From a shopping to-do’s to your guest list, you’ve already nailed down a plan to make your Thanksgiving meal go smoothly. But, what about the days leading up to Turkey Day and the long weekend after? Ensure the entire week is a rousing success with these totally genius ideas that’ll keep your kids happy and entertained all week long.
photo: Living Well Mom
1. We love games, especially when they’re Thanksgiving-themed (think: pumpkin tic tac toe and pin the feather on the turkey). Scoop our favorite Thanksgiving games here.
2. Have them help decorate the kids’ table. Not sure where to start? Check out these awesome centerpiece crafts.
3. Try out a new family tradition this Thanksgiving season. Here are 24 to get you started.
5. Sometimes all it takes to keep them busy is a simple activity page. Turn to these 15 free printables for endless entertainment.
6. Extra cranberries around the house? Keep them busy with these 5 cranberrry crafts. Bonus: many of them double as seasonal decor. Win!
7. If you have guests coming over or you’re venturing to a family member’s house, your kids might want to brush up on their table manners. Start with these ideas.
8. Make an exception to forbidding your kids to play with their food. We love these fun Turkey Day food ideas.
photo: Little Page Turners
9. Hosting dinner this year? Try out these amazing apps that require 3 ingredients or less. Have your kids help you organize them on your serving platter.
10. For many of us, Thanksgiving week means more family time. Make it count with our tips on how to spend more quality time with those you love.
11. Thanksgiving and football go together like well, PB&J. If you can’t make it outside, opt for a game of paper football. Here’s how it’s done.
12. We know your time is limited Thanksgiving week so we’ve come up with easy at-home STEM activities that use supplies you already have around the house.
13. Get in the spirit of the holidays (and score a couple hours of quiet time) by popping in a festive movie. We’ve come up with a list of kid flicks every child must see before they grow up.
14. ‘Tis the season for Amazon shipments! Upcycle that cardboard box to make an indoor golf course, pirate ship or castle.
15. Two words: turkey bowling (don’t worry—you don’t use real turkeys). Scroll down to idea #5 here.
16. Up your fort game this week with these next-level for ideas that’ll wow all your visiting cousins, auntie and uncles.
17. Before you fill those tummies with turkey, get a quick family workout in. We love this introduction to yoga series. Bonus: each video is only 10 minutes!
18. Set up a harvest-themed sensory bin with decor and supplies you already have on hand.
19. Sometimes all you need for a day of fun is a few supplies and your imagination. Check out these pretend play ideas you can easily set up in one afternoon.
20. Chances are your house will be full of delicious scents and smells (pumpkin pie, anyone?). Test their knowledge and build their sensory skills with a fun real-life version of “scratch and sniff.”
22. Get a jump start on your holiday decorating by having the kids make a cranberry and popcorn garland.
photo: Katie Appleyard via flickr
23. Whether you want to work off that Thanksgiving meal or need to get some fresh air, set out on foot to explore your neighborhood like never before. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you find!
24. Have your kids help tidy up their rooms before guests arrive. Check out our hacks that’ll have your kid making her bed every single day.
25. When all else fails, turn on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Here’s the star-studded line-up you can expect this year.
How do you plan to spend Thanksgiving with your crew? Tell us your go-to Thanksgiving activities in the comments below.
— Erin Lem