It’s that wonderful Thanksgiving time of year in Chicago! Time for turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, way too much eating, and lazing around watching some football with the family. Thanksgiving is one of the most fun holidays for kids because of all the fun activities you can do – who doesn’t love a holiday where the mascot is a turkey?! Plus there’s the always classic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to watch, the pile of fall leaves to jump into in the backyard, and helping Mom and Dad in the kitchen. For some great ways to incorporate your little ones as your kitchen helpers even at a young age, check out last year’s post on How Kids Can Help in the Kitchen for Thanksgiving.
For fun activities to do this Thanksgiving with the kids, read on:
1. Learn Some Thanksgiving History
Kick off the Thanksgiving festivities with some good old-fashioned learning. Rent some fun children’s library books about Thanksgiving and read stories or facts from them, learning and enjoying beautiful colorful pictures of the history and traditions as you go. Ask questions and make sure everyone’s paying attention – there just may be a quiz at the end!
2. Break Out the Thanksgiving Crafts
Of course you have to do the old classic, having the kids trace their hands on a piece of paper and then cutting it out, with the fingers being the turkey’s feathers. For a fun twist, have them cut out different colors for each feather, and write something they’re thankful for on each different one. It will keep them busy plus is another way to help teach them to reflect on gratitude and thankfulness.
3. Print Up Some Thanksgiving-themed Crossword Puzzles and Word Searches
Everyone loves a word search or crossword puzzle! Even if your kiddo is too little to read or write by himself, you can have him help you with the clues. If you have a bunch of little ones that like some friendly competition, you can print up the same one for everyone and make it a fun race. First one to finish their puzzles correctly gets the first slice of pumpkin pie!
4. Play some Thanksgiving Trivia
Bust out the trivia skills as you lay around the living room in a turkey-induced coma. You can quiz the kids and the rest of the family on everything about the holiday from all the knowledge you learned before from reading those books and watching those movies!
Some fun sample questions could be:
Which ships brought the colonists to America?
How many ships were there?
Why did they come to America?
Which typical Thanksgiving food would not actually have been served at the first Thanksgiving?
Which ocean did the pilgrims cross?
Which Indian chief was said to have attended the first Thanksgiving?
When is Thanksgiving Day celebrated in the United States
Which American city hosts the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?
5. Go Turkey Bowling
No, of course you don’t bowl real turkeys over! Make cute turkeys out of brown solo cups, googly eyes, and some construction paper, then stack up the cups in pyramids of 3 and try to bowl them over. For a twist, try to do it with those little mini pumpkins!