Fun Traditions to Start for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Turkey Handprint

While we may picture a traditional Thanksgiving as a family all dressed up seated quietly at a formal table, for most American families Thanksgiving is a more casual affair. If you are like most families, Thanksgiving is a lot about family and food. But if you would like to inject some more fun in your Thanksgiving Day consider giving some of these fun traditions a try.

Apron of Thanks-for that special someone in your family (or perhaps the hostess of Thanksgiving who is usually Mom or Grandma) make up an apron of thanks for a family tradition that can go from year to year. The fun will be in seeing how the handprints change from year to year.

What you will need:

•A white chef’s apron
•Autumnal fabrics (small swatches are fine)
•Puffy fabric paint

Trace the handprints of any children in attendance. Using fabric glue attach them to the white apron. You can then use the fabric paint to make the handprints look like turkeys or simply add other decorations. For a nice touch using the fabric paint you can write: We are Thankful for _______. (Add the appropriate name here) Allow the paints to dry and present the apron to the lucky recipient.

Kernels of Thanks-for a fun way to have everyone express their gratitude for Thanksgiving blessings consider the following activity. You may want to begin this by recounting the story of the first Thanksgiving.

What you will need:

•3 kernels of corn for each family member or guest
•A basket large enough for all the kernels to be placed in

After telling the story of the first Thanksgiving (there are many wonderful versions you can simply print out and read). Pass around the basket to each family member and have them tell three things they are grateful for as they place their kernels in the basket.

Tree of thanks-here is a really fun way to decorate your home and start a fun family tradition at the same time. This is also a tradition that would be a delight to continue from year to year.

What you will need:

•Brown construction paper
•Fallen leaves (these could be gathered from a Thanksgiving Day nature walk)
•Contact paper

Cut out a tree trunk that will be large enough to frame your leaves. If you need larger than standard size construction paper you can buy paper by the yard from your local craft store. After the trunk has been cut out label it, “Tree of Thanks”?. Tape the trunk to the wall where you want your leaves to be displayed. Then using permanent marker write on each leaf something you are grateful for. Give the ink a few minutes to dry and then carefully cover the leaf in contact paper. Tape each leaf around the trunk in the pattern of a tree. Your kids will be delighted to see what they were grateful for from years past while adding new leaves to the Tree of Thanks.

Pie baking contest-most families love a little competition. If Thanksgiving is just too busy consider starting this tradition a day ahead. Give each family member (or team) the challenge of baking the best Thanksgiving pie. Encourage them to be creative in their baking while still making sure the pie is edible. To make it a little easier you may want to provide pre-made crust. Have a taste test after and be sure to award prizes to the winners. And then for some extra meaning be sure and deliver a pie or two to those who may not be so fortunate this Thanksgiving.

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Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving
Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving
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