Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time for families to reconnect and reflect on all that they have to be grateful for but it can also be a very hectic morning. While you’re dicing, slicing and mixing this year, why not set the kids up with a thoughtful and fun activity that involves the whole family?
To get started, send the kids out into the backyard or on a walk with Uncle Ted to collect some colorful fall leaves. Not only will this get them out from under your feet, it will also give them a chance to expel some energy, which is always a plus when you have a house full of people.
If it’s too wet, too cold, or there haven’t been any leaves on the trees for several weeks – no problem. Stop by your local craft store a few days before Thanksgiving and pick up an inexpensive garland of plastic fall leaves. You can still kill a good amount of time by having your children cut the leaves off the garland with scissors while you’re cooking.
The next step is for the kids to choose a leaf and write what they’re most thankful for on it. Then ask them to pass out a leaf and a marker to each family member so they can do the same. We like to use pretty gold markers to make the leaves look extra fancy.
Once everyone is done writing, have the kids go around and collect the leaves. Before dinner, spread them out on the table. Now you not only have the beginnings of a new family tradition, but also a pretty table to host your turkey and stuffing.
When everyone is seated to eat, take turns going around the table and picking up a leaf close to them. The game is for each person to try to guess which family member wrote on their leaf. With competitive families, this tradition can get very creative as everyone tries to come up with the most unique thing to be thankful for and, of course, the game does a great job of emphasizing the meaning of Thanksgiving.
What do you think, will you try it this year?
Photo courtesy Stephanie Morgan