Thanksgiving Traditions for Families
Do you remember spending the holidays with your family when you were a child? What special memories do you hold dear?
For me, the holidays are all about those traditions that make memories, ones that will be shared for generations to come. I want my kids to remember spending quality time as a family, instilling in them pride for their family values.
Thanksgiving is a great time to start traditions with your kids. It’s a time when family gathers together to spend quality time together, often sharing what they are most grateful for and making memories together.
5 Thanksgiving Traditions to Start with Your Kids
Here are 5 Thanksgiving traditions that you can start with your kids today that will make lasting memories of family values for years to come:
Start a Thankful Jar and add to it all year long. Read the slips of papers on Thanksgiving before the big meal. Sure, everyone is thankful for something on the day of Thanksgiving, but why not teach your kids the value of being grateful all year long? At the end of every day, ask each family member to write down one thing they are thankful for and to put it in the jar. Don’t have a jar? Use a blank journal instead! Then, on the day of Thanksgiving, take turns reading each thankful thought and reliving the happy memories from the year.
Spend time together collecting donations for food pantries or volunteering at food pantries. Everyone should be able to have a good, warm meal to eat, especially this time of year when the weather changes. Food pantries have food drives to collect canned goods, but there’s no need to wait for a food drive to donate. Have your kids help you raid your pantry or visit a grocery store to collect canned goods to donate. If you have time, it would even be beneficial for you and your kids to volunteer at a food pantry and bring a smile to those in need.
Have kids help with the meal. Depending on their ages, they can make the menu, prep food, set the table, and more! Kids love to help cook. Let them help, no matter how messy they get! Toddlers and preschoolers can help set the table, gather ingredients, mix ingredients, and wash dishes when it’s all over. Older kids can help plan the meal and menu, peel potatoes, slice veggies, or even make a side dish themselves. Want to make it more fun? Play music in background and sing and dance as everyone helps! Working on the meal as a family makes it even more memorable.
Play board games or card games during down times. The sillier the better! Play fun board games while you’re waiting for the meal to cook or even after everyone is finished eating. Choose games that are fun for every age, and mix it up every year with a new game. Some of my favorites are Chutes and Ladders, Raccoon Rumpus, Go Fish, Apples to Apples, and Taboo. For older kids and a friendly competition, Scrabble and Monopoly are family favorites.
Go on an I Spy or Treasure Hunt walk before or after dinner. A family walk is a great way to make memories (and to walk off those Thanksgiving calories if you’re walking after dinner!). Play I Spy or go on a Treasure Hunt as you walk along to keep those little kiddos entertained.
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Share Your Thanksgiving Traditions!
What Thanksgiving traditions have you started with your kids? Share them with us!