5 Ways to Make the Most of Thanksgiving with Your Children

Publication Date
November 21, 2016

The Thanksgiving holiday is the perfect time to reflect on what we have to be thankful for in our lives, spend quality time with family, take a break from work and school, and of course, eat some pie! Whether you travel to visit others or stay at home this year, here are some ideas for getting the most out of this Thanksgiving holiday with your kids.

  1. Volunteer together. Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to give back to the community and help those who may be less fortunate. Volunteer experiences also help give kids perspective on just how much they have to be thankful for every day. Donate to a coat drive in anticipation of the arrival of colder weather, volunteer at a soup kitchen or food bank, or even participate in a charity fun run, like many communities host on Thanksgiving Day.
  2. Make a Thanksgiving craft. There are a variety of fun and creative crafts kids can do around the Thanksgiving holidays to keep them engaged while they’re on break from school. Check out these centerpieces for the Thanksgiving table, the Thankful Tree craft from PBS, or other ideas from their Thanksgiving Crafts Round Up
  3. family cookingHelp out in the kitchen. Regardless of who usually leads the charge in the kitchen for Thanksgiving festivities, get your kids involved! There are many kid-friendly sides and desserts kids can help prepare that will make the work load lighter for you, as well as keep the fun going throughout the day before Thanksgiving dinner even starts.
  4. Learn your history. Thanksgiving celebrates the early settlers and their harvest feast with the Wampanoag tribe of what is now southeastern Massachusetts and eastern Rhode Island. Although the peace between the settlers and the Wampanoag people only lasted a generation, the modern Thanksgiving holiday reminds us to give thanks for what we have and cherish the time we get to spend with our families. To help your kids understand the significance of Thanksgiving and how far we have come since the first Thanksgiving, check out National Geographic for Kids or Scholastic for Kids.
  5. Discuss why you’re thankful this year. At the heart of Thanksgiving is the spirit of thankfulness for all that we have, made even sweeter by time spent with family and dear friends. Ask each member of the table to say what they are thankful for this year. Discuss some of the highlights of the past year and what you are looking forward to next year. Most importantly, let your children know that you are thankful for them and the opportunity to celebrate this holiday together as a family.

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