Question: I know of some local turkey trots, watching the parade, and the football- on-Thanksgiving tradition, but do you have some indoor activity ideas that’ll appeal to our easily overwhelmed seven year old, our iPad- addicted ten year old, and the young and not-so-young guests who’ll be joining us for a Thanksgiving feast?
Answer: Yes! It sounds like you’re looking for activities that will have some, but not too much, structure naturally built in, can vary in length, and can be done individually or in pairs within a bigger group. Your children and other younger guests might enjoy pairing up with somebody older for either of these activities:
• Plate Making (the only potential glitch here is that, once decorated, the plates need to be baked, and you may not have the oven space)- If there’s time, make the plates before dinner and use them when it’s time for the meal. If there’s not enough time, or oven space, decorate them on Thanksgiving and give them as holiday gifts, maybe even to be used at Hanukkah or Christmas. Click here for further details!
• BINGO – Make the cards before dinner and play afterward. Depending upon your card makers, you may want to plot out the organization of the cards beforehand and focus on the numbers, letters, etc that will fill the spaces. Remember you’ll have to set-up for the “caller” as well as the players. No bingo chips? – That’s OK…what about pennies or other coins?
• Scavenger Hunt (indoor or outdoor) – Do it the traditional way, or, when pairing or teaming up,make sure a selfie-taker is in each group, and rather than collecting items, take selfies at locations specified on the scavenger list.
• Gratitude Pick-up Sticks – a version of Pick-up Sticks, with a twist. Each stick color represents a different category. With this game, each time you pick up a stick without moving one next to it you have to name something you are grateful for within the color’s category. And then you get to hold on to the stick, eventually tallying the amount of sticks held by each player. It’s a great way to get family and friends of all ages really thinking and talking (or writing) about what they grateful for! No pick-up sticks? Make your own out of chopsticks!
You’ll find loads of fabulous ideas online, many of them with printables to help you with materials. A few resources we like for game and activity ideas include:
–Sheila Allen, MA, OT