It's hard for kids to get excited over Thanksgiving, when Halloween and Christmas are so naturally geared towards children. But Thanksgiving can be a fun holiday for children as well as adults. You can plan a fun Thanksgiving for kids by just incorporating them into the everyday activities of the day. Below are a few suggestions.
Thanksgiving for Kids: Activity Ideas
Let Them Cook: Tweens are eager to learn new skills and cooking is a great way for them to contribute to the family meal and have fun at the same time. Allow your preteen to pick an item for the family meal and prepare it. If your child doesn't have much cooking experience, he or she can assemble a simple salad. Or, allow your tween to help you bake the pumpkin pie or make a special dip as an appetizer.
Help Decorate: Keep your tween busy by taking a few chores off of your "to do" list. Allow your tween to set the Thanksgiving table. Or, supply your tween with craft materials so she can create a pretty Thanksgiving centerpiece. Pine cones, construction paper, and colored feathers can easily be turned into a turkey. Another idea is to have your tween create a cornucopia centerpiece using fruit, gourds, and large nuts.
Play a Game: A fun Thanksgiving for kids and adults wouldn't be complete without a game or two. Bring out the family board games and suggest a marathon of your favorite classic board games, such as Monopoly, Life, Sorry, or Twister. If you have enough people you can organize a relay race, a tag football game, or even a friendly race around the neighborhood. (After the meal of course, to burn a few calories!)
Impress Your Guests: Put your tween's natural curiosity to use by researching fun and interesting facts on Thanksgiving. At the meal, your tween can impress your dinner guests with his knowledge, or have him prepare a True and False quiz based on his research for guests and other family members.
Take Family Pictures: If your tween is shy or needs a little encouragement to socialize, have her be the designated photographer for the day. Give her a digital camera or a camcorder in order to record the day's events. She can even interview family members and guests by asking them questions such as, "What are you most grateful for?" or "What is your favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal?"
Lead the Grace: Thanksgiving for kids and adults is a chance to reflect on the most important and valued aspects of life. If saying grace is a part of your family's Thanksgiving tradition, have your tween select and lead the grace before the meal. Afterwards, take turns going around the table, so that each family member or guest has the opportunity to say what they are most thankful for.