Start some new traditions this year at Thanksgiving and make it more memorable and fun! Here are some ideas:
1. Have each family member bring 2 or 3 old pictures. Place them all on a table, and each person randomly draws a picture and tries to tell who is in the picture, when it took place, and the circumstances around the picture. This is a great way to share old memories and even learn something new about family members.
2. Put together some Thanksgiving Trivia questions on paper for your guests to answer. Later in the day, give out the answers and the top scorer wins something small like maybe a scratch off lottery ticket. Everyone will learn something new and increase their knowledge of the origin of Thanksgiving. Year to year, you may have to dig deep to find more difficult questions!
3. Make “warm fuzzies” for each other. Have a container filled with pieces of cardstock with each guests’ name on a paper. Each guest will draw a name and write why they are thankful for that person. Later, each person reads off the name they received and what they wrote about that person, and then give it to them for a keepsake. This is something I used to do with my students when I was a teacher, but it would work great in a family setting too! A great opportunity to make someone else feel good!
4. Cut out leaves on cardstock. Each guest receives a leaf and writes what they are thankful for and the year. Laminate them and bring them out each year to place on your Thanksgiving table. I love this idea via Organized Island.
5. Fill a jar with candy corn and each guest estimates the amount of candy corn in the jar. The closest guesser wins the jar of candy. Hopefully they will share.
6. Go on a nature walk together after dinner. My in-laws share this tradition, and I just love it. I have to be honest, it is usually just the women and children on the walk while the men watch football. Nevertheless, it is a bonding experience!
7. Invite someone to dinner who has no family with which to celebrate. We have done this for years mainly because we have a small family, so it benefits us just as much as it does our non-family member guests!
8. Volunteer together at a soup kitchen. What a great way to teach compassion and demonstrate a giving heart to your children while helping others.
9. Everyone go together to take a plate of food or visit someone in the nursing home or hospital. This small gesture can mean so much to someone! If you take food, just be sure to check and see if they may have diet restrictions.
10. Make time for laughter and fun! Play an active game together like Charades or Touch Football.