“My favorite memories of Thanksgiving are from my celebrations with my own kids. Every year, I hosted Thanksgiving dinner, and I still host today, even though my kids are all grown up. As they grew, my kids developed a love of board games, so we play Pictionary and other games after we eat turkey dinner. We also take a picture down at the waterfront each year to document the celebration. Since we live in Washington, my kids are natural Seahawks fans, and they don’t care to watch the Lions play like I used to do on Thanksgiving as a child- thank goodness!”
-Wendy Rue, Physical Therapist
Three Family Activities for Thanksgiving
Unless you have a child auditioning for “MasterChef Junior,” you’re probably not going to let the little ones cook the turkey this Thanksgiving. Just because the kitchen might be off limits, though, doesn’t mean you can’t find a few creative ways to make the holiday extra special for your kids. Spice up Thanksgiving with these fun, family friendly activities.
If you have a big family, you are probably familiar with the Thanksgiving tradition of the kids’ table. It may be smaller than the grown-ups’ seating arrangement, but it doesn’t have to be any less special. Turn your kids’ table into a canvas for a colorful, creative dining experience.
To do this, use craft or art paper to cover the table. Tape everything down tightly and provide crayons and colored pencils for every place setting. If you want to add some extra holiday spirit, put the drawing supplies in empty cranberry sauce and pumpkin cans.
Of course, Thanksgiving isn’t just about delicious food. It’s also about reflecting on the parts of our lives we are grateful for. Teaching kids about gratitude is the most valuable Thanksgiving lesson. Bring that concept to life with a gratitude mobile.
Grab some colored paper circles – or cut them out – and have your children write down things that they are thankful for. A silver Sharpie is great for this. Punch holes in the tops of the circles and run string through them. Tie the other end of the string to a coat hanger or embroidery hoop and hang it from the ceiling.
Stuff The Turkey Game
Want to get the kids outside so you can get to work in the kitchen? Create a Thanksgiving-themed game for them to play outside while you prep the stuffing and put the turkey in the oven.
To create a holiday themed “Stuff the Turkey” game, all you need is a few paper bags. We’ll bet you have some left over from shopping. Use two small bags stuffed with scrap paper to create legs and glue them to a larger bag folded to look like the body of a turkey. Now that you have your turkey, you need some balls to stuff it with. Anything soft and baseball-sized will work, even some balled-up paper. Kids will take turns trying to toss the balls into the turkey, scoring points for every shot made.
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!
Rue and Primavera Occupational and Physical Therapy