Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I get to enjoy delicious food with some of my favorite people and it’s finally cool enough for me to wear fuzzy socks. Plus, there’s pie. Yummy, warm, delicious pie. I mean, calories during holidays don’t count, right?
More than the food and the cool weather, I enjoy taking time out as a family to reflect on the many blessings in our lives. So I try to include activities that we can do during Thanksgiving that are fun and encourage us to express our gratitude.
Here are three activities that anyone can do with family and friends that encourage thankfulness while having some fun.
1. Gratitude game
Item needed: 1 dice
With this game, each number represents something you are grateful for. This is a good game to reinforce counting with smaller children and to encourage them to identify ways they can be thankful. To play, each person will take a turn rolling a dice. Each number represents something different you are grateful for. Use the printable here for the categories, or modify them to make up your own for your family.
1—A person I am thankful for and why
2—I am grateful I can ________, because
3—A place I am thankful for and why
4—One lesson I am thankful I have learned
5—One thing I am thankful for and why
6—One reason I am thankful for being here today
An alternative to the option listed above: Everyone would have to share one thing he/she is grateful for based on the number rolled on the dice. If the person rolls a three, then that person would share three things he/she is grateful for.
2. Write letters
Items needed: paper or/and thank you cards, writing utensils
Being able to have the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving surrounded by family and friends is a luxury many people do not get to experience because of their occupations. Numerous military personnel, firefighters, nurses, and policemen will spend Thanksgiving in service to their country or to their community. This means time away from their family and friends during holiday time.
Set time aside to show appreciation for their sacrifice. Write a letter. If the children are not sure what to write or if they are unable to write yet, let them children draw a picture. Your entire family can create a thank you card for you to drop off at your local Fire Station, Police Station, or Emergency Room.
3. The Clothespin game
Items needed: Clothespins, gift for winner (optional)
The clothes pin game is often a fan favorite at baby showers and birthday parties. Now we get to have fun playing the game during the Thanksgiving holiday.
How to start: Choose a word that is Thanksgiving related and will be a challenge for your guests to avoid saying. Some suggestions are Thanksgiving, turkey, football, or pie. Once all your guests have arrived, explain the rules of the games and distribute the clothes pins. You can decide ahead of time how many clothespins you would like each person to have. All players must clip the clothespins to their clothes.
The rules: Don’t say the word. Players can “steal” clothespins when they hear someone saying the forbidden word identified at the beginning of the game. Once a person runs out of clothespins, then that person can use the forbidden word without penalty.
Who wins: The person who has the most clothespins at the end of the set time wins.
What are some of your family favorite activities for Thanksgiving?