Monday, November 19, 2007
Posted by Meeta K. Wolff
There are times when we as adults forget one thing in the midst of planning parties or traditional feasts like Thanksgiving and Christmas - the kids. They are certainly not interested in how long the turkey takes to roast or if the tablecloth matches the napkins or if Uncle Harry can or cannot be placed next to Aunt Greta. I am also pretty sure that on Thanksgiving, it's not only the kids that DO NOT want to watch 6 hours of football!
So, how to integrate the children into such family holidays and feasts.
I decided to take a look into my own planning. We celebrate Thanksgiving because it's something I did growing up. My parents believed it was a fantastic way to be thankful for so much - friends, family, food, health. So, ever since I can remember we have been celebrating Thanksgiving.
Although in Germany it's not an official holiday, I am carrying on this tradition for my own son. I invite some of our closest German friends and their families and we spend a wonderful day together. It's something that over the years is so looked forward to by all of my friends. Each one of them brings a little something for our dinner table. Now many of them (me included) have children and we are always looking for ways to integrate them.
It's something I am sure many of you think about and so I thought I would simply share a few things we do.
When I am busy cooking Tom and Soeren always help out. There's plenty to do and one of the things we love is playing a game we call "Peels". The idea is to peel the longest apple, potato or carrot peel, without breaking it. All of us, armed with peelers, get ready to produce the longest peel. The winner then gets to proudly display it at the dinner table for all the guests to admire.
If weather allows it, we all go outside and play a few games. Kids love it when adults simply join in and become "one of them". Here are two games we really love and are sure to have everyone playing in fits of laughter.
Deer & Hunter
Several players of all ages stand in a circle holding hands. The first person, who is the deer, runs around through the circle, ducking under the hands of various players and finally taps a player - the hunter. The hunter then separates from the circle and follows the deer. He has to imitate the exact moves the deer makes.
If the hunter catches the deer, the deer goes into the middle of the circle. But if the hunter doesn't follow the deer's movements exactly, or doesn't catch the deer before it has gone around the circle once, he has to stand in the center of the circle. The game continues until there are too many people standing in the center to be encircled by the remaining players.
I love this game. Pair up the players and get them to link their elbows. Each team is handed a turkey mascot. We normally stuff a brown bag with crumpled newspaper and draw on a face with colored markers (making this mascot can be treated as a separate kids activity). The Turkey mascot has to be held between the two players' heads.
On cue, the pairs try to make their way to the finish line at the far end of the playing field. The first team to get there without dropping their bird or unlinking their arms wins.
Of course the weather outside is not always perfect and so we have a few indoor games we love to play too.
One of my favorites is "Stories". It can get so crazy and funny but at the same time provokes the imagination to great extends. Soeren has become such a funny and great story teller that almost everyone picks him.
Here's how it goes:
Someone starts a story and, after a couple of sentences, points to someone else to continue the story. It's more fun if you go fast. The crazier the story, the better and the more laughs we all have.
So whatever you choose to do over Thanksgiving try and integrate a few fun games to keep not only our little ones smiling, but I promise you the grownups will have a great laugh too. As for those grownup "kids" who prefer to watch 6 hours of football instead joining the fun - well sometimes kids will be kids ;-)
I hope you all have a great week and a Happy Thanksgiving!
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This Post was written by Meeta from What's For Lunch, Honey?