5 Apps to Keep Your Kids Entertained While You Cook Thanksgiving Dinner

For me, Thanksgiving as a child meant three things: the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, turkey dinner, and interminably long and boring hours between the two. Have you thought about how you’ll keep your kids busy while you prep dinner or get ready to travel?

Technology to the rescue. We’ve got five fun apps today that will help pass the time while the smell of juicy turkey fills the air.

The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks ($3.99, available on iOS and Android)

You can’t go wrong with the Berenstain Bears, and this lovely book is no exception. Teaching a lesson about thankfulness and the importance of family, this book can be read in three modes: auto-play, read to me, and read it myself – making it a great choice for readers of all ages and levels.

A new feature to this app allows you to record your own voice and share those tracks with others who have the apps.

Top Thanksgiving Jokes (free, available on iOS)


My kids love telling jokes. I’ve had the same joke app on my iPhone for nearly two years, and my 7 year-old never tires of it. But to get your children in a holiday feel, check out this Thanksgiving-themed joke app. This is a fun app for road trips or right before dinner. You can shake your phone to move on to the next joke, or simply press the arrow. Thumbs-up a joke to save it to your favorites. A few Thanksgiving facts and “recipes” are also included.

For $4.99, you can download the upgraded version of this app, which eliminates those pesky ads and boasts over 800 jokes.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade App (free, available on iOS and Android)

If your kids can’t get enough of Macy’s storied Thanksgiving Day parade on TV, add this free app into the mix. Kids can check out the parade lineup in advance, sorted by balloons, performers, marching bands, clowns, and more. They can also view the schedule of events, watch the live traffic cam of the parade route, or track favorite parade participants on the big day!

Kids who might be in New York to watch the event in person can also get a whole other set of features about viewing the parade live.

History of Thanksgiving ($.99, available on iOS and Android)

Older children who are history buffs might find this app a short, light read on Thanksgiving Day. Consisting of 10 chapters, this app outlines the history of Thanksgiving and how it has been celebrated since the early Colonial period. The app isn’t terribly interactive and there’s only one photo per chapter, but if you’re looking something more educational for Thanksgiving, this app is a good choice.

Word Spree: Thanksgiving ($.99, available for iOS)

Think Thanksgiving Mad Libs for your smartphone. My kids go crazy for Mad Libs, and I think they’re fantastic for teaching the parts of speech in a super fun way. This is one of the better apps I’ve seen of this variety. There are 15 Thanksgiving stories to choose from in several different categories. Kids can either type in their own words to fill in the missing parts of the story, or click the “randomize” button for the app to choose. The other nice feature of Word Spree is that it actually provides a definition of the part of speech for which it’s prompting, and provides examples. Hilarity will ensue. If your kids are in early or upper elementary, they’ll love this one (and you will, too!).

Enjoy these Thanksgiving apps and here’s to a delicious holiday with friends and family!

Photo Credit: Flickr Jemsweb

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5 Apps to Keep Your Kids Entertained While You Cook Thanksgiving Dinner

Gigi Ross is a wife, mom of two, fumbling foodie, social media geek, Jason Mraz groupie, reality TV show addict, tech lover, freelance writer and wine drinker - not necessarily in that order. Gigi has been involved in all things internet since 1997 - from running e-commerce sites for Fortune 500 companies, to starting parenting forums, to writing her personal blog - if it's online, Gigi wants to know about it! Gigi's personal blog is KludgyMom, a snappish take on parenting, pop culture, techn ... More

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  1. Profile photo of domsmom88 domsmom88 says:

    my family had the brilliant idea to go to a restaurant for thanksgiving this yr so I will definitely be occupying my 5 yr old with my phone while we wait wish the joke app was on android cause my son loves to tell jokes

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