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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Ties

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Whether you’re heading over to the relatives, or hosting a get-together from home-sweet-home, I have some ideas to keep the under-ten crowd productive and the whole gang happy.

For a pre-dinner activity, gather the cousins around and tell them to go outside and find a decent sized tree branch with plenty of small limbs. It needs to fit in a medium-sized flower pot that you’ve pre-filled with dirt. Next, hand out several sheets of fall colored construction paper and have participants cut leaves. Lots of leaves. Make sure they have a list of the attending guests so no one is left out, and tell them to come up with several adjectives or nice things for which they’re thankful about each guest. If they prefer, they can cut small rectangles instead of leaves, roll them into small scrolls and tie them to the branches with yarn. If you go the leaf route, be sure to have a full roll of tape handy to use in attaching the leaves to the “tree”. Now you have a “thankful tree” to place on the buffet, or wherever you so desire a centerpiece. Later on, after dessert, take turns choosing a leaf from the tree and sharing its contents.

So, for the above activity, you’ll need:
  • Plenty of scissors
  • Plenty of pens
  • Fall colored construction paper
  • Yarn, string, and/or tape
  • A flowerpot pre-filled with dirt
  • A tree limb, no taller than 2 feet

An easier version of the above activity is to have the children make place cards for everyone. Each place card would have the name facing out, and on the inside all the goodies about that person could be hiding for later revelation.

Now, for the adults. Yes, playtime is just as essential in maintaining adult relationships, and getting together for the holidays is the perfect excuse for fun. Whether it’s puzzles, board games, or a rousing outdoor game of kickball, the family that plays together…stays together!

Here are a few ideas guaranteed to knock the “turkey daze” in the teeth:

  • My favorite new group board game: Apples to Apples. Tons of fun. Enough said.
  • Is there snow on the ground? Go sledding! Have a snowball fight or a snowman making contest. Warm up indoors with hot chocolate or better yet, a bonfire!
  • Go ice skating (again, if weather/location permits)…up in the North they flood parking lots and make their own ice rinks…here in the mid-west, we use rivers and ponds…
  • If ice isn’t an option, go roller skating on the sidewalks, or a large empty parking lot.
  • Fishing anyone?
  • Get the sidewalk chalk out and have an outdoor “art contest”…be sure to have an unbiased judge handy…
  • It’s getting dark earlier and earlier, perfect for an outdoor game of hide-and-seek. Or, as we used to call it: There’s no bears out tonight, my daddy shot them all last night…

Whatever you do, have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Mary is an old-fashioned thirty-something wife, homeschooler, and aspiring writer. Her blog, Home-steeped Hope, feeds her love/pursuit of the written non-fiction word while her women's fiction "dreams" wait TBR (to be revised)...


MInTheGap said...

Need to get my sibs working on popping out cousins for my kids! Seriously, though-- good ideas!

As for Apples to Apples, we actually have that version and got a little embarrassed at a church function when someone got a mildly inappropriate word; however, I saw in a CBD catalog (or was that for the local Christian book store?) that they have a Bible version of Apples to Apples out now. Might be nice to pick that up!

Mary said...

A Bible version? Dandy! I have yet to invest in my own, so this is good to know!

Good luck on the nephews and nieces!