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Maximizing the Thanksgiving Holiday at Home

As Thanksgiving approaches, you may have the chance to spend an extra day or two at home with your children. Here are a few ways you can turn maximize your time together on this year’s holiday.

Play Games Together
Instead of watching a movie or playing video games, break out a board game at the dining room table. There are hundreds of great games out there for kids and adults of all ages and interests. Whether your family prefers Monopoly or Shoots & Ladders; Boggle or Apples to Apples, board games encourage family interaction, reading, counting, strategic thinking, and other educational skills.

Want to keep younger hands busy while you prepare your Thanksgiving feast? Try one of these printable workbooks. They’re free, fun, and educational, too:
Thanksgiving Activity Book (Grades Pre-K – 9)
52 Thanksgiving Printables
Thanksgiving Mini-Actvity Book (Grades Pre-K – K)
Mini-Book: I’m Thankful (Ages 6-7)

Visit Your Local Library
Visit your local library and pick out a few Thanksgiving-themed books to read together over the long holiday weekend. Here are a few recommended book lists from Scholastic:
Books About Gratitude
Books for Giving Thanks

Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Fun Facts About the Parade
11 Facts About the Macy’s Parade Balloons
Check out the Parade Map Together

Family Tree & Family Stories
Before your family’s big gathering, take a few minutes with your kids to talk about who will attend and how they’re related to one another. Draw a family tree to help your children visualize more complex relationships like step-children or second cousins.

Emphasize thankfulness by taking turns sharing reasons you’re thankful to spend your holiday with those family members and friends who’ll be there with you, or even to share favorite memories about each of those family and friends.

Be sure to give your children a chance to share their favorite stories, too; sharing their memories out loud helps them learn to order events and articulate their thoughts in front of others.

Does your family have any educational traditions? Leave a comment sharing your tradition with us on the Missouri Parent Blog, or talk to us on Facebook or Twitter.

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