Chinese Thanksgiving Activities and Crafts for Kids

Thanksgiving crafts and activities for kids - free bilingual printables Chinese and English

Since we’re raising multilingual children, we try to celebrate holidays in English and our minority language, Chinese. Over the years, we’ve enjoyed different Chinese Thanksgiving crafts and activities that focus on gratitude and holiday traditions.

It’s been fun to celebrate our Asian and American cultures together as a family. Through these experiences, my kids are learning about the similarities and differences with the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, which comes a month or so before American Thanksgiving.

Chinese Thanksgiving activities and crafts for kids

These Chinese Thanksgiving activities are all low prep for home or school. But remember, this is a menu, not a buffet! The holidays are a hectic time of year, so think of these as options if you have extra time.

This post was originally published on November 18, 2017, and has since been updated with new activities.

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Learn Thanksgiving words in Mandarin Chinese

This will sound cheesy, but talking and spending time together as a family is the best Chinese Thanksgiving activity. At home, gratitude is something that we talk about regularly. We try to model appreciation so that our children learn how to express sincere thanks.

Since I’m learning Chinese with my children, I took notes on common Thanksgiving terms in simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Hanyu Pinyin, and English.

I hope this can help your family learn Chinese, too.

The list below has words about gratitude in simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Hanyu Pinyin, and English.

Common Thanksgiving words in Chinese and English

In Chinese, Thanksgiving is called 感恩节 / 感恩節 (gǎn’ēn jié). This literally translates to “thanks for grace holiday”. Here are other common Thanksgiving terms:

  • 感恩节快乐! / 感恩節快樂! (Gǎn’ēn jié kuàilè / Happy Thanksgiving!)
  • 假期 (Jiàqī / holiday)
  • 火鸡 / 火雞 (Huǒ jī / turkey)
  • 肉汁 (Ròuzhī / Gravy)
  • 土豆 (Tǔdòu / Potatoes)
  • 南瓜 (Nánguā / Pumpkin, squash)
  • 南瓜派 (Nánguā pài / Pumpkin pie)
Chinese Thanksgiving Activities for Kids

How to express gratitude in Mandarin Chinese

  • 谢谢 / 謝謝! (Xièxiè / Thank you)
  • 感谢 / 感謝 (Gǎnxiè / thankful, grateful)
  • 感激 (Gǎnjī / thankful, grateful)
  • 欣赏 / 欣賞 (Xīnshǎng / to appreciate)
  • 我感谢______ / 我感謝_____ (Wǒ gǎnxiè_____/ I am thankful for _________. )
    • 我感谢大自然。/ 我感謝大自然。 (Wǒ gǎnxiè dà zìrán. / I am thankful for nature).
    • 我感谢阳光。/ 我感謝陽光。 (Wǒ gǎnxiè yángguāng. / I am thankful for sunshine.)
    • 我感谢食物。/ 我感謝食物。 (Wǒ gǎnxiè shíwù. / I am thankful for food.)
  • 我感恩_____ / 我感恩_____ (Wǒ gǎn’ēn_____ / I am grateful for _________. )
  • 上帝的恩赐 / 上帝的恩賜 (Shàngdì de ēncì / God’s gifts)
  • 数算你的恩典 / 數算你的恩典 (Shù suàn nǐ de ēndiǎn / Count your blessings)
  • 献上感恩的心 / 獻上感恩的心 (Xiàn shàng gǎn’ēn de xīn / Give thanks with a grateful heart)
  • 非常感谢你! / 非常感謝你 (Fēi cháng gǎn xiè nǐ! / Thank you very much!)
  • 我很感谢你们大家。/ 我很感謝你們大家。(Wǒ hěn gǎnxiè nǐmen dàjiā. / I’m so thankful for you all).
  • 你对我真好! / 你對我真好! (Nǐ duì wǒ zhēn hǎo! / You’re so good to me!)
  • 麻烦你了! / 麻煩你了! (Má fan nǐ le! / I‘m bothering you!)

Explore this: Positive Affirmations Kids Need to Hear

Chinese Thanksgiving turkey coloring pages

Thanksgiving turkey coloring pages in Chinese and English - free printable color by number

Here’s the easiest Chinese Thanksgiving activity!

To mix a bit of reading, number learning, and color review, have fun with these turkey coloring pages!

Color by number, color by color name, or use the blank template to color the turkey any way you’d like.

Click on the button below and choose between Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and English.

Thankful Chinese turkey craft

Chinese Thanksgiving cardboard roll turkeys

This simple turkey craft has been a big hit for a few years in a row. All you need is our turkey feathers template and recycled cardboard rolls!

