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  • Writer's pictureSarah Keeling

Six Simple Ways to Connect with Your Kids this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is coming up, and most of us will have extra time at home with our kids. Here are a few ideas to make the most of that time without wanting to pull our hair out. No intense crafting here. 😊

1. Go on a walk.

Whenever possible, get outside with your kids. Here in Texas, the weather has been amazing. Walks are a great opportunity to look for God in nature, and share that with your kids. Walks are also a great way to sneak in some deep questions for your kids. It seems like our son will participate better while walking and moving versus sitting down together.

Our son also enjoys the Would You Rather” questions. Some are SUPER silly, but others are more serious.

2. Have a dance party.

This one is guaranteed to bring smiles to your kids’ faces. We love to connect my phone to our Bluetooth speaker and turn up the volume loudly! There are also a ton of fun Christian music videos on YouTube.

Here are a few of our favorites:

3. Create an easy gratitude project.

There are lots of creative options for helping our kids offer thanks. I suggest picking something that isn’t going to make you want to pull your hair out afterward. We are simply writing down things we are thankful for on little sheets of cardstock and putting them up on our board in my kitchen.

Here are a couple of other ideas:

- Gratitude Pumpkin – Here’s an easy tutorial for you. All you have to do is write things you are thankful for on a pumpkin.

- Ann Voskamp’s Thanksgiving Tree – Ann created a really cute activity with paper leaves to help kids cultivate gratitude. We attached our leaves to sticks using twine and a hole punch, and displayed them in a vase. I love them so much that I’ve left them on our mantle for years! Sign up on Ann’s website for access to all of her free tools.

4. Read a book together.

I know. This one is obvious. But books are always a great way to spend time with your kids. Just 5 minutes a day of reading together can make a huge difference.

My friend Korrie put together a great list of books that focus on the fall season, and there are some really cute ones!

5. Play with your kids.

Again, I know this sounds super obvious, but I often forget to get down on the floor and play. The sillier the play, the better. The American Association of Christian Counselors suggests 15 minutes a few times a week of uninterrupted play time with your kids. They call it “floor time*,” because you actually get down on the floor.

Let your kids lead this time, and set a timer to help you stay focused. It could be building blocks, imaginary play, dress up, playing a game, etc.

This works for older kids too. Our son loves to wrestle, although he does that mostly with my husband. I have a serious reputation, though, as the Tickle Boss in our family. It’s pretty much guaranteed to bring a smile to his face.

6. Pray with your kids.

I saved the best for last! Hands down, praying is the number one thing that helps me stay connected with our older son. I think that’s because prayer is powerful and unifying. We are talking to God together, which is amazing … and really kind of mind blowing! Even a simple bedtime prayer totally works.

My friends at Raising Prayerful Kids have a ton of great resources to help parents introduce prayer to their kids. I love their prayer journal for kids, Talking with God. It comes in two formats: preschool and elementary. Here’s the link to their website.

If you would like another easy way to pray together, check out my podcast. We offer short, biblically based prayers and meditations for families. Pausing to pray is an easy way for families to connect while eating breakfast, while driving, or really anytime you have 7 minutes to listen together.

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