Thanksgiving Activities For Kids

The best way to teach your child the meaning of Thanksgiving is to include him in your preparations for the big feast. You might want to give him some cooking tasks to do alongside of you in the kitchen, and while you work together, you can talk to him about what the holiday means to you. Mother/child togetherness, combined with some warm conversation can go a long way toward investing your child with the holiday spirit.

Kinesthetic Intelligence

Another way to bring home the lessons of the holiday is to give your child a craft or project that utilizes holiday themes and can be used at the Thanksgiving table. Working with media appeals to your child's kinesthetic intelligence—the part of him that learns by doing. Aside from the actual work on the project which is fun and meaningful, make sure he gets a dose of praise from your guests for his beautiful work of art. Positive feedback will help him build a store of good Thanksgiving memories that will help him to always see the holiday in a warm light.

First Feast

While you work on these projects, discuss with your child the first Thanksgiving feast which took place in 1621. The guests were a mixture of pioneers and Native Americans. The menu likely included corn, cabbage, onions, turnips, carrots, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, goose, duck, fish, deer, and of course, turkey. Deer probably held pride of place at that meal, trumping today's choice of turkey as the main course. The first celebration took place over a period of three days and was meant to celebrate a successful harvest, unity, and freedom.

A baked cornucopia centerpiece, created out of bread dough, is a symbol of our recognition that our tables are graced with plenty.

Cornucopia Centerpiece

What you'll need:

*Frozen bread dough

*1 egg white, beaten with fork to mix

*Heavy duty aluminum foil

*Cooking spray

*Pastry brush

*Cookie sheet

*Cake rack

1) Roll and shape large sheet of heavy foil so that it resembles a large cone. Twist the end of the cone to create a horn shape. Spray foil with a generous amount of cooking spray, place on cookie sheet.

2) Roll bread dough out into a large rectangle. Use a sharp knife to cut rectangle into 10 strips, each approximately 1 1/2" wide. Starting at the narrow end of the cone, wrap the strips of dough around, pinching ends together where necessary. Overlap the strips of dough so that no foil peeks through. When the entire cone is covered, take remaining dough strips and braid them. Use the braid to decorate the edge of the cone.

3) Brush egg white all over bread dough with the aid of the pastry brush. Allow dough to rise for 20 minutes, preheating oven to 350 degrees after the first ten minutes.

4) Bake cornucopia for 25 minutes, then cover with foil and bake a further 20 minutes. Place cookie sheet on cake rack and allow cornucopia to cool completely.

5) Remove foil. Place in the center of your holiday table and fill with fruits and vegetables that evoke the season.