Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday of the year. We get to take time to express how grateful we are for the blessings that we have. We get to see family. We get to eat amazing food.
What could be better than a nice long Thanksgiving Break ?
This year our school district has a bonus day off of school. Yeah for the kids, but this can get dicey if I’m not careful! 5 days off of school in a row can be just enough to bring them to boredom which means the bickering will ensue. If that doesn’t happen it will be the begging for more screen time, or electronics.
So, here are some of the ideas that I have come up to keep them busy and active over this little break. Keep in mind my children are ages 8, 8, 11, & 12. These may not be appropriate for all age groups.
1. Good Old Fashioned Room Cleaning.
We recently moved several of our children into different rooms. They will be getting room make overs in the coming weeks as their “big” gift from us this year. However, there is a lot of stuff that was moved, that should have probably been put in the sell or donate bins instead. No electronics will be played until rooms have been given a once over, and are tidied up. Chances are, they will tackle this while I am cooking on Thanksgiving.
2. Raking Leaves
Here in Minnesota it has already snowed a couple of times. Thankfully, it has warmed up and is now melted because there are a few big maple trees near the back of our lot that decided to hold onto their leaves for dear life. So, those have fallen since the last time that we cleaned up the yard. The kids are going to work together to get those cleaned up before the snow is back for good.
3. Go On A Nature Hike
We love to hike as a family. I always say it is the only time that all six of us are guaranteed to get along is when we are in the woods. Sure, it will be chilly, but the peaceful calm of the woods is one of the things I love about winters in Minnesota. We are hoping to get a couple of miles in this weekend, while learning about the changing landscape of the forest. If the weather is bad where you are, visiting a museum is another great option.
4. Get Out The Christmas Decorations
While some people already might have theirs up (and that’s okay!) we like to set up our tree, and decorate the house the weekend after Thanksgiving. We diffuse our Young Living Christmas Spirit oil, put on our favorite holiday playlist and all work together to make the house beautiful for the holidays. We are working on a “less is more” attitude this year, so there won’t be as much to do, but the kids are still super excited.
5. Plan Our Holiday Baking and Gift Making
This year we are planning to do more handmade than store-bought gifts. The kids will go through and decide which teachers, scout leaders, etc., that we are including on our list, and we will come up with what would be a meaningful gift for each person. Along with that, each of our four kids gets to pick one kind of cookie that they want us to bake together as a family. Then they need to go over the recipes and make sure that we have everything we will need. If not, they add that to our shopping list.
6. Family Game Night
We try to get in a family game night, complete with fun appetizers for dinner each month. I admit, it hasn’t happened the past two months though. Busy, overbooked schedules took over, and I am excited to be able to bring it back this weekend. The kids will all help prepare the food and pick the games.
Did you notice what is NOT on this list? Black Friday shopping did not make the cut! I am sure there are millions of amazing deals out there, but this year we decided that there is just nothing we need that badly. In fact, I scheduled dentist appointments for the kids that day! We are being very intentional with our family time, and practicing gratitude this Thanksgiving weekend. Shopping for more things, just doesn’t feel like it fits in for us this year.
What things do you have planned to keep your school age kids busy this long weekend? Whatever you have planned, I hope you have a blessed time with family, and loved ones!