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The best Thanksgiving songs for kids and elementary students to play this year

No Turkey Day is complete without fun Thanksgiving songs for kids. These tracks are as irresistible as pumpkin pie!

Written by
Danielle Valente

Preparing a Thanksgiving meal is a marathon, especially for parents. Kids aren’t particularly known for their patience, and the chorus of ‘Are eating yet?’ will likely start hours before the first plate hits the dinner table. To get through the day, distraction is key. And what keeps little’uns more entertained than a good song? 

Below, we’ve put together a playlist of the 19 best Thanksgiving songs for children. True, this isn’t a holiday stuffed with famous tunes written in its honour. But there are some hidden gems out there – some about the day itself, others more about giving thanks in general. All of them are all hummable earworms that should keep the wee ones dancing, warbling and trotting until the stomach-stuffing main event commences.


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Best Thanksgiving songs for kids

1. "Grateful" by Lucy Kalantari & the Jazz Cats

This cheery jazz melody will make you feel extra appreciative this holiday season—for the smorgasbord on the dining room table, your loved ones, even the tears and the "perfections in the imperfections." We suggest playing this when you're overwhelmed with meal prep. It's guaranteed to perk you right back up! 

2. "Tofurky Song" by Joanie Leeds

Vegetarians and vegans will appreciate this nod to tofu. Joanie's rhythmic, catchy jam is all about an alternative dish at the Thanksgiving table. Sure tofurky doesn't have a turkey tushi or fly, but follow the singer's lead and give it a try. 


3. "All Around the Kitchen" by Dan Zanes

Cock a Doodle Doo: This lively track will have kiddos super excited for Thanksgiving dinner. Since this is sure to inspire your little turkeys to bust a few moves, we recommend keeping the food out of reach. 

4. "¡Fiesta, Fiesta!" by Sonia De Los Santos

It's the perfect time of the year to count your blessings, and that's exactly what Sonia De Los Santos does on this brand-new track. Gratitude never sounded so catchy! 


5. "Thanksgiving Theme" by Vince Guaraldi Trio

No holiday season is complete without the Peanuts gang. Get amped up for a screening of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving by listening to its theme song before dinner. Good grief! 

6. "The Lord Is Good to Me" from Disney's Melody Time

No kids' jam session would be complete without a Disney tune. In a short from the 1948 film Melody Time, we catch frontiersman Johnny Appleseed singing about his blessings, and we can't help but join in when this classic starts playing. 


7. "Fast Train to Grandma’s" by Frances England

Folky kids' singer Frances England is super relatable in this tale about missing her grandma. This is one of the best songs to play before family arrives for the holiday festivities.

8. "If You're Thankful and You Know It" by The Kiboomers

This toddler-friendly band gives popular nursery rhymes a Thanksgiving spin that your little ones will groove to long after the turkey's gone. 


9. "Gravy Insane" by Gustafer Yellowgold

What goes better with a turkey dinner than gravy? While you're heating up the goods, listen to Gustafer Yellowgold's jam about a family of bats indulging in the sweet sauce. 

10. "Now We’re Cooking" by Imagination Movers

In order for Thanksgiving dinner to go off without a hitch, you're going to need to spend some time in the kitchen...a lot of time in the kitchen. Morph the kids into culinary experts with a song that'll keep them enthused while they're helping with the sides.  


11. "Do The Turkey Hop" by The Kiboomers

Tiny tots will love moving and grooving along with Thanksgiving turkeys as silly sounds abound from the speakers, courtesy of The Kiboomers.

12. "Thanksgiving Day" by Mother Goose Club

Youngsters are introduced to the ins and outs of the November holiday with a heartwarming, rhythmic beat by Mother Goose Club. 


13. "Turkey Hokey Pokey" by The Kiboomers

The "Hokey Pokey" gets a seasonal twist thanks to The Kiboomers' fun song. Prepare to put your right wing in, your right wing out and shake it all about. 

14. "It's Thanksgiving" by Nicole Westbrook

This upbeat pop anthem turns Thanksgiving traditions into a dance-worthy jam that's sure to please all kids and tweens. You might want to play this number before dinner—you'll be too stuffed to groove after your meal!  


15. "Let's Turkey Trot" by Little Eva

The original singer of ‘The Loco-Motion’ tried to spark a second dance craze by bringing back a proto-Funky Chicken move popular in the ragtime era. It didn’t quite work out, but the kids will have a blast giving it a try around the kitchen. 

16. "Do The Mashed Potatoes" by James Brown

The Godfather of Soul popularised the mashed potato dance move in the late ‘50s, while actual mashed potatoes are the godfather of Thanksgiving side dishes. Truly, pairing this funky instrumental with some enthusiastic spud-smooshing will be the highlight of family dinner prep. 


17. "I've Got Plenty To Be Thankful For" by Bing Crosby

Grandma and Grandpa will give you a thumbs up for letting Bing Crosby seep through the speakers. The throwback tune of appreciation is a crowd pleaser that certainly won't go out of style. 

18. "Thank You Friends" by Big Star

Alex Chilton was a sensitive and sometimes caustic soul, but this totally un-cynical and unguarded tribute to the buddies lifting him up through hard times is very appropriate for a day that’s all about attitude – and punky tweens will probably appreciate the jangly, soulful energy.  


19. "Thankful For" by Adam Sanders

Country fans big and small will give thanks for Adam Sanders' catchy track. While you're grabbing the apron for your turkey day prep, put on those cowboy boots, too. 

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