By Samantha Witthuhn, Groove Contributor
Spoiler Alert! It’s Thanksgiving week.
November first was practically yesterday and, just like that, people are braving the crowds to go bird shopping for Thursday’s feast.
Not only do we have a few days off to celebrate with our families, but school’s out, the kids are home and suddenly you’ve got to-do’s coming out your ears! While, sadly, we can’t check off some of those items on your list, we can help you make the most out of those moments guaranteed to eat up time this Thanksgiving break.
Behold! Three surefire activities to help you and your kiddos create some long-lasting memories this Thanksgiving.
Let’s start with our most common household haunt: the living room.
1. This week, when you and the fam are living room loungin’ consider energizing your couch time with this fun Family Mad Lib!
As an alternate to TV, this Family Mad Lib (provided below) can turn Nick Jr. zombies into theatrical performers for the whole family. Just spend a few minutes asking your kids to choose between different words in the Mad Lib. Once the words are selected, gather the family in the living room for the show. After shouting “Lights! Camera! Action!” narrate the story as your child acts it out in front of the group.
The beauty of this activity is the fact that everyone can participate! By choosing new words, every family member can act out their own original performance each time the story is read.
Shhhhh! This activity also helps kids practice creativity by getting them active - moving their bodies to mimic the storyline. It also provides kids with a fun opportunity to reinforce their literary comprehension - building characters, understanding plot lines, and following narrations.
Try it out after dinner this week and make some moviestar memories right on your living room floor, or for the purpose of this activity, stage!
One thing you’re sure to undergo this Thanksgiving is the wonder of waiting. Waiting for guests to arrive, waiting for food to cook, waiting at the grocery store check out, and for those courageous souls, waiting in the utter pandemonium we call Black Friday lines.
2. This week, turn waiting into wads of fun with this silly Turkey Sing-A-Long.
Over the next few days, we encourage you to take advantage of those menial moments in line with this short sing-a-long. As goofy as it may feel, sing-a-longs like this allow kids opportunities to learn about rhythm and give them a space to practice gross- and fine-motor skills by moving their hands and bodies in ways outside the norm.
For this Thanksgiving, learn the sing-a-long below and do it a few times to get the hang of it. Then, speed it up and sing it as fast as you can! Do the opposite and try to sing it as slowly as possible. Try it in a whisper. And if you really want to make a memory, try it as loud as you can! For those advanced vocalists, turn it into a round with your family and see how long you can keep it going, or attempt to sing it backwards.
There are many ways to turn something as simple as a sing-a-long into a goofy memory that might have otherwise been spent staring at your phone, wondering how much longer.
Thanksgiving usually ends one way - on the floor, with your belly up, pondering why you went for a fifth helping of mashed potatoes.
3. This week, make the best of your Thanksgiving food coma with a relaxing meditation focused on warm thoughts.
Thanksgiving is about family, food and feeling fortunate. Giving thanks and expressing gratitude for the special people in your life. While nurturing your full stomach, turn on this two-minute meditation and reflect on your life with some warm thoughts.
Listen and follow along to the recording and talk about the things you are grateful for with your family after dinner or before bed.
There’s no better way to end your Thanksgiving day than by embracing a relaxing reflection with the best part of your life: your kids.
As quick as it arrived, Thanksgiving will be over. While this may just be the start of your Thanksgiving week, these surefire activities are bound to build memories filled with laughter, songs and love for years to come. Try them out, enrich your holidays, and make those small moments count.
You got this.