We are hosting our family's Thanksgiving dinner this year, and since we'll have 4 kids in the house, I've been looking for How to Get Family Playing Together on Thanksgiving!
This post may contain affiliate links which means we receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my disclosure for more information.
Get Family Playing Together on Thanksgiving
Laura Haver is a play, happiness and communication expert and the author of the new family activity book Play Together. Play Together is the new go-to guide for family fun featuring over 60 games that promote Family Playing Together through bonding, connection, and growth!
This couldn't come at a better time, and we are loving these Thanksgiving Family Activity Ideas that get Family Playing Together from Laura Haver!
2 Fun Thanksgiving Family Activity Ideas for Family Playing Together
Have a Smile Contest
Duration: 5+ minutes
How to Play:
Have two players stand face to face. Then on the count of three, have each player smile at each other and look into each other’s eyes.
The first person to laugh, look away or stop smiling is out. You can play your Smile Contest as a one-time challenge or a mini tournament.
You can play it last man standing style or, as always, you can set it up however you’d like. Whatever way you choose, I do recommend that you keep the focus centered around smiling, laughing and connecting (rather than on competing).
In addition to smiling, I also like how this game gets people to look directly at each other. Like smiling, eye contact is another great skill that people of all ages can use to build connection and rapport.
And with all the distractions these days, I love creating fun games where players can practice and build these valuable skills, often without even noticing it, as they play.
Create a Family Thanksgiving Journal
Duration: 10+ minutes
I love how this created an annual record of all the things we are most grateful for. Not only does it get everyone thinking about what they are currently grateful for, it also becomes fun to look back on old entries.
It’s also cool as the actual journal itself then becomes a precious keepsake, as it documents a slice of your family’s history, hand-written by each person.
How to Play:
Get a new journal (or some paper) and invite each person at your gathering to write down one or more things they’ve been grateful for over the past year.
To keep it playful, people can write (and read) as little or as much as they’d like. You can also use it as a way to open up conversations on gratitude. Ideally, I recommend dedicating a new journal as your annual Thanksgiving Journal.
Of course, feel free to use whatever you've got. For example, if you don't have a journal, you can use paper and save them in a folder, or you can each write on small slips of paper and store them in a mason jar.
The key is to look for things that you are grateful for, write them down and share about it together.
Once the holiday is over, store your journal with your decorations as it's a handy way to keep track of it and it helps you remember to pull it out in time each year.
Are you interested in more fun activities and games for your family this holiday season?
Check out Play Together: Games & Activities for the Whole Family to Boost Creativity, Connection & Mindfulness, for over 60 screen-free, entertaining and educational games.
Play Together is available on Amazon.com and wherever books are sold!
About the Author
Laura Haver is a play, happiness and communication expert, author, speaker and life design coach. She has helped hundreds of individuals and families to experience more play, growth and inspiration in their lives.
Laura is the founder of Author Moms (a community that connects, supports and inspires fellow writing moms) and Alchemy of Fun (a community for busy women who want to bring more fun, fulfillment and magic into their lives).
She has been featured on the Today Show, CBS, Fox and more. She has over 25 years coaching experience in leadership, life design and tennis (for both children and adults). Laura lives in San Diego with her husband and two sons.
Visit laurahaver.com to learn more.
Published by Hatherleigh Press. Distributed through Penguin Random House.
Available wherever books are sold. www.hatherleighpress.com