Our family Thanksgiving dinners can include up to 40 or more people. And before we can eat, it’s a tradition to share one thing you’ve been grateful for during the past year. That can take a long time for adults to sit still through, but kids? With food sitting in front of them, they can have a hard time concentrating and sitting. And with all their cousins and family members there, it’s often more exciting to run around the room with the cousins than sit through an hour long dinner. While that might work at Chuck E’ Cheese, it doesn’t work so well with Grandma’s nice china sitting on the table.
Here are some great ways for getting kids through the holiday dinner:
Family Fun magazine is a great resource for parents. And on the Family Fun website they have some great Thanksgiving printables for dinner time table games. You can print a Thanksgiving bingo game off for all the little cousins to play, activity placemats, mazes and even a “fill in the story” sheet.
You can find the link to the printables at the end of this article.
Instead of allowing kids to run around after dinner time, you could consider setting up a craft table that the children can transition over to after dinner. Have the teenagers or older children oversee the younger children so there isn’t so much chaos and younger kids have someone helping them. You can buy some inexpensive crafts at Making Friends.com. Crafts range in price from free to just a few dollars per person. You can print out coloring pages, make pilgrim hats, and buy kits for real indian headdresses. The great thing about this site is if you have a smaller family, you can buy just the amount that you need.
Another great craft site is Oriental Trading. If you have a larger family with lot’s of grandchildren, Oriental Trading allows you to buy in larger quantities for less money. Find wood, foam, and coloring crafts perfect for Thanksgiving for as little as .30 per person!! Amounts of 6 or 12 can be bought, although some crafts allow you to buy in individual quantities.
Both of these sites will require that you buy ahead of time as you will want ample time to allow for shipping.
One friend of mine was talking about her favorite Thanksgiving traditions. Her family seperates after the dinner. The kids head into watch a movie and the adults enjoy a quiet dessert. Usually it’s a Thanksgiving themed movie. Grandma has cute movie themed popcorn containers that she found at the dollar store for all the grandkids and put their names on them. She makes a popcorn mix with candy corn, popcorn, and Reese’s Pieces or Thanksgiving colored M&M’s. The kids love visiting with each other, eating and playing in a quiet area where they can “let loose” a little bit and not disturb the adults. The adults love not having to worry about the kids under their feet, and love spending time talking and catching up with relatives they haven’t seen in awhile.
To find a list of perfect kid friendly Thanksgiving movies, head to the reference section for the link.
In our family while the woman talk, visit and help Grandma with the dishes, the men head outside with the kids. The kids scooter, play flag football, and play on the swingset. The bigger boys (aka husbands and grandparents) play with more grownup toys. RC cars, RC airplanes and taking the kids on some motorized scooters are fun for the boys to play with. Of course, almost as soon as we clean off the dinner table, the men have turned it into an RC car fixing garage. But that’s the fun of Thanksgiving. And it gets all of us visiting and talking and out of the house for awhile. After the women are done with the dishes we take a nice walk, or get some quiet time to get things ready for the kids to enjoy a night at Grandmas.
Whatever your family traditions are, the most important thing is to make them your family traditions. Because no matter what you do, Thanksgiving at your house is the best. But as your family grows, new traditions to handle the growing family are needed. Hopefully this article gave you a few new ones.
Family Fun Table Games:http://familyfun.go.com/thanksgiving/thanksgiving-kids-table-fun/thanksgiving-printable-activity-pages/
Making Friends.com Thanksgiving Crafts: http://familyfun.go.com/thanksgiving/thanksgiving-kids-table-fun/thanksgiving-printable-activity-pages/
Oriental Trading Thanksgiving Crafts: http://www.orientaltrading.com/holidays/thanksgiving-a1-90000+1238-5-0.fltr
Thanksgiving Kid Friendly Movies: http://hubpages.com/hub/Best-Thanksgiving-Movies-For-Kids
Flag Football Set:http://www.amazon.com/Flag-Football-Set-12–Red/dp/B0027YHLFO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1288132075&sr=8-2