Chinese Thanksgiving gratitude banners

献上感恩的心 (Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart) Chinese Thanksgiving Banner

Decorate your room with our printable Chinese Thanksgiving banners! Since each word is large and visible, it can help kids memorize the Chinese characters each time they look at the banner.

Choose from a “Happy Thanksgiving” message 感恩节快乐 / 感恩節快樂 or “Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart” 献上感恩的心 / 獻上感恩的心 in simplified or traditional Chinese.

For DIY banner supplies and instructions, please refer to the steps in the printable Chinese birthday banners article.

DIY Chinese Thankful tree

DIY Thankful Tree 感恩树 / 感恩樹

This Chinese Thanksgiving activity was inspired by my son’s large stick collection!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we transformed branches into a Thankful Tree 感恩树 / 感恩樹 (gǎn’ēn shù), and discussed the fruits of the spirit.

If you’d like, it can also be a wishing tree 许愿树 / 許願樹 (xǔyuàn shù).

Supplies: branches, colored paper, can or jar, small rocks, free leaf template

How to make a gratitude tree:

  1. Put branches in a jar
  2. Put small rocks in a jar to hold branches in place
  3. Cut paper in leaf shapes
  4. Talk to kids about what they are grateful for! Write down all of the cute, sweet, and funny things they say. Invite older kids to write their own words of gratitude. 🙂

After our tree is set up, my kids have enjoyed going back to look at the different things they wrote. You could turn this into a literacy game where you find matching words!

Paper strip gratitude pumpkins

Paper strip pumpkin craft with thankful messages in Chinese
Paper strip pumpkin craft with thankful messages in Chinese

These paper strip pumpkins can be a fun craft and decoration for your home or school.

To encourage our kids to practice speaking and writing Chinese, we wrote messages of gratitude on 1″ wide strips of construction paper with a gold marker. My kids wanted to use cream, orange, and green to match our real pumpkins!

But you can save time during this Thanksgiving activity with our printable paper strip template and Chinese phrases!

how to make a paper strip pumpkin craft

This can be a great chance for kids to practice cutting. However, to save time, we used our handy paper trimmer.

As shown in this picture, the strips can be collapsed and stored away if you want to save the craft for future years!

Supplies: colored paper, scissors or paper trimmer, copper brads, single 1/8 hole punch, pumpkin template.


  1. Download and print the pumpkin strip template.
  2. Cut along lines.
  3. Punch holes on each end of each paper strip
  4. Stack the paper strips together.
  5. Secure each end by putting one copper brad through the top holes; put another through the bottom holes. Optional: add a leaf through the top hole.
  6. Spread apart the paper strips to make a round pumpkin!

Giant Chinese Thanksgiving turkey

Giant Turkey Craft: Easy Chinese Thanksgiving Activity about Gratitude!

This was one of our first Chinese Thanksgiving activities from when my kids were little toddlers!

They loved the larger-than-life turkey and sticking the feathers on the wall.

Supplies: colorful construction paper, scissors, painter’s tape, or wall tack (check your surface to prevent paint peeling)


  1. Cut turkey
    1. For the turkey’s body, use an 8″x11″ brown sheet of paper and round the edges
    2. For the turkey’s head, cut a large circle
    3. Don’t forget the eyes, nose, and snood!
  2. For turkey feathers, we folded an 8″x11″ paper in half and cut biconvex shapes
  3. Ask each member of the family what they are thankful for
  4. Write a blessing on each feather. For preschoolers and older kids, you can use this as an opportunity to practice tracing or writing words.
  5. Affix to wall

Chinese leaf turkey activity

THANKSGIVING TURKEY WITH LEAVES - chinese word matching game

After collecting 树叶 / 樹葉 (shùyè / leaves) from the park, my kids thought of this simple Chinese Thanksgiving activity.

All you need are scissors, leaves, markers, and a creative imagination.

If you’re feeling like a “fun” tiger parent, you can also turn this into a word-matching activity – ha! We set aside a few leaves for Chinese reading practice!

In these photos, we wrote 火 on turkey’s body and 火 on several leaves. Then we wrote 鸡 on another turkey’s body and 鸡 on several leaves.

Then we mixed up all of the leaves and tried to find the matching Chinese characters!

Bilingual Thanksgiving crafts and activities for kids in Chinese and English (free printable)

What were your child’s favorite Chinese Thanksgiving activities?

If you try these Chinese Thanksgiving activities, please let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear about your learning experience.

Thanksgiving holiday shopping for kids


  1. The link to the color by number printables seems to be missing. Can you share it? Thank you so much!

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