Thanksgiving is all about gathering with family and friends, enjoying hearty food and giving thanks for the good in your life. Instead of simply sending the children in the family off to enjoy pumpkin pie at the kiddie table, this year set up a scavenger hunt for the kids to offer them a fun activity while teaching them how to express and give thanks for the things they can be grateful for in their lives.
Put a Feather In It
This Thanksgiving scavenger hunt will involve making a visual representation of all that the kids have to be thankful for this year by having them create a feather loaded turkey together. Though a little preparation will be needed, it’s simple enough to make. First, you will have to either construct a paper turkey out of colored paper or you can find an image and print out a page-sized turkey. Then create separate colorful paper feathers. If you need help to create feather shapes, turn to the Internet for simple how-tos or printable patterns. Keeping in mind the number of riddles your hunt will have and the number of children that will be participating, cut out a feather for each child at each hidden location.
Now create some simple clues that send the children to various locations in and around your home, weather permitting. Using Riddle Me’s prepared clues, or even family-themed trivia-based clues, printout clue cards that the kids will need to read, solve and follow. At each hidden location, place the next clue card, an envelope with a feather for each child, and a marker.
While the adults are preparing the final touches on the feast and catching up on family news that’s happened throughout the year, designate someone to help the children begin their scavenger hunt. As a group, the children will receive their first clue and head towards the first hidden location. Once they arrive at the first clue, have them each take a paper feather and instruct them to think about people and events that they are thankful to have in their life. Tell them this can be anything from their friends to having a successful outcome with a challenge they’ve had or even the challenge itself being a learning experience for them. You can use this moment to teach the kids that you can be thankful for both the positive and negative things you experience through the year because both your successes and mistakes can point you in the right direction.
Once each child has given some thought to what they’re thankful for this year and has written it on their feather, have them solve their next riddle. Again, repeat the same thought experiment having the kids think about what they have in their lives and what matters to them. At the last hidden location, the children will meet their turkey and work together to glue their feathers on him. Once he’s all filled out with their feathers, put the turkey on display and let the children and family break bread together.
Climb the Family Tree
If you have a large family that meets to feast together on this special day, but otherwise lives away from one another, a fun and simple Thanksgiving scavenger hunt that can help provide some easy entertainment for those who are less interested in the parades and football games on TV is a simple get-to-know-each-other type of hunt.
This style of scavenger hunt requires minimal set-up time and limited prior knowledge of your extended family. Simply do a search online for icebreakers and you can create a simple one-page printout that prompts hunters to find people who have done certain things in their lives. Some examples include someone who’s flown in a hot air balloon, someone who wore braces or someone who failed their driver’s license test the first time around. You can also throw in a few Thanksgiving-related items like someone who has baked pie crust from scratch, someone who has been in a holiday parade or someone who used to play high school football.
The hunt simply involves going around and finding a relative or friend who fits the description. Extra points and an extra piece of pie go to the person who has the most blanks filled in and for having the largest variety of friends and family members represented on the printout.
The Horn of Plenty
Teach children the history of the holiday with a scavenger hunt for the kids that involves solving clues and hunting for the bounty of the harvest to fill their cornucopias. To prepare for the hunt, determine how many teams will be participating. If you have cornucopias, you can use the real deal and have the children search for actual fruits, vegetables, and nuts to fill it. If you don’t have this specialty item in your home, no problem. A paper representation of the cornucopia and the harvest items can easily be created.
Next, using the Riddle Me program, create riddle cards that direct the children to different locations throughout the house and yard where they will have to search for various food items to fill their cornucopias. Again, hiding either the real food item or a paper representation, have the kids search for the typical fare associated with the season like an ear of corn, a sweet potato, an apple, a walnut and maybe even a small pumpkin or squash. Along with each hidden food, include a little lesson that teaches something about the significance of the item or perhaps how it’s grown or when it’s harvested, along with a riddle that points the kids in the direction of their next hidden item.
As the kids harvest their items and complete the hunt, they can fill their cornucopias to the brim and share why they are happy for the abundance of food that can be grown from the land. This is a simple hunt to get the little ones learning about the significance of the day and teaching them to give thanks for the basic necessities of life.
Thanksgiving offers a good time to get children involved in fun scavenger hunts while everyone is preparing the meal, relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. To start your fun, order now!
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