Thanksgiving is a great day filled with family, fun, and food. It is also a day that children can practice therapy skills throughout the entire day! Below are a few suggestions to incorporate therapy activities into the day without children realizing the new skills they are practicing and learning.
Turkey Trot races have become a tradition over the years to burn those calories that we consume at dinner. Why not have a Turkey Trot for at home for your family? You can do relay races and practice gross motor skills. It’s a fun way to get the family active! There are many ways to have a relay race, so get creative with the types of races. Use a larger room in the house, such as the basement or living room. If it is nice, take the races outside! A few suggestions are below. Write the activities on pieces of paper, and have the kids take turns picking them out of the jar.
Turkey Trot Ideas
- Crab walk
- Bear walk
- Frog jumps
- Walk on tiptoes
- Walk backward
- Fly like a turkey: Run while flapping your arms, as if you are flying.
Once the races are over, it’s time to prepare the meal. Encourage your kids to help! It is a great way for them to learn how to follow directions, learn about measurements, strengthen their arms, and expose them to different foods.
Side Dishes Kids Can Help Make
- Mash the potatoes: Allow the children to use a fork to mash the potatoes. It is great heavy work and good for strengthening the hands and arms.
- Pumpkin pie filling: Have the children help with stirring the pumpkin pie filling before it is put in the crust. If you make the crust from scratch, have them mix that too!
- Dinner rolls: Children can help measure the ingredients, mix them together, and knead the dough. For older children, they can practice their planning skills by reading the recipe and gathering all of the necessary ingredients.
Finally, it’s meal time!
Have the children try all of the food that is prepared. If they are hesitant to eat a certain food, try some of the following:
- Encourage them to touch the food with their fingers.
- Allow them to play with it. They can use their fingers to draw pictures, make lines, write letters, etc. It is okay to get messy!
- As they become more comfortable, encourage them to kiss the food so that they get some of the flavors on their lips.
- Have them watch you and others eating that food.
- They may be more willing to try once they are more comfortable with the food.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday celebrated with family and friends. Use these activities to incorporate therapy into any part of the day!