Thanksgiving is just about everyone’s favorite holiday, if you’re an adult. For kids, it’s a lot of waiting around for the adults to finish cooking. With the anticipation and pre-Christmas excitement, my boys are going to need to be running around outside as much as possible. So as I’ve been planning our turkey and sides, I’ve been thinking of ways to keep the kids busy outdoors.
(We’re in the middle of a snow storm here, so some of these ideas might get dropped in favor of plain old snow play.)
1. Table decorations. One of the kids’ chores will be to collect natural items to display on the table and/or decorate the place cards. As motivation, I may need to make it a contest of who collects the most, with a reward of early dessert or something like that.
2. Geocaching around the grandparents’ homes, each of whom we’ll be visiting over the coming days.
3. Nature scavenger hunt. We’ve done this before with cousins of different ages working as a team, and it worked great. We’ll make the list together on our way to grandma’s house.
4. Outdoor obstacle course. Here’s a way to do it with leaves. We may try snow.
5. Traditional games played by Pilgrim and Wampanoag children. We could listen to this audio for inspiration. I’m guessing our crowd would like Blind Man’s Bluff.
6. Toy bows and arrows. When I read that Wampanoag children played with these, I thought, “Hah! This is the answer! My boys will be out for hours!” I saw some very cute and safe bow-and-arrow toys with a foam “arrow” at a craft show last summer, but didn’t buy them. We don’t have time to make our own, but it may be worth a quick stop at the toy store.
7. Football. We’re not a huge football family, but a pick-up game can be a lot of fun with teams mixed of hard-core fans (like my husband or father) and others (like me) who don’t know a running back from a running game.
Have a happy holiday!