(I'd also love to hear about YOUR favorite Thanksgiving Traditions! Please be sure to leave a comment...one blessed reader will win Susie Larson's latest book Growing Grateful Kids ~ it's great!)
*Thanksgiving Family Fun ideas from A to Z*....
A - Attitude of Gratitude Calendar (Ask each family member to share one thing they are grateful for each day during the month of November. Write it on a calendar. Be sure to bring out the calendar again next year, and start again!); OR Activity sheets here and here and here OR Activity sheets for Grown-ups here
B- Bingo (here) (Thanksgiving bingo w/ autumn color M&M's ~ always a favorite); OR Baking (great Thanksgiving recipes here or here) OR start a Blessing Book (here)
C - Crafts ~ Such cute Thanksgiving crafts here or here or here OR Conversation Coasters (what a great hostess gift too!) OR Conversation Starters
D - Decorate together (Check out April's great decorating ideas)
E - Educate (Spend time learning/re-learning the true meaning of Thanksgiving. One of my favorite teacher resources for verses, worksheets, stories, history & more ~ here)
F- Family Night: Attitude of Gratitude (here) OR Football (of course!)
G - Gratitude Journals (here) ; OR Give thanks (go around and share 5 things each family member is thankful for)
H - Hidden Pictures OR Turkey Hats (just for fun!)
I - Ice Cream Sundaes~ yes, we have Thanksgiving sundaes! I've included a picture at the end of this blog post! :)
J - Jokes (here) (Have fun sharing these great Thanksgiving kids' jokes and riddles with your family and friends)
K - Kids Table ~ If you're not planning on having a kids table for Thanksgiving, after you check out these amazing kids table ideas, you will want to!
L - Leaves (We have a family tradition where we each write on a paper leaf what we are thankful for, and then I save the leaves each year...although I may need to make this adorable Thanksgiving table tree); You can also print leaves here
M - Mazes OR Math sheets (yes, Thanksgiving style Math!) OR Minibooks OR Memorize Thanksgiving verses
N - Native American history and Activities here
O - Outdoor Games to celebrate Thanksgiving (lots of game ideas here)
P - Pilgrims here OR Pumpkins Baking OR Parades
Q - Quiet time ~ Enjoy Thanksgiving Reading at home (Great Thanksgiving resource list here) OR Quiz your guests on Thanksgiving Trivia
R - Read together Family Life's Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember
Mrs. Rainey wrote this book for her family, "Thanksgiving was not going to be just eating, hours of TV football, naps and leftover turkey sandwiches-followed by a stress-filled Friday of frantic Christmas shopping at the mall." Instead, she seeks to educate her children-and others, through this book about the heritage of faith and freedom that is celebrated in the national holiday of Thanksgiving. The book revisits the schoolchild version of the Pilgrims' first festival of plenty, and is meant to be read aloud by families on Thanksgiving Day (preferably before small stomachs start to grumble). A half-hour-long CD of Thanksgiving music rounds out the package.
We love this book! It also includes a spot to record your blessings every year! Woo Hoo! :)
S - Sing some fun Thanksgiving carols (thanks, Knox clan) such as...
Here Comes Thanksgiving (to the tune of Here Comes Santa Claus)
Here comes Thanksgiving
Here comes Thanksgiving
Long before Christmas Day
No jingle bells, no Christmas trees
No songs about a sleigh
We will eat and we will sleep
We’ll watch some football games
Cause it is almost Thanksgiving
And it’s long before Christmas Day
U - Ugly Turkey ~ A Play (adapted from "The Ugly Duckling" by Hans Christian Andersen)
V - Volunteer. Nothing will remind us more of how much we have to be thankful for than spending your day at your local homeless shelter or food kitchen serving Thanksgiving dinner.
W - Watch A Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving. (Our kids still love to watch it every year!)
X - eXercise. Head outside to the nearest park and enjoy the beautiful fall colors.
Y - YMCA. Go to the YMCA or another local gym. Many will let you try their facility for free for the day.
Z - Zzzzzz's! ~ Sneak in a nap! :)
Woo Hoo!! I'm so excited for Thanksgiving! As one article I read recently shares, "This year, take advantage of the Thanksgiving season and use it as a chance to nurture a sense of real gratitude in your family. The Bible tells us to "give thanks to the Lord for he is good" (Ps. 107:1) and to "enter his gates with thanksgiving" (Ps. 100:4). That attitude is often lost in our "I want more" culture, and encouraging thankfulness in children is no small task. But when children understand what it means to be grateful, they begin to develop an awareness of all that God has given them...."
Sounds good to me!! You too?! :)
What special family traditions do you have planned for this Thanskgiving?? I'd love to hear from you!
And as promised, one blessed reader (who shares a favorite Thanksgiving tradition) will win Susie Larson's latest book Growing Grateful Kids. The winner will be selected on Wednesday, November 23rd at 9:00 PM.
Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! May your Thanksgiving be filled with much joy, laughter, and fun, family moments!!
P.S. A special thanks to Tip Junkie, Family Fun, Parents Magazine, Kaboose, & more for letting me share some of your fun Thanksgiving ideas! :)
P.S.S. For more Things I Love Thursday ideas, hop on over to my real-life neighbor Jill at The Diaper Diaries.