6 Thanksgiving Activities The Entire Family Will Enjoy

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and it's traditionally a time to gather together with family and friends around the dinner table. But what about the rest of the time? Here are some fun activities the entire family can play:

1) Charades

This old-fashioned parlor game dates back to the early 1800's and is well known. The group should be divided into two teams, which each side coming up with tv, movie or book titles for the other team to act out. Each contestant is given a certain amount of time (usually three minutes maximum) to act out their assignment. After everyone from each team has gone, winners are the ones with the least amount of cumulative time at the end of the game. And Shhhh! No speaking! (illustration by Stephen Sweney)

2) Pumpkin Roll

If the weather is looking good, you can plan for a fun Pumpkin Roll outdoors. Be prepared by having several medium size, fairly round pumpkins on hand, and a variety of long, sturdy sticks. Folks line up and push the pumpkin with the stick to the finish line. Hilarity ensues!

3) Man Hunt

Another fun outdoor activity if the weather holds out, and most fun played at night. One person is "The Hunter." Everyone else runs and hides. As the person who is the Hunter finds others, they become part of the hunting team and look for the hunted. The person found last wins. (A variation on this theme with a large group is to have two teams, the hunters and the hunted. The hunters should wear bandanas or another marker to identify them. IF the hunting team cannot find everyone on the hunted team, the hunted team wins. If they do find everyone, they win.)

4) Stringing Cranberries and Popcorn

Provide a piece of long, sturdy thread about three feet long, knotted at one end, to each participant, along with a strong sewing needle. Large bowls of raw cranberries and popped popcorn can be quickly turned into lovely bird feeders to string on the trees outside after dinner. (Alternatively you can buy flexible green wire and use that to string the cranberries, without a needle! Be sure to knot one end.)

5) Proust Questionnaire by Vanity Fair

What could be more fun than the famous Proust Questionnaire, most popularized on the back pages of Vanity Fair magazine and answered by celebrities. You can print out several copies of the questions and have everyone fill them out (named or anonymously), and then read them aloud. Or, more fun, one person can play host and go around the room asking the questions one by one; the answers spark lively discussion!

6) Jan Brett's Free Coloring Pages

Children's author Jan Brett has a website that includes enchanted line drawings ready for printing and coloring, including Thanksgiving placements.

Enjoy your family while you have them gathered 'round. That's what the holidays are for! Happy Thanksgiving!

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