Thanksgiving is a time for family, traditions, food, fun table favors, games and activities. As you gather with family and friends for Thanksgiving, try these ideas for food, favors and fun! Maybe you’ll start a few new Thanksgiving traditions!
Thanksgiving table favors:
Sugar cones filled with fruit snacks or seasonal candies make great cornucopias at each guest’s plate. For an extra touch, place the pointed end of the sugar cones over a pot of boiling water for 10-20 seconds to soften it. Then, gently curve it (into the shape of a cornucopia) and set it to dry for a few hours so the shape will harden.
On Thanksgiving Day, fill the “cornucopia” with fruit snacks, Brach’s pumpkin candy, candy corn, etc. for an eye-catching table favor. It’s also fun to strew candies along a streamer or table runner in the center of each table. And don’t forget to order Thanksgiving plates, cups, napkins and wall hangings to complete the picture.
Thanksgiving Day activities:
Invite a outgoing family member to emcee a talent show for children or adults. Have family members come prepared with a musical number, a poem, a skit, etc. Also include sing-along songs for the entire group, such as “Over the River and Through the Woods”, as well as a few Christmas carols to usher the season in.
Prepare a Thanksgiving craft for children who may grow restless in the afternoon. One idea is go make an Indian head dress using a 1 1/2-2″ strip of colored construction paper, measured to fit around the child’s head. Have the child decorate the band with crayons, markers, stickers or glitter. Then secure several colorful feathers using tape, staples or glue around the band. Finally, staple the two ends of the band together and place it on the child’s head.
A Thanksgiving fish pond is always a favorite with younger children. You can obtain small, inexpensive prizes from party stores (small toys, pencils, balloons, etc. that come in fall colors could be used).
Bring a few video cameras and a bunch of old clothes, including hats, jewelry, etc. Divide into groups and come up with skits for others to watch. The skits can be performed live or played on a TV screen. The skits can have a Thanksgiving theme or can be original, with each group coming up with innovative ideas. (One year, a group in my family replayed the same scenario (i.e. A father arriving home from work…) doing it a different way each time. (Everyone acted sad, then everyone acted excited the next time–while saying the same lines) It was a big hit and videoing the skits provided us with fun memories in future years.
Here are some great games to get everyone up and moving–and to work off that second piece of pumpkin pie!
PASS THE PARCEL GAME
Number of Players: Any number
Wrap a bar of chocolate (or some other gift), in a layer of paper. Now wrap it in additional layers until you have about 10 layers. Then wrap it in nice gift wrap.
Have everyone sit in a circle and start playing music. Have them pass the gift around the circle. When the music stops, the person holding the gift removes ONE layer of wrapping. Begin playing the music again and continue passing. Stop the music and the person holding it removes another layer of wrapping.
Repeat until the last layer of wrapping has been removed. The person who unwraps the last layer is the winner and gets to keep the present.
PORT AND STARBOARD
Number of Players: Any number
On the command (from the list below), the children have to do the appropriate action. After they are familiar with the commands, start removing the last player to comply, until only one remains:
Port (run to one side to the area) Starboard (run to the other side) Captains Coming Aboard (Stand to attention and Salute) Submarines (lie on the floor) Hoist the Mainsail (run on the spot – like climbing the rigging) Mess Deck (Sit cross legged on the floor – ready for lunch) Davey Jones (Climb a tree, stand on a chair – anything so that you are not on the floor) Up Periscope (Stand up straight and hold hands to eyes as though looking through binoculars)
Other commands can be created and added to the list if desired.
RELAY RACES Number of Players: 8 or more
Description: Here are several Relay Races that are fun. For each relay, each member of each team will take a turn doing the following, and the team that finishes first wins.
Egg Balancing Relay– Balance an egg on a spoon sticking from your mouth to one place and then back. If it falls then you have to start over.
Clothespin Relay– Each person in the team has a clothespin. When it is their turn, they have to run with the clothespin between their knees and drop it into a bucket. If they drop the clothespin before they reach the bucket then they start over. If they miss the bucket at the end, the clothespin has to stay there. The team with the most clothespins in the bucket wins.
Bubblegum Relay– Run to a table, use a piece of bubblegum to blow a bubble, and run back.
Cracker Relay– Run to a table, chew up a cracker, and, without swallowing, whistle yankee doodle. Then go back and tag next team member in line.
Wheelbarrow Relay– Teams divide up into pairs (but still stay as teams). Each pair takes a turn doing the following: One person picks up their partner’s legs and walks to one end, while the partner walks on their hands, like a wheelbarrow. When they get to the end, they switch places and go back. First team to have each partnership go there and back wins. If they fall, they just start again from where they are.
I hope these ideas make your Thanksgiving a memorable one for your family and friends!