Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year. We get to eat tremendous amounts of food and not be judged for over indulging ourselves. Thanksgiving is the number one food consuming day of the year. Most of us get to see family members we haven't seen all year and sometimes those we haven't seen for years on end. While eating and seeing extended relatives is nice, having activities ready is always a must. Women at our house during Thanksgiving always seemed to get into their little group and share their stories of what has happened in the past year, while the men always sat down in front of the television to watch the NFL games, but what will you kids do? I have listed some fun things and time consuming activities that may help keep your kids occupied so that you can catch up with your relatives this holiday season.
Thanksgiving Activities for Young ones
Keeping the younger kids occupied during Thanksgiving can be hard sometimes if you aren't prepared. That's why you need to have everything in line. They're not really that difficult to handle if you are prepared. Most children from ages 3-7 will enjoy any of these activities and ideas.
- Coloring Books - Since it is Thanksgiving, try to have Thanksgiving coloring books. Most of these can be bought for a couple bucks. You will also have to buy some crayons. I wouldn't recommend markers. There's no telling what may get colored. Not only will it keep them entertained, but their families can have a little memento of Thanksgivings past. Try to have at least 2 or 3 coloring books. This way each child can have enough to keep them occupied. Look for all the pages to be colored before the day is over. This activity should cost you no more than $15.
- Activity Books - Some of the children that have shorter attention spans may require something more challenging. Try to have some activity books for them. Books that have mazes or puzzles in them will keep their brain active and also educate them at the same time. These can be found at most dollar stores or nearby book stores. Sometimes you can find them for as little as $1.
- Puzzles, Legos, Games - If books just aren't enough, have a couple other things that are tangible to children. These may require mild supervision, but they almost always will keep young ones entertained for quite a while. You can have Puzzles, Legos or a simple board game.
Thanksgiving Activities for Kids
Children from ages 8-12 usually like to be in the older group of kids, away from the 3 and 4 year old kids. I guess this is just a stage of growing up. There are actually probably more activities for this age to do, because their brains have opened up a little. They are usually more energetic so I suggest doing as my parents did. Give them something to do that will wear them out.
- Hide and seek - I can remember going to my Grandparents house each Thanksgiving and all of us kids would play hide and seek. It became a tradition. There were so many places to hide at their house; an old barn, many sheds, stables, etc. If you plan on having the same relatives each year, it is always nice to start up a tradition. It will give your kids things to talk about when they are older, like I am doing now.
- Games - Older kids are able to conceive the rules of advanced games. For the kids that can sit still, this may be the best option. It can keep them entertained for hours and the few bucks spent on a game will be well worth it.
- Washers, Bean Bags, Horse Shoes - This may be old fashioned, but washers, bean bags and horse shoes will never get old. I still play all of them today and love them. The spirit of competition is an easy way to keep anyone occupied. These games can be either home made or purchased.
Thanksgiving Activities for Teens
I wish I could tell you what teens liked doing, but I don't even think I knew what I wanted to do when I was a teen. It's the time of life where kids are coming into their own person and like to be more alone or with their friends. Usually they will find their own things to do, but there are still a few things I can suggest.
- Video Games - Wii's PS3's and Xbox360's are great time wasters. If you don't own one, an idea could be to have each party donate $10 before the party and go out and buy one. But who gets to keep it after the day is done? Simply have a drawing. It's a fair way. This can serve as a source of entertainment for many holidays. Each holiday you can have another drawing to see who keeps it until the next.
- Movies - I know I used to like watching movies with my friends and cutting up when I was a teen. I can hardly remember what the movies were about, but I remember having a good time with the friends. If you don't have a large flat screen HDTV, you can always rent one for the occassion and it won't cost much. They would definitely love it.