Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for families. With fall comes cooler weather, which means more time inside, together! If the weather outside is frightful, hunker down and have some good old fashioned fun with your family using this list of our favorite indoor activities designed to get your family laughing, loving, and sharing, together. So next time you’re stuck inside, join us in celebrating family and give one of these activities a go!
- Write Thanksgiving Thank You’s—On small slips of paper, note the names of everyone who will be sharing your Thanksgiving meal. Sit your family down and have everyone draw a name out of a hat. Using markers, crayons, colored pencils, and stickers, have each person write and decorate a note to the name they drew, thanking them for being a part of their life. Pass the notes out on Thanksgiving Day and watch the smiles spread.
- Give Outgrown Goods a Second Life—Encourage each member of your family to clean out their drawers, closets, and toy chests, tossing the junk and separating items that are in good shape. When weather permits, visit a local family shelter—together—to make your donation; then stop somewhere quiet for a cup of cocoa and a conversation about gratitude.
- Give Game Night a Go—Surprise your family with a drop-everything-and-play game night. Collect everyone’s electronic devices and put them in another room; then, let each family member choose their favorite board or card game. Even preschoolers can get in on the action, with games like Shelby’s Snack Shack and BBQ Blitz!. Light a fire, if you’ve got one, set some snacks out, and just enjoy being together.
- Climb the Family Tree—Gather the gang together and start drafting your very own family tree, going as far back as you’re able. Share a story or two about each family member, and ask your kids to tell you what they can remember about each of the family members they’ve met. Take things a step further with younger ones, and take turns sharing fun and fanciful stories about your great-great-great-great-greats that you make up on the fly.
- Bake & Share—Make something sweet to share with your neighbors! We love the pumpkin chocolate chip muffin recipe below – deliver them while they’re hot!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe
1 ½ cups white wheat flour
½ cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix
4 tablespoons butter, cold
½ tsp salt
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup half-and-half or whole milk
1 ½ tsp vanilla
½ cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 400 and grease your muffin tin.
- Add flour, sugar, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice mix to a food processor (or mix in a bowl).
- Cut putter into a few pieces and add to flower mixture. Pulse (or cut with a pastry knife) until the butter is pea-sized or smaller.
- In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin, half-and-half, egg, and vanilla.
- Mix the pumpkin mixture and the flour mixture, folding until it’s just combined. Add chocolate chips and fold.
- Spoon the mixture into the muffin tin, filling each about half full and sprinkling a bit of sugar on top.
- Back 25 minutes and cool for 10.
- Rub It In—Start a collection of fall leaves – when you’ve got enough for everyone, set out the fall-colored crayons and paper and try some leaf rubbings! When you’re done rubbing, press your favorite leaves between wax paper with a warm iron. Cut out the pressed leaves and the rubbings and staple them, pennant-style, to a long string for a fun, homemade, fall decoration!
What’s your favorite fall family tradition? Let us know in the comments below!