Thanksgiving: Meaning, traditions, and interesting ideas for kids!

Last Updated: November 19, 2022

Thanksgiving is an annual National holiday celebrated in the United States and Canada. The original thanksgiving meal happened in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621. The festival originated as a day of conveying gratitude to mother Earth for the godsend of harvest and celebrating other blessings of the preceding year. As time went by, it became a perpetual tradition along with a means for families to gather over nicely planned dinners as a practiced ritual. In the present times, it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada.

The importance of Thanksgiving 

Thanksgiving is one of the most important holidays in America. It is because people believe it brings happiness, blessings, and prosperity into people’s lives. The families and friends get together, spend quality time, and express gratitude. This activity is associated with greater happiness as it manifests good experiences and invigorates relationships. Thanksgiving teaches us to focus on the positive aspects of life and count our blessings. To have a happier view of life, we should always remind ourselves of the gifts life has bestowed and offer gratitude for all the bright moments and precious people in our lives. 

Classic Thanksgiving dinner

At Thanksgiving dinner, some quintessential dishes symbolize the festive spirit of the festival. The traditional menu consists of mouth-watering dishes like roast turkey, mashed potatoes, Yam sides, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, green beans, stuffed turkey, pumpkin pie, rolls, gravy, etc. One of the most popular dinner menus, traditional thanksgiving dishes are cooked by almost every family. However, due to the popularity of food trends, people also experiment with different flavors and recipes for these popular dishes. An old-time favorite, these dishes are the perfect feast to feed everybody at all-night-long celebration parties. 

Fun things to do on Thanksgiving

When you think about Thanksgiving, the first thought that occupies the mind is about eating savory dishes. But Thanksgiving is more than that! To amp up the celebratory mood and liven up the festivities, everybody needs to whip up a list of crazy activity ideas to make Thanksgiving reminiscent. The members whose forte is not planning and preparing dishes can become in charge of bringing a fun quotient into the celebrations. 

Here are some of our favorite Thanksgiving ideas to fill Turkey Day with memories. 

  1. Watching family-friendly movies (Cliche and classic!)

Nothing stirs up emotions the way movies do. It is one of the most entertaining activities that appeal to adults and children alike. Some easy crowd-pleasing movies like Addams family values, A Winnie the pooh Thanksgiving, Garfields’ Thanksgiving, etc., are the best to forge peace among everybody participating in the turkey day feast. There are plenty of children-friendly movies that you can watch to celebrate the festive spirit of the most food-filled day of the year. 

  1. Thanksgiving Bingo

Before you fall into a food coma from all that binge eating, bring together your family members and induce a sense of friendly competitiveness. Engage in a fun bingo session to amp up the celebration mood. To spice things up, keep an enticing reward for the winner. There are many options for bingo printables that can engage adults and kids equally and help them make the most of thanksgiving downtime.

  1. Pie-eating contest

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, kids and adults wait with baited breaths to eat traditional delicacies. A large portion of people advocates for pumpkin pies when asked for their favorite dessert. So, why not take some appetizing advantage of their love for pumpkin pies? Families, whether kids or adults, can relish scrumptious pumpkin pies in the form of a competitive game. To make it more interesting, keep an anticipatory reward for the winner.

  1. Thanksgiving scavenger hunt

Want to bring some action to your Thanksgiving celebrations? Organize a scavenger hunt contest for all the family members. A simple scavenger hunt game requires a list of specific items relating to the Thanksgiving theme to be sought by family members. The game can be played with adults teaming up with kids to find the maximum number of things on the list. Capture all the objects on your camera in a photograph and return to the starting base. The team who captures the highest number of objects in the minimum time wins and gets the reward. 

  1. Wreath crafting

A crafty Thanksgiving activity that will appeal to kids. The fun part about this activity is that along with getting the creative juices flowing, it also doubles as decor for Thanksgiving celebrations once the kids complete their craft sessions. Just purchase a wreath from your local store and decorate it by giving your personalized aesthetic touch. Both adults can kids can enjoy this Thanksgiving activity and be proud of their creative results.

  1. Pie-swap

A perfect Thanksgiving activity to show gratitude to people that mean a lot to you. This activity requires all the friends to bake mini pies of their flavor choice. Then, to host a pie-swap party, choose a place where you can gather all the pies. To add entertainment to this ceremony, make people draw numbers blindfolded to decide the number of pies they can take home after the conclusion of the big turkey day feast. This activity is a creative way of savoring different kinds of pies without worrying about repetitive pie flavors. 

  1. Connect with extended families

What are festivals without the love of families? All the family members, who are near your or staying afar in another country, deserve your love and attention. Thanksgiving is one of those perfect opportunities when adults and kids can connect with their extended families to show gratitude and appreciation for their selfless love and support and celebrate the spirit of the family bond. 

  1. Thanksgiving cards & letters

A perfect Thanksgiving activity for kids! To commemorate their connection with family and friends, kids can create cards with thoughtful messages and gift them to their loved ones. Along with kids, adults can also participate in this heartfelt activity and write letters to show appreciation and celebrate the close bonds formed over the years. Crafting cards and writing letters with one’s own hands add a more personalized touch to the gifts and make them more meaningful. 

  1. Photo albums

To conclude the turkey day feast perfectly, parents and kids can cozy up on the couch and watch the photo albums. Nothing is better than reminiscing old memories and sharing them with kids. This activity help kids know their parents’ childhood and get a sneak peek at how they were as children. Not only this, but parents can also share the fondest memory they have of their children to show their love and appreciation for their children.  

Festival celebrations similar to Thanksgiving

Many countries convey their gratitude to the heavens above and the people around them in their way. Here’s how they show their gratefulness. 

  1. Chuseok

Also known as Hangawi, Chuseok is one of the biggest annual holidays in South Korea. Koreans show gratitude and pay homage to their ancestors by visiting ancestral graves and performing memorial services. Families gather and celebrate this festival by preparing traditional dishes, feasting, playing folk games, etc. 

  1. Homowo

The Ga people of Ghana celebrate Homowo to honor the harvest. The meaning of Homowo means to take jibes at hunger. To initiate the festivities, people get together, plant some maize saplings, feast on traditional delicacies and perform a dance called Kpanlogo. Other ethnic groups also join to contribute and enjoy the celebrations altogether.

  1. Kinrō Kansha no Hi

Through this day, the Japanese people convey their gratitude and show appreciation for the ample harvest and hard work of people. It is an annual public holiday that is celebrated on 23rd November each year. Families celebrate this festival by organizing get-togethers while employers congratulate their employees for their services. Kids often prepare cards and letters for service providers like police, firefighters, coast guards, etc.

  1. Sukkot

It is a traditional Israeli festival that is celebrated to convey gratitude to god for the blessings of adequate harvest and natural resources. During the seven-day festival, people eat their meals in the Sukkah (Singular for Sukkot), a temporary hut made of palm, willow, and myrtle branches. Israeli people celebrate humanity and display their faith in the almighty through his festival.

  1. Vasant Panchmi

It is an Indian festival celebrated 40 days in advance of the onset of spring. Also known as Saraswati pooja, Indian people celebrate this festival to celebrate the offerings like crops, flowers, etc., that the spring season will bring. People celebrate this festival by wearing yellow clothes and worshipping the goddess Saraswati by making various offerings. Different cultures in India celebrate this festival in their unique traditional way. 

Hapy Thanksgiving!  🙂

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