Thanksgiving is a time for family and sharing. One of the most important things parents can instill in their children when it comes to holidays is creating traditions to bring family and friends together and memories that can can be shared over the years to come. Traditions are easy to create for any size or type family and don’t have to have a Thanksgiving theme. Some of the most loved traditions are loved because they are done as a family and not just because they have a “giving thanks” theme. Traditions are important because they bond a family and give consistency that children thrive on. Here are some ideas of traditions you could start this year with your family.
Let Little Hands Decorate
One tradition that is easy and keeps the kids busy is to let the kids in your family create and decorate the families table. This can be done on Thanksgiving Day or even in the weeks before. Children will be given a strong sense of accomplishment and pride when they receive praise for their hand made creations and decorating savvy. If you have family visiting from out of state or even the next city over you can even mail a “very special assignment” for the kids attending dinner to complete before they arrive. Make sure you give a courtesy call to remind them not to forget their creations! Some great kid friendly craft ideas can be found at sites like Kaboose.com or Family Fun Magazine’s website.
Keep a Thankful Book
Create a book that travels to whomever is hosting Thanksgiving dinner that allows guests to write what they are thankful for that year. You can include pictures of the years highlights and encourage family to bring special things to add to the book. This will create lasting memories and a great family keepsake that can be passed on from generation to generation. Children will have fun looking at past years pages and learning about their family.
Get up and Move
Some families have a game of touch football, others play a game of catch. If you are a family that likes to move, start a tradition that after the meal is done, the dishes are left on the table and everyone dons their coats and shoes and goes for a walk. This will not only help the big meal go down but allow for everyone to stroll the neighborhood and talk. Everyone can appreciate the crisp fall air and be ready for a warm cup of coffee or cider and some pumpkin pie after you return.
It doesn’t matter what kind of tradition you choose be it active or arts and crafts, traditions will be an important part of you kids childhood and hopefully will inspire them to create their own traditions when they have their own families some day.