An Easy Approach to Thanksgiving: An Activity for All Ages

November 13, 2023 10:11 am Published by


Trying to figure out how to make your Thanksgiving celebration meaningful can be challenging. Going around the table and having everyone share something they are thankful for is a time-honored tradition, but it can also feel somewhat mechanical and superficial.

So I thought I’d put together a fun activity that might make it easier and more engaging for different ages present, from older adults to children. I call it: “How to Get F’s for Thanksgiving.”

Since many of us rely on cues to access out memories, it is helpful to have some present when possible. Pictures, in particular, of past places, people or even pictures that are reminiscent of past eras are great. But another way to help us focus is to think of topics or themes.

I’ve put together a number of topics that start with the letter “F” which can help those present organize some thoughts to share with others – who and what they are thankful for in that area.

  • Family & Forefathers. Current family. Family members (e.g. parents & grandparents) who are no longer alive. Prior generations who endured difficult circumstances.
  • Friends. Present-day friends. Friends from prior life seasons and different locations. Childhood companions. Those who provided support and influenced your life.
  • Food. What you get to eat this Thanksgiving. Food you really enjoy (present and past). The ability to access food and clean water.
  • Freedom & Flexibility. All sorts of freedom – to live where you want to, pursue a career of your choosing, the ability to say what you want, and worship how you choose. Add whatever is especially important to you.
  • Flowers & Forests. Nature. The ability to see, hear and smell all of Creation. Think of the experiences in nature you enjoy – trees, birds, animals, sunsets, the ocean.
  • Faith. The freedom to choose and live out your values and beliefs without being forced or limited by the government.
  • Fun & Favorites. Think about all the fun things you get to do and have experienced – in daily life, special events, and vacations.

In addition to using cues to help us recall memories and what has been important to us, utilizing visual images and hands on activities can be more engaging than just talking about things (especially for children and those who are artistic). One way to incorporate the visual and physical is to do a craft as part of the discussion. Here are two images of a turkeys you can print out and color.

Click on either turkey for a printable page

Then, either by writing examples of each topic on the feathers of the turkey or (I prefer this) using popsicle sticks or tongue depressors as the feathers, write on them, and then glue them to the body of the turkey. For example, for the Food category, one could write chocolate, fresh peaches, deep dish pizza. On the feather representing Flowers & Forests, sunsets, black-eyed Susans, and puppies could be written.

One of the nice things about including a craft element is that it provides an informal time for people to talk together while working on it, allowing each person to express their unique individual creativity, and giving an easy way to share one’s thoughts more informally with one another. Feel free to create your own version of this activity.

I hope that these prompts lead you to deeper discussions and sharing about what you and your guests are thankful for this holiday season and trust you will have an enjoyable time sharing with those around you.

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November 13, 2023 10:11 am


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