Oh I remember Thanksgiving Day as a kid: It seemed to be an endless afternoon of waiting to eat, eating, then waiting for the grownups to be ready to leave. Today, on Thanksgiving, my own kids get bored with all the waiting and waiting and waiting. To keep the kids from becoming whiny, here are a few ideas for easy boredom buster crafts and activities to entertain and keep the kids busy. Be sure to set your tables with a few of these items!
Assorted pipe cleaners left on tables can provide plenty of entertainment for young and old alike on Thanksgiving Day. Whether they are waiting for the meal to be ready for eating or sitting around the table after the meal, pipe cleaners provide cheap and easy craft opportunities.
Challenge the kids to create characters with the pipe cleaners. Play a game where each child creates something with a pipe cleaner and everyone guesses what it is supposed to be. Tell the kids to create a specific scene with the pipe cleaners and see what they come up with. At my own family’s Thanksgiving Dinner last year, pipe cleaners kept everyone (adults and kids alike) entertained before and after the meal.
Notepads and Crayons
Small notepads and crayons (or pencils) can offer plenty of fun, from Tic Tac Toe to Hangman, to “Pictionary,” and more. Doodling makes the time go by faster and it is a lot more interesting.
Paper Table Covers or Paper Placemats
Paper table covers or large paper placemats can give the kiddos something to doodle and draw on while they wait for the meal. Better yet, check out a few of these Thanksgiving placemat craft projects for the kids at Thanksgiving.
Check out some of the suggestions in “Where to Find Free Printable Thanksgiving Crafts and Activities” for printable activity sheets for all ages. Choose from coloring pages, word searches, simple paper crafts, puzzles and other fun printables.
Set out a few cans of play clay for guests to play with on Thanksgiving Day. If your family is a little wacky like mine, grab a few cans of Flarp! noise putty (yes, it makes flatulent sounds) for some silly fun that will entertain and cause plenty of giggles.
Set out small baskets or other containers filled with assorted family photos. Who doesn’t love sorting through old pictures? Even the kids will get a kick out of seeing photos of the family. Pick out only holiday photos or just use whatever photos you’ve got loose. If your pictures are in albums, set the albums out for guests to peruse. These can be awesome conversation starters.