What comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving? Food, family, and football, perhaps?
Those things are wonderful, but you can make this time of the year even more festive. Here are ten ideas to add more simple enjoyment to your holiday.
Make a Thankful Tree
This is my favorite activity. I strongly suggest (force) everyone in the family to join in. Look for a small fallen tree branch that has multiple twigs sticking out from it.
Next, draw and cut out our own “leaves” using construction paper. Design them as small or large as you like depending on your branch. On each leaf, write something a family member is thankful for. I let my kids write down whatever they want – from playing Xbox to coffee. Then glue or tape the leaves to the branches.
Last, arrange it as a table centerpiece. It’s fun and heartwarming to read the responses and keep them out as a decoration.
Watch “Free Birds:
My kids love watching the movie, Free Birds, every year the night before Thanksgiving. Actor Owen Wilson is the voice of the pardoned turkey, and he is comical to watch. If this movie isn’t for you, then choose one that your family loves. Watch a holiday movie that you enjoy and call it your new Thanksgiving film favorite.
Make Turkey-Shaped Cookies
Children love edible activities. We have made these turkey cookies using Oreos and a few other ingredients. You can turn this craft into a contest to see who can make the funniest or silliest looking turkey. Best of all, you can eat it when you’re done.
Play Thanksgiving Scattergories
If you have the family game, Scattergories in your closet, take it out and give it a fall theme with this printable. Our family played this old game with a new autumn twist. Don’t have Scattergories? Use other games you have around the house and figure out ways to give them a Thanksgiving feel.
Hide and Find the Turkey Eggs
Repurpose those plastic Easter eggs for Thanksgiving. You can use fall colors and put them around the pastel colors. Spend some time decorating them as you see fit. The concept is the same. Hide them around your yard for your family to find.
Make Pinecone Turkeys
Pinecone trees are abundant in the area, and they are perfect for making a Thanksgiving activity There are many fall crafts you can make with them but these Pinecone Turkeys are an easy favorite of ours. You just need a few items to make these adorable creatures. The turkeys can be used as decorations on the table or placed in other areas around the house.
Visit a Turkey Farm (virtually)
Most kids love being around animals and are curious about seeing them in their natural surroundings. Can you visit a turkey farm? Yes, you can, virtually. This website has several videos your kids can watch that show turkeys being cared for and raised by turkey farmers.
Complete a Thanksgiving Word Search
This activity will keep your kids occupied while you are prepping food or cleaning up the kitchen. Check out these 25 printable, free word searches for various ages and levels. If your kids are older, and don’t like these options, have them create their own word search puzzle. Here’s an online word search generator that they may enjoy using to make their own.
Go for a Turkey Trot
The holidays can be so centered around food. Be sure to move physically so you don’t nap through the season. Go for a one to three-mile walk with your family. Sign up for a turkey trot or relay race in your community. Or just act like silly turkeys and zig-zag through your neighborhood before or after your family’s feast. Make it memorable.
Make Your Own List of Fun
Don’t see anything you want to do on this list? Create your own. Ask your kids when school lets out for Thanksgiving break how they want to spend the holiday. They may surprise you with what they want to do. Last year my kids and I made a list. Their ideas included going for bicycle rides and making s’mores at a bonfire.
As long as you’re together and remembering the gratitude of the season, does it matter what you’re doing? No!
Be thankful. Be together. Be joyous.