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After the meal has been eaten and the last of the leftovers stowed in the fridge, we host a Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt. It helps us burn off some calories and keeps the kids occupied for 20 minutes or so. You could also do it before the meal.
We divide all the kids up into groups (an assortment of ages and talent) and provide a prepared list of items for them to find. The team that collects the most items in the shortest amount of time wins a prize (usually candy or some Thanksgiving trinket). We always try to include some easy and unusual items and allow the teams to get creative in their interpretation of the list, which make it more fun!
Here are some items we've placed on the list in years past:
Corn: cans of corn, Indian corn or a page town out of a coloring book have all been received in the past, as has a corn cob pipe!). Potato: the neighbors are used to us knocking on their doors by now, haha! Nuts, leaves (specify variety, color or number), twigs (shaped like letters of the alphabet, specific length, etc), sand (we live by the river), a photo of (you name it), we like to have the team standing by a specific "landmark", etc.(good use for the teenagers cell phones), mushroom, acorn, feather, pumpkin (again canned works!), piece of litter, things that can be found in a guy's pocket or a ladies purse (chapstick, bobbypin, receipt), coin dated 2009 or a specific state quarter, etc.
My favorite is putting a turkey on the list and having their team select grandpa to fulfill their requirement! Make it specific to your neighborhood or yard.
Everyone has a good time and it is always good for a laugh! After the winner has been determined, enjoy your pie. Be sure to take a lot of pictures! This has become a tradition for our family!
By Diana from Prospect, KY
The turkey is stuffed, the pies are baked, and the places are set. Now all that's left is filling the time between when the guests arrive and the bird is carved. Try some of these fun and free activities for the entire family to do before (or even after) the meal.
Try some order to the decoration. Have each person decorate his/her place setting. Draw placemats at the seats and have each person sign his/her name and decorate the "placemat." If you're brave, purchase a plain cloth tablecloth and Sharpie markers. Then, ask each guest to sign the tablecloth and write what he/she is thankful for or a message to the hostess. It'll make a nice keepsake for each year, and it can be washed without losing the signatures. (If only the same could be said about the gravy stain!)