Thanksgiving Paper Plate Craft for Kids

Involve kids in the spirit of Thanksgiving with this simple craft and pretend play. This activity is inspired by a lively children's book about thanksgiving by Natasha Wing.

Paper plate kids book inspired activity for Thanksgiving

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Food plays an important part in Thanksgiving celebrations. Planning for a family meal often includes shopping for seasonal vegetables, setting a decorated table, and baking favorite desserts.

Kids feel special when they are involved in the preparation of the meal. There are lots of ways kids can help, including washing vegetables, rolling out pastry dough, or stirring the lemonade.

The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing is a fun depiction of a family gathering to prepare and eat a meal together.



The story is told in rhyming verse in the style of The Night Before Christmas. The colorful illustrations by Tammie Lyon show the family laughing, playing and working together amidst the happy chaos of preparing a scrumptious turkey dinner.

After reading the book I came up with these simple open-ended activities using a paper plate. Make a Thanksgiving craft and take part in some creative role play.

This drawing and dramatic play activity is mess-free and easy to put together. It's a fun option to have on hand for times during a busy day when kids need an independent activity.  


Instructions for a Thanksgiving paper plate activity

Thanksgiving is a perfect time of year to embrace the wonderful gifts in our lives, including food, family and fun.

A Thanksgiving paper plate craft is an easy way for kids to explore foods and how they are prepared.

1. Make a paper plate craft.

 Thanksgiving paper plate craft for kids


  • Cut food pictures from store flyers or magazines.
  • Arrange food pictures on a paper plate and glue in place.


Engage kids in conversation to support language skills: identify the foods; name the colors; comment on foods liked or disliked.


2. Role play preparing foods.


Thanksgiving preschool craft and pretend play with a paper plate


  • Draw and cut out pictures of foods. Use card stock or cardboard for sturdy cut-outs. Color the food with crayons or markers.
  • Role play preparing the food: cook the food in a saucepan; place the food on serving trays; arrange food on plates.


Children benefit in many ways when they are involved in real life activities such as meal preparation, setting a table or washing dishes. Developmental skills, including language, social, fine motor and cognitive, are strengthened through these hands-on opportunities.

When you interact with your child through a story book and a related arts and crafts activity like this one, you provide even more opportunity to engage these skills, along with some amazing creativity!



 Thanksgiving on Pinterest

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