With Thanksgiving right around the corner, most families are gearing up for a weekend of controlled chaos. At one time or another, we have all felt panic from the overwhelming task list that comes with holiday gatherings. It can be difficult to manage making dinner, entertaining family and friends, and spending quality time with the children in our lives—all in a span of 24 hours. Unfortunately, the thing that usually gets dropped from our to-do list is quality time with our children.
However that is the most important item on the list. Spending time with our children, and engaging them in the holiday prep, helps give them the tools and skills they need to time manage in the future. Learning to make decisions about what is needed, and just enjoying time with family are also benefits.
In 3, 2, 1 Fun, we talk with the parents and caregivers about all the different learning opportunities that are available throughout the holidays, and encourage them to include children in the holiday preparations.
Here are a few fun ways to engage your children this Thanksgiving:
Cooking Dinner Together:
Getting your children to help make dinner is a great way to spend quality time with them while teaching them invaluable lifelong skills. Simple tasks like measuring and mixing ingredients allows children to practice fine motor skills, while including math concepts such as numbers, counting, and measuring ingredients.
Making Name Tags / Place Mats / Table Decorations:
Ask your children to help you create seating charts, nametags, and table decorations. This will help them to practice their problem-solving skills, writing skills, fine motor skills, and creativity.
Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt
Go for a walk together and collect leaves, pinecones, sticks, and berries. You can use these to create a beautiful centerpiece for your table. Talk and ask questions about what you see on the walk to incorporate oral language skills, patterns, and imagination.
These are just a few ways to spend quality time with your children over the holidays. If you would like to expand on these ideas, books and rhymes are a great way to have fun while including more early literacy! Some of our book and rhyme recommendations are:
- Dragons Loves Tacos by Adam Rubin
- Cook it Together by Annabel Karmel
- Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson
- Listen, Listen by Phillis Gershator
The Turkeys like to polka,
They polka everyday.
They polka when they work,
And they polka when they play.
Waddle, waddle, waddle, that’s how they go
Waddle, waddle, waddle, putting on a show!
5 Little Ducks
(This is a great rhyme to use when talking about the ducks and geese leaving for the fall)
5 little ducks went out one day,
Over the hills and far away,
Mama duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack,
But only 4 little ducks came back.
(repeat with 4, 3, 2, 1)
No little ducks went out one day,
Over the hills and far away,
Sad Mama duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack”
And all 5 little ducks came running back.
To learn more about the 3, 2, 1, Fun! program in Edmonton, go to the Centre for Family Literacy website