Making Thanksgiving Memories


For kids, Thanksgiving pales in comparison to holidays in which they get to unwrap more than just some silverware from a cloth napkin. In fact, for some youngsters Turkey Day can be downright boring.

Save for stuffing herself with bird and her favorite pumpkin pie, my 7-year-old sees the holiday as simply the day before she can start using her red Sharpie to countdown to Christmas on the calendar.

Of course, having whiny kids underfoot while trying to prepare a feast for 20 is no picnic for parents either. This is why it pays to be prepared. Keeping children entertained while fostering the holiday spirit doesn’t have to be a chore. Rather, fill the day with fun and laughter by partaking in the following kid-friendly activities:

The Kids Table: Every family has one. It’s the place where the youngest members of the family dine on Thanksgiving turkey and all the fixings when space at the dining room table is limited. However, being relegated to the kids table shouldn’t be viewed as a punishment. Instead, make sitting there a fun experience by covering the table with brown craft paper and setting up buckets of crayons and markers at each place setting. Kids can use stencils, draw freehand or simply scribble holiday-themed scenes.

Turkey Trivia: Rather than be pelted with the incessant “When are we eating?” queries, place index cards filled with Thanksgiving trivia in a plastic pumpkin and let the kids quiz family and friends on facts, such as: Did you know turkeys prefer to sleep in trees? Or, how old is the average roaster turkey? Answer: Five to seven months. What is the average age of a fryer turkey? Answer: Just under sixteen weeks.

Pin the Tail Feathers on the Turkey: This game takes its cue from the children’s classic Pin the Tail on the Donkey. To make it more seasonal, draw a turkey on a sheet of paper and tape it to the wall. Then, give each child a faux turkey feather (which you can find at craft stores or discount retailers) with a bit of tape on it. Next, blindfold each player, spin him around a few times and see where he sticks his feather. The player closest to the turkey’s tail area is the winner.

What games do you play on Thanksgiving?

Related Articles:

Charity and the Preschooler

Keeping Kids Busy on Thanksgiving

Decorating Tips For The Children’s Thanksgiving Table

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.