Thanksgiving Activities for Kids

November 8, 2016

by Tiffany Kwong, Operations Manager

I love when the holiday season starts to creep in.  Leaves begin to change color, harvest wreaths adorn entryways, and suddenly all of your favorite treats are now apple- or pumpkin-spice flavored.  For me, this is the time of year when I begin to see more of my immediate and extended family–a time when we get together to create new memories.  In our growing family, we’ve incorporated a number of new activities into our festivities over the years.  Introducing different activities can be a wonderful way to engage with your loved ones (young and old) and change the pace of the day.  Some of these activities have stuck and have become a part of our holiday tapestry like cookie baking and decorating, board game tournaments, and holiday-related arts and crafts. While others have not–like waiting in lines for Black Friday deals.  If you’re looking for kid-friendly ideas that you can bring to your Thanksgiving table this year, here are a handful of suggestions:

Write holiday haikus

Challenge your kids and other family members to find their inner poet and write a haiku or two!  Haikus are easy to compose with only three lines, following a 5-7-5 syllable count.  They can be humorous and lighthearted, and are fun to share in a group.  I’m no wordsmith, but here a few of my own haikus to inspire you:

We cherish the times
Loved ones around the table
Gathered for the feast.

Thanks to be given
For the food, the family,
And our full bellies.

Mashed spuds and stuffing
Cranberry sauce and spiced pie
Happiness…nap time.

Junior Chef

Encourage your kids to take ownership of a specific task or dish for the day.  My favorite childhood memories revolve around food and being in the kitchen.  Simple, but important tasks were given to me like stringing the green beans, adding a blanket of marshmallows to the sweet potatoes, combining the wet and dry ingredients to the cookie batter, and making homemade cranberry sauce.  These assignments always provided opportunities for me to learn something new and became a source of pride for my contribution to the table.

Put your thinking caps on

If you and your kids have some down-time and enjoying solving logic problems, here are a couple of Thanksgiving-themed logic problems you can do together:

A Thanksgiving Logic Problem

Thanksgiving Dinner Logic Problem

Go mad for holiday Mad Libs

If logic problems are not your forte, have fun coming up with creative nouns, verbs, and adjectives with this festive Mad Lib instead. You can even challenge your kids to create their own Mad Libs!

What are you thankful for?

Finally, I’m sure many families incorporate this tradition in their holiday already, but I find it to be incredibly rewarding when everyone around the table shares what they are grateful for.  It’s a time for reflection, hope, and gratitude.  The Minds in Bloom website has a few thought-provoking questions to help guide families with younger children.

What kinds of activities do you do in your household?  Feel free to share in the comments section below!

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