The holidays are officially here and there’s no better time for spreading fun than when the entire family is all together. From watching the parade to carving the big bird, your little ones will have a blast soaking up all of the Thanksgiving memories sure to be made this year. But how can you make this Thanksgiving even more memorable and teach your little ones what it means to be grateful? Easy! Follow these nine awesome ideas for making this year’s celebration one for the memory books.
Nothing says, “Bring on the blessings,” as much as a set of tried and true homemade crafties. From color sheets of the first Thanksgiving to painting with an ear of corn, there is no shortage of fun ideas to bring the holiday to life. Try saving toilet paper rolls and attaching cut out felt, layered paper plates or construction paper leaves the back of the roll, attach some googly eyes and a beak and you’ve just created an adorable centerpiece. Another idea we love? Have your kiddos collect bright colored fall leaves to create a beautiful fall collage. Once glued to poster board, spray with a gold or metallic paint. When completely dry, cut and frame for a personalized parting gift for your dinner guests. Don’t forget, pine cones are also a fun way to create tabletop turkeys for the seasonal festivities.
Race the Mayflower
There’s no denying that the Mayflower played a pretty important role in the First Thanksgiving. Have your children find a boat pattern online and craft their very own Mayflower ship. Then, have them race the boats down a creek, in the family pool or even in the bathtub with parent supervision of course!
Find Some Feathers
Thanksgiving would not be the same without including some fun with feathers. There’s so much you can to with these seasonal items. Go on a feather hunt by playing the game, “Find The Feathers” with feathers hidden all around the house. Smaller children will love painting with or gluing feathers onto construction paper. Have Grandpa give a history lesson by talking about the importance of feathers for Native American culture and then let children make their very own Native American headdress. You can also use colorful feathers for the tail of your turkey crafts. Tweens can wear a feather in their head for a fashionista twist on their holiday attire.
The most beautiful part of Thanksgiving is the idea of gratefulness and the time when many families count their blessings. Start the tradition early by having your children write down one thing on a card that they’re thankful for each day during the month of November. Then, have them place the card in a grateful jar. After Thanksgiving Dinner, pull out the jar and read all the reasons your family has to be thankful. It will be an instant hit and an instant tradition for years to come. Other going grateful ideas include, making place cards with the name of each guest plus one reason why you’re thankful for them. Another easy way to show thanks is to make sure to go around to each person at the table and have them say what they’re thankful for before eating.
Hire a Su Chef
Whether it’s placing the rolls in a basket or cutting the cranberry sauce, there is definitely something your kiddos can help with in the kitchen! Believe us, they’ll love getting in on the food prep fun and you’ll be surprised by just how well they do under your instruction. If you start young, they’ll be making the pumpkin pie by the time they reach age 10!
Set the Table
There’s so much love to be shown by setting the table with fun and inventive holiday crafts. Have the children make a placemat for each guest featuring fun designs like turkeys, Pilgrims, fall foliage or vegetables. Older children may want to write a poem or place a few historical tidbits about Thanksgiving on the mat. Then, laminate the placemat when everything is done the drying. Having this personal touch will make your table look so beautiful and make your guest’s heart smile.
Break Out the Beads
Show you’re thankful by creating beaded bracelets that let everyone know just how grateful you are. Make them with beads that say friendship, love, family, pets, etc. or have every color mean something like health, happiness or love. Then, teach your child how to make a Thanksgiving bracelet for someone else. These make a wonderful place setting as well.
There’s no denying that all that turkey and stuffing can make anyone feel full. Try to participate in a turkey run the morning of Thanksgiving so you can earn all those extra calories. Or at the very least go on a family walk after your big meal. One awesome way to stay active on the big day? Volunteer at a soup kitchen or with a local non-profit to help provide a meal, serve dinner or cleanup for those in need during the holiday season.
When all else fails, go back to the basics. Trace you child’s hand to create an awesome turkey design and let them color the pictures. Trace leaves on a paper table runner. Watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade and most importantly, just be together, celebrating the traditions you love with the ones you hold most dear! Happy Thanksgiving to all!