Thanksgiving After-School Program Activities to Foster Gratitude and Creativity

Last Updated on December 3, 2023 by Manuel Zavala


Thanksgiving is a time for reflection, gratitude, and creativity. Engaging students in after-school activities that align with the season’s spirit can be fun and educational. In this blog post, we’ll explore five Thanksgiving after-school program activities that promote teamwork, creativity, and an appreciation for the holiday.

Why Are Seasonal Activities Important for After-School Programs?

Seasonal activities are paramount in after-school programs as they provide a dynamic and engaging framework for children’s holistic development. These activities align with the changing seasons and cater to diverse interests and learning styles, offering a well-rounded experience for participants. Incorporating seasonal themes enhances creativity and fosters a connection with the natural world. For instance, research emphasizes the role of out-of-school and summer programs in supporting healthy development during childhood, underscoring the positive impact of such experiences on children’s growth. Furthermore, seasonal activities contribute to a safe and supervised environment, a crucial aspect highlighted in after-school and summer learning programs, ensuring children have enriching experiences outside regular school hours. Integrating seasonal activities enhances the quality and impact of after-school programs, promoting social skills, creativity, and a deeper understanding of the world around them. The varied nature of these activities ensures that after-school programs remain dynamic, engaging, and aligned with the participating children’s ever-changing interests and developmental needs.

5 Thanksgiving After-School Program Activities

  1. Gratitude Jars: Encourage students to express their gratitude by creating personalized gratitude jars. Provide materials such as jars, colorful paper, and markers. Students can write down what they are thankful for and place their notes in the pots. This activity fosters a positive mindset and is a beautiful reminder of what matters.
  2. Turkey Doodles: Spark creativity with a Turkey Doodles session. Students can exercise their artistic abilities by drawing turkey-themed doodles. This simple yet enjoyable activity allows students to express themselves while embracing the festive spirit. Consider turning their creations into a colorful display to decorate the classroom.
  3. Thankful Turkeys: Combine creativity and reflection by crafting Thankful Turkeys. Provide students with templates of turkey shapes and encourage them to write what they’re grateful for on each feather. Assembling these turkeys can be collaborative, reinforcing the importance of shared gratitude within the group.
  4. Pilgrim Writing: Dive into history with Pilgrim Writing activities. Ask students to research and write short essays or stories about the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims, or the Native Americans. Doing this enhances their writing skills and provides a deeper understanding of the historical context of the holiday.
  5. Culinary Delights Class Cookbook: Foster community by creating a class cookbook. Students can contribute their favorite Thanksgiving recipes, share family traditions, and even participate in a cooking demonstration. This activity blends the joy of cooking with the spirit of giving, offering a tangible outcome that students can cherish.

Student Hires Programs

Student Hires connects students with job opportunities, bridging educational pursuits and real-world work experiences. Such platforms are crucial in facilitating early career development, enabling students to gain practical experience and explore industries aligned with their academic aspirations. These services often emphasize the importance of internships and part-time jobs in building a solid foundation for future career success. While the exact features and offerings of Student Hires may vary, the overarching goal is likely to empower students in their journey from academia to the professional realm.


Thanksgiving after-school program activities provide an opportunity to instill values of gratitude, teamwork, and creativity in students. These five activities offer diverse experiences, from artistic expression to historical exploration and culinary adventures. By incorporating these activities, educators can create a memorable and enriching after-school program that captures the essence of Thanksgiving.

Last Updated on December 3, 2023 by Miranda Zavala

Miranda Zavala

Miranda Zavala is currently a student at California State University of San Bernardino earning her degree in Design with a concentration in marketing. Miranda enjoys inspiring students, and helping them find their passion just like her.

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