By Leslie Lindsay
Next Friday at this time, early-morning crowds will be beating down the doors of retailers looking for holiday shopping bargains and our tummies will still be full of pumpkin pie and sweet potatoes. How did it get to be nearly Thanksgiving already?! Funny, that linear time thing…
So, what’s on tap for the annual stuff-your-face-fest? I know–how about some fun, unconventional crafts and activities? Here are a few to consider:
- Have a collage party with your kiddos and some of their friends. Get a variety of colored construction paper, enough to spell Thanksgiving…(uh, that would be 12 sheets of mulitcolored paper). On each piece of paper, add a single letter until you have spelled Thanksgiving. Next, either look in catalogs/magazines or find some of your own photos and cut out pictures of objects that begin with that particular letter. For older kids, you can have them write down all of the “T” words they are thankful for. Punch holes along the top of each letter card and tie together with ribbon or yarn to create a whimsical Thanksgiving banner.
- Then there’s the classic turn-you-hand-into-a-turkey print. You can paint the palm of your child’s hand with acrylic paint and press down on a piece of paper to create a handprint. Add real feathers (from the craft store), a googly eye, and toothpick legs. If it’s cute enough, frame it. It saves that tiny hand for generations to come. (for a less-mess option, try just tracing your child’s hand with a marker. For older kids, they can write 5 things they are thankful for on each finger/thumb. Send to grandparents as a card.)
- Less traditional ideas may include: working in a homeless shelter, preparing and donating a meal to a family in need, or donating canned goods to a local shelter.
- The day of Thanksgiving may provide you and your family an opportunity to work up an appetite. Find a new place to discover–a county park, a forest preserve, a state park, etc. Works especially well if you can go early in the morning. Talk about all you are thankful for as you wander along the (beaten) path.
- Have your children help prepare for the meal. They can make placecards for each person attending. Take some heavy-weight paper, fold in half and allow them to decorate with makers, stickers, etc. The catch here is they have to write something on the placecard that they like or are particularly thankful for in that person. “Uncle Mike…I love your chuckle.”
- Older kids can help by playing “waitress.” Have then greet each guest with an apron and small clipboard. The can be in charge of getting drink or dessert orders.
- Afterwards, sit fireside and play a game of Scrabble. Who can come up with the most Thanksgiving-related words? Pilgrim, corn, indian, grateful, cornacopia…
May you have a happy and joyous day!