Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to step out of the normal day-to-day activities of life and be grateful for all that we have. From family and friends to health and happiness, there are so many things to be thankful for. Whether you have family or a neighborhood gathering for Thanksgiving Day this year, be sure to try some of these great Thanksgiving activities to add a little extra fun to your day.
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1. Coloring-Book Tablecloth
Kids love to color, especially where they probably shouldn’t. This year, why not make it easier for them to color, and have fun together while you finish making preparations in the kitchen? It’s easy to create a coloring-book tablecloth with some art paper and tape. Simply roll out some sheets large enough to cover the main table and any other smaller tables, tape the paper underneath the table to help hold it in place, and set several small containers of coloring pencils and crayons out to allow the children to use the coloring medium of their choice. In fact, if you have time, you can draw some place settings and other shapes on the art paper to invite them to color specific pictures.
2. Nature Hike Wreath Craft
Thanksgiving is typically a time where the last colors of fall can still be enjoyed on a number of trees. With this in mind, give each person a basket to collect fall items that could be used to make a wreath. From fallen leaves and pinecones to pieces of bark and twigs, there are many items that could be chosen on your nature hike.
When you return from the hike, simply hand out some wreath forms cut from cereal boxes, some glue, and leaf-shaped name tags so that each person can create their wreath. An added bonus to this activity is that you’re sure to enjoy some quality time spent with one another during the hike.
3. Turkey Egg Hunt
If you still have leftover plastic Easter eggs, then dig those out of the closet for a turkey egg hunt! You can fill the eggs with a variety of surprises, including candy, toys, paper slips with some funny jokes, and whatever else you come up with. Hide them around the house while the children decorate their bags with colorful tape, stamps, and ink. Let the hunt begin, and you can reward the child to find the most eggs with the first piece of pie.
4. Tail Feather Tag
To play tail feather tag, you’ll need some wooden clothespins, a marker, googly eyes, and either craft foam or felt to make the beak. To make it easier for younger children, create your own turkey clothespin first so that they can see what the finished product should look like. Encourage them to use different colors and make their turkey look the way they want it to. Once everyone is done decorating their pins, clip the clothespins to the backs of everyone’s shirts. Let everyone have a chance to get outside and spread out. Once the referee yells go, everyone should try their best to steal clothespins from as many other players as possible without losing their own. Once a clothespin is stolen, that player is out. The last person to still have a turkey attached is the winner.
5. Turkey Race
This activity is great for keeping children occupied for a longer period of time. If you don’t have a lot of time before the meal will be ready, then it might be a good idea to save this activity for after dinner. You’ll need to provide each child with half of a plastic egg, glue dots, pom-poms, googly eyes, felt nose and snood pieces, and a colorful variety of feathers. Help them glue the various pieces to the egg to create their turkeys. Once everything is attached, place each turkey over a large marble on a smooth floor, and race to see who can roll their bird the furthest.
6. Wreath of Plenty Craft
While your family may take time before the start of the meal to share what they are thankful for, creating a “thankful wreath” is another way to help the youngest family members see how much they have to be grateful for. Creating the wreath is fairly simple — wrap a 12-inch Styrofoam wreath with strips of fabric, and secure the fabric with ball-head straight pins. You can either cut leaf shapes from card stock or buy some ready-made at your local hobby store.
Pass several leaves out to everyone and encourage them to write some things or people that they are thankful for. Once everyone is done, have them fold each leaf in half to give it added dimension. One at a time, use the pins that are in the wreath to attach the leaves. Simply pin a loop of string to the back of the wreath to hang it.
7. Popcorn Racing Game
This activity is a great way for everyone to get outside, burn off some calories, and leave some edible surprises for birds and squirrels. For the relay race, divide your group into teams, give each team a bag of plain popcorn and two shoe cups.
Shoe Cup Instructions
Small, plastic cups are ideal for this activity. Use a sharp object to poke a small hole in the bottom of each plastic cup. Thread a wide rubber band through the hole. Once the rubber band is through the hole, secure a paper clip onto the band inside the cup to prevent the rubber band from coming back out. Gently pull on the band until the paper clip is touching the sides of the cup.
The first runner should slip both cups over their shoes, fill them with popcorn, and get ready to take off across the yard when the race is started. The goal is to make it to the empty box, dump both cups of popcorn into the box, and return to their team so the next person can go. The race continues until one of the bags is empty. You can determine the winning team by measuring the amount of popcorn in the boxes.
When you are looking for a place to meet, whether to have a large family reunion, serve a Thanksgiving meal to those less fortunate or another reason, be sure to contact NPRMC, to request a proposal. We look forward to helping your group enjoy a great time together.