It dawned on me about 3 years ago that I wanted my kids to have traditions! I wanted Thanksgiving to mean more than pigging out on food and laying around watching football (of course we still do that!;) I wanted them to have something to remember each holiday and special occasion by. I didn't want to do anything too elaborate that I would kick myself for for years to come! So I scoured the Internet and Pinterest for ideas... Here is my list of Super Simple Thanksgiving Traditions (that you won't cringe when you think about executing ;)
Super Super Easy (no supplies required)
1) I'm thankful for...For a set number of days before Thanksgiving (2 weeks, 1 week, whatever you choose) have each family member go around and say 1 thing they are thankful for during dinner. This might just start some pretty cool conversations ;)
2) Get moving...I avoid guilt at all costs. I know I'm going to eat WAY too much on Thanksgiving so if I can be active early before the actual feast I feel a bit less guilty when I eat my second dessert. Our city has a 5K race every Thanksgiving morning. It is also common protocol for the men (old and young) to gather for a Turkey Bowl. Turkey Bowl = Football played by very old and tired men who then complain all day and next that hey are SO sore. Super fun! ;) If running and football don't sound enticing, try going for a walk as a family or a bike ride.
3) 2 words, 5 syllables---Thanksgiving Charades...Nothing says Family Tradition like laughter and family-wide embarrassment. Acting out Thanksgiving words like Turkey, Indian, Pilgrim, Mayflower, Pumpkin Pie, Gobble, Blessings, etc....will make for lots of giggles and a chance for the kids to get out their wiggles (that rhymed ;) pre or post-dinner.
4) I wish I may, I wish I might...Drying the wishbone takes some times so this isn't technically going to happen ON Thanksgiving but it will still be something fun your kids look forward to. :) Who gets to pull the wishbone? Your family can decide...maybe the winner of the most Thanksgiving games (see posts below).
Super Easy (minimal prep required)
1) Are you Game?...Thanksgiving themed games. (We already mentioned Charades) My family LOVES Bingo. We play it for every holiday. The board changes based on which holiday we are celebrating. There are lots of printable Bingo boards ( lots of FREE options here) on the Internet and markers can be candy corns, or other thanksgiving candy. Pictionary is another game that is lots of fun, and super easy to adapt to holidays. Click here for a basic outline and some topic ideas. Board games are a big hit around here and they don't have to be themed. Our kids would love to sit and play a board game marathon. They love CLUE, Monopoly, Guess Who etc. Card games are also easy to play while food is cooking (or settling ;) Try this fun bowling game, for a less expensive version use, empty 2 liter bottles.
2) Thankful Garland...Take a long piece of yarn, string, twine etc. and string it across your mantle. Cut lots of leaves from construction paper. (good activity to keep kids busy) You can start this on November 1st or 1 week before Thanksgiving, whatever duration you prefer. Each day have family members write what they are thankful for on a leaf and clip it to the yarn (cute idea here) On the big day, as guests arrive have them write what they are thankful for on a leaf and add it to your family garland. (same idea but Turkeys & Feathers instead of leaves :)
3) Fill in the Blanks...Journals, such a great idea, so hard to actually follow through. Journals can be overwhelming...unless of course they aren't ;) Try this...buy each family member a notebook (I like the composition notebooks, bound edge for a cleaner look, usually about .98 cents) They can decorate it if they like or they can leave it. Each day have a sentence for them to complete. Mom can come up with these (lucky you ;) or each family member can take a turn. The sentence should bring out something they are grateful for...examples:
On a cold day I like...
When I'm sad I need...
If I'm lonely I call...
It makes me happy when...
I can't help but laugh when...
You get the idea...Sometimes a little prompt can help start a flood of ideas. If you find your family is experience more of a trickle instead of a flood. Don't lose heart, this will be worth it. ;)
4) Have your cake & eat it too...The best kind of crafts are the kind you can eat! I know my kids LOVE to make things. It's fun, they like to be creative, it keeps them busy...BUT...I have 4 kids and I can only store and hang so many things! Hence my love for edible crafts! Let the kids make as many as they want, they can even deliver extras to neighbors or friends! Here are some super cute, super easy, super yummy ideas!:
Turkey #1, Turkey #2, Turkey #3 Yummy! Enjoy! :)
Holidays shouldn't be overwhelming! What kids really, really want isn't some elaborate meal or detailed craft that they can't do themselves. They want our time! They want to sit with us and giggle and feel loved. Good luck to all of us as we try to put what's REALLY important first. :)
**Please Note: Due to different versions of power point the slides may need to be adjusted after you download them. Please go through the power point before your lesson to make sure the pictures and the text are formatted correctly! I just opened a file I made using my laptop with my iPad and the font was different, colors were different and some of the pictures were in the wrong place. It may take a little tweeking! :)**
I'm a 36 year old Mom of 4 kiddos, 3 boys (12, 4 & 2 years old) and one little princess (9). I have an awesome hubby who puts up with my craziness...He supports me when I spend way too much time on my YW lessons. I started this blog for fun and have been so excited to watch it grow and watch others being able to use the Power Point lessons, handouts and other ideas I have posted. Thank you for stopping by!
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