tolerate get into American History and all, but for me--Thanksgiving is about the food. Specifically, making the food in my kid-free kitchen. That's right! That's what I said! Get outta my kitchen, ya ankle-biters!
As you can see, I celebrate this holiday with a grateful and kindhearted spirit. As always.
So to keep the little tykes busy, I like to set them free with some Thanksgiving Day Activities that cost me approximately 22 seconds of time. "Quality time," if you will.
I've listed ten of those activities below, and all they require is an ability to click and press "print." Let me know if I'm going too fast.
Click and print this:
And then while you're cooking or watching the tube (as the Pilgrims would have wanted!) on Thanksgiving Day, have your kids do any number of these with the printout of pumpkins:
- Hide and Seek: Cut out and then hide each of the pumpkins in one or two rooms. Then the kids (not the ones who hid the pumpkins, my word, do I have to spell this out?!) get to go seek. If you are feeling especially devious, don't hide the pumpkins and say you did. Hours of fun!
- Alphabet Game: On each pumpkin, write one letter of the alphabet. Cut out the squares and have the budding genius of the family put them in order. Google "English alphabet" if you need help with the sequence.
- Addition Game: Print out several
thousandsheets and cut into squares. Get out a couple of dice (sorry! getting complicated!) and let the kids take turns rolling to see how many pumpkins they earn, based on the total shown on the dice. Example, 3 + 4 = 7 means the kid collects seven of the pumpkins from the stack. Then it's the next person's turn, and play until someone has 100 pumpkins or everyone is crying. Your choice.
- Small Banner Craft: Print on colored (or white! white is fine!) paper and have the child (or capable adult) write the letters "HAPPY THANKSGIVING" on the sheet, one letter per pumpkin. Then cut and paste each letter to a strip of paper, preferably in some kind of meaningful order.
- Table Decor: This could be for the kids' table, or for The Big Table if you aren't super-squeamish around Amateur Hour Crafts. Simply have the kids color the pumpkins, and use them to decorate your home for the holiday.
- Nameplates: Cut out two adjacent pumpkins, and fold at the line. Let the kids write the names of your guests on the pumpkins, and then use them to label the seats at the table. That is, if you get into that sort of anal-retentive thing, which I most certainly do, thank you very much.
- Tic Tac Toe: Cut out a 3 x 3 square as the board, and use the other pumpkins as playing pieces. Color or label the individual pieces as desired. I recommend "Xs" and "Os" and you can tell folks--you heard it here first.
- Bookmark or Headband Craft: Color and cut the page of pumpkins vertically to make bookmarks, or horizontally to make a headband. If you're feeling the holiday spirit, glue a feather to the back of the headband. Make it a history lesson, people.
- Memory Game: Color each of the columns a separate color--preferable with crayon so that the color doesn't seep through. Otherwise--the game is pointless. Then, cut out each of the pumpkins and lay out (color-side down) in a game of "Memory." And if you don't remember how to play the game, well, you need
a better memoryto look it up, that's all.
- Thankfulness List: Some see Thanksgiving as a day to be thankful. Crazy, right? But if you're one of those kind of people, then your kids can write one thing they are thankful for on each of the pumpkins. At the dinner table, read the lists out loud. Of course, screen the lists beforehand, otherwise, there might be too much gratitude going on about gas.
Hopefully these simple ideas help make your Thanksgiving a happy one. For more tips, head over to Works For Me Wednesday!
E-mail me if you want a clean pdf of the pumpkin printout and list of activities!