Entertainment after the Feast
Once the table has been cleared, rather than retiring to the living room to lounge, gather up the family and kids for some activities. Weather permitting, these games can be played outside, but if the snow is flying or fall rains prevent you from heading outdoors, try playing these games in a basement or playroom.
Penny Walk: A flip of a coin determines whether you turn right or left as you walk. Every time the penny lands heads up, the group takes five steps to the right; and if the penny lands tails up, the group takes five steps to the left. Before starting this game, ask each person to predict where he/she thinks the walk will end. Then, take turns tossing the coin until everyone has flipped it twice. The player who guesses closest to where the group finally stops wins.
Kick-the-Can Game: A variation on the classic game of kick-the-can, this contest is a fun way for kids to honor Tom Turkey on his big day. One player is "it" and tries to keep Tom (an empty soda can) inside a large chalk circle, while everyone else tries to free Tom by sneaking up and kicking the can out of the circle.
To start the game, the child who is "it" sets the can in the center of the circle. Then, while standing nearby with her eyes closed, she counts to 50 while the other players hide. When she is finished counting, she opens her eyes and tries to find the other players and tag them. Whomever she touches must stop in place and remain there. If a player is able to reach the circle and kick out the can without being tagged, he shouts "T." The can is then reset in the circle and the game begins again with everyone hiding. The second time a player boots the can out of the circle, he yells "O." The first player to kick the can for the third time earns the letter M and yells out "T-O-M" to win the game. (For the player who is "it" to win the game, she must succeed in tagging all of the players before anyone makes it to the circle and kicks the can three times.)
Picture Stories: When a few generations are gathered, the family album can be the perfect inspiration for some lively stories about past events. For fun, make a game of matching up childhood photos with more recent snapshots of different relatives. Or team up to write comical captions.
In this season full of remembering and thankfulness, don't forget that the greatest gift you can give you child is love and time. In the bustle of the holidays, be sure to involve your child. She will love to help in any way that she can, while you go to the grocery store, clean, and decorate your home.