It’s only 31 days until Thanksgiving, friends. Not that I’m counting or anything. But I’m already drooling at the thought of the pumpkin pie. (I think my mom has been baking some sort of addictive substance into her pies for years. It’s a clever way to keep us all coming home for the holidays.)
Maybe it’s these thoughts of the holidays approaching, or maybe it’s just the official onset of a midlife crisis, but for whatever reason, lately I’ve grown a bit nostalgic about my kids.
These days, my son can almost look at me eye-to-eye: And I wistfully look back to days when we’d curl up in a chair and read books together before afternoon naps. My daughter tackles multiplication problems at the kitchen table now, and I fondly remember the way she used to dance around to preschool songs while she watched me cooking supper.
When did they get so big? And why do kids have to grow up, anyway?
(Oh yeah, now I remember: Little kids are so. much. endless. work. I got a text from a friend earlier this week that said “Just got peed on by my son. Better add a shower to my to-do list.” That kinda killed my sentimentality for awhile.)
Well, if you combine my general love for all things Thanksgiving with the recent round of nostalgia, you end up with this: I wrote up a sweet little thanksgiving scavenger hunt for young kids. My own children will probably raise eyebrows if I try to pull out this kind of activity at Thanksgiving festivities, but I’m guessing many of you moms and grandmas have some littles who’d love to play this gratitude game!
I may be past the little-kid stage of parenting, but I do remember this: You have to come up with something to keep those kids from driving you crazy while you wait for the turkey to bake! Why not send them on a scavenger hunt while you sip a cup of coffee and chat like an adult?
I know. I know. You’re now salivating at the idea of a few kid-free minutes during the holiday festivities, aren’t you? But all joking aside, the thing I really love about this little scavenger hunt is this: It’s designed to help your family gather together and truly reflect on your blessings. You send the kids out to gather up the clues, but you read them all together as a family and enjoy some sweet time truly thanking God.
And of course, it’s a completely free download. Yay, right? All you have to do is print off the clues at home, read through the instructions below, and you’ll be all set for a little family fun. Whether you do this scavenger hunt on the actual holiday, or you just use if for some random family fun, I hope this little resource helps gratitude shine in your family’s heart.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
(Now quick: Go enjoy a moment of peace while your kids are searching for the clues!)
Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt Instructions
1. Download and print the Scavenger Hunt files from this post. (See blue box below) If you have cardstock on hand, it would be helpful (but not necessary) to print the first 3 sheets on stronger paper, since they will be used to make little pocket envelopes for the clues.
2. Cut the first three sheets into 12 separate rectangles (Labeled “Clue #1” through “Clue #12”). Fold each rectangle in half and staple the two side edges closed, leaving the one long edge open at the top.
3. Cut the next 2 sheets into 12 separate clues (each sheet has 6 scavenger hunt clues on it). Fold each clue in half and slip into the little “pocket envelopes” you created in Step 2. (And there’ll be a little extra room in the envelopes if you want to slip in a few candy corns or something sweet.)
4. Hide the 12 clues in various places around the house. (Keep the final, full-size clue on hand for the end of the scavenger hunt. Or roll it up like a scroll and hide it as a “super clue” for the kids to find!)
5. Send the kids out to find all the clues. Tell them not to open clues, but to simply bring them back to your meeting point.
6. When all 12 clues have been gathered, take turns opening them up, reading the clues, and answering each question together as a family. (Alternative: For very young children with short attention spans, you might want to open and read each clue as they find them so they will have a little bit of “hunting” time between each clue.)
7. When all the clues have been read and discussed, read the final large “clue.” Encourage your kids to memorize the verse from Psalm 118:1.
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