful. The leaves are falling, families and friends will be gathering. Here, you will find Thanksgiving activities for kids that help to build skills, develop motor skills, enhance sensory challenges, and help children thrive through play. There are so many thanksgiving activities that can be used in occupational therapy.
Thanksgiving OT activities are here in all ways…Turkey crafts are always so cute and are a great way to get your kids working on following directions, fine motor skills, visual motor skills. Get your kids up and moving after Thanksgiving dinner by having them participate in a gross motor turkey themed activity.
Thanksgiving Activities for Kids
I have broken down these Thanksgiving activities for kids into different categories based on occupational therapy areas and OT Thanksgiving activities that may be needed to work on certain goal areas or functional areas.
These Thanksgiving therapy activities cover a variety of skill areas and OT goals.
Thanksgiving OT Activities for Sensory
The Thanksgiving occupational therapy activities in this list are sensory motor activities that support sensory input through movement and play based activities.
Thanksgiving sensory bin-grab some dry corn, shredded paper, acorns and fall leaves to make this Thanksgiving sensory bin.
Thanksgiving mindfulness activity-take a deep breath and help your child wind down from a busy load and cope with sensory overload with this, deep breathing turkey visual prompt.
Fall vestibular sensory-moving, jumping, rolling, hopping and swinging all are vestibular activities. Why not do these activities in the leaves? Rake up a pile and leaves and have your child roll in the leaves, create a leaf swing or jump in the leaves. Here are more Fall vestibular activities that prompt movement.
Disguise the Turkey OT Teletherapy Activity– This digital disguise the turkey activity is a free slide deck that you can use for occupational therapy teletherapy sessions or as a brain break activity in the classroom or home. Kids can disguise the turkey and then work on typing, handwriting, and creative writing skills.
Thanksgiving OT Activities for Fine motor
Thanksgiving tree– What are your kids thankful for? Find out with this thanksgiving gratitude tree made from sticks and paper leaves. Kids can make the Thanksgiving Tree and express gratitude while working on scissor skills and handwriting.
Gratitude Leaf Garland– gather some construction paper, markers and yarn and make a festive decoration. Have your child write on the leaves and they can even help to cut them out. Hang the gratitude leaf garland with the kids.
Gratitude sun catcher-make a beautiful window decoration this Thanksgiving with a fine motor suncatcher craft. Grab some construction paper, black marker and clear cellophane wrap. This activity focuses on writing, scissor skills and counting your blessings.
Cooking with Kids- Make these turkey pretzel rod snacks with kids to work on fine motor skills, problem solving, executive functioning, and direction following.
Thanksgiving felt board pattern– work on direction following, patterns and fine motor skills with this turkey felt board project.
Fine Motor Thanksgiving Activities- Use our Thanksgiving Fine Motor Kit to build fine motor skills with lacing cards, crafts, handwriting activities, scissor cards, pre-writing cards, cursive writing cards, and so much more.
Here is another turkey craft that kids will love from our friends at Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog tails.
Work on fine motor skills with a Thanksgiving themed play dough activity using this idea from Little Bins for Little Hands.
This cute turkey lantern craft from JDaniels Mom is a fun way to work on fine motor skills.
Thanksgiving OT Activities for Gross motor
Thanksgiving therapy activities are great balance and coordination activities for balance beams, OT obstacle courses, scavenger hunts, and more. These play-based activities are driven by games and play and support the development of balance, coordination, and sensory motor skills that are needed for daily functional tasks.
Turkey theme gross motor activity-no equipment needed to have your child participate in this gross motor activity where they will waddle like a turkey, working on body coordination, core strength and bilateral coordination with this free Thanksgiving Turkey Slide Deck. Use it in virtual therapy or as a Thanksgiving brain break activity.
Thanksgiving walk– grab your family and friend and go on a thanksgiving morning walk. Get out there and enjoy the fresh air and get some exercise in. Make it a scavenger hunt for your kids look for acorns, leaves, sticks, birds, squirrels, pumpkins.
Thanksgiving is such a great time of year to do some really fun fine motor, gross motor and sensory turkey themed and fall themed ideas. Hopefully this list is a quick and easy way to fine activities your kids will love and can use in OT Thanksgiving activities!
Be sure to grab the Thanksgiving Fine Motor Kit while it’s on sale!
Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.