Family activities for Thanksgiving at the cottage

By Liann Bobechko »Liann Bobechko

October 5th, 2010

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Fall weekends at the cottage are glorious, but without the option of all-day swimming, you may find the kids are as restless as the leaves. In my books, you still can’t beat a walk in the woods to take in the fall colours and get the beans out.

But with the long weekend being, well, long, it’s wise to have some new tricks up your sleeve. Here are some Thanksgiving activities you might want to try when the kids are squirrely, or the parents going nuts.

1. Play Turkey Tag: Have a flock of kids on hand? Try this game for hilarious fun. You’ll need  brightly coloured t-shirts or small towels, enough for more than half of the group. Anyone who doesn’t have one is a FOX. Those that have them are TURKEYS. Turkeys tuck the shirts or towels into the back of their waistband so its secure, but so their “tail” hangs out enticingly. The Foxes try to grab the tail from the Turkeys, and if they succeed, then tuck the tail into their own waistband and become Turkeys. Turkeys try to keep their tails away from the Foxes. And the best part? Turkeys have to “gobble gobble gobble” while the game is on.

2. Make Stained Glass Turkeys: Have the kids collect colourful leaves in a variety of shapes and lay them out in the shape of a turkey on a piece of waxed paper. Cover with another piece of waxed paper and (adults only, please!) iron between sheets of newspaper. Hang it in the window and let the sun shine through!

  • Variation: Cut out the shape of a turkey (or a pumpkin) in a piece of cardboard. Trace the shape onto another piece and cut out. Open the pieces up, like you’re opening a sandwich, and glue colourful tissue paper over the hole on one piece of the “bread”. Then add glue to the other “piece of bread,” and close the sandwich back up. When it’s dry, hang your stained glass in the window.

3. Go Pumpkin Bowling: Set up a bowling alley on a flat peice of ground. Use plastic bottles for pins (you can put rocks or freeze water in the bottom). Choose pumpkins to match the size of your bowlers.

4. Rubber boot pentathlon: Here are some events to get you started, or add your own and have a decathalon! Each competitor needs a pair of rubber boots.

  • Gumboot gallop: Who can run the fastest in their rubber boots?
  • A far flung wellie: All competitors stand in a line and each in turn try to kick your  boot off your foot as far as you can. Farthest boot wins.
  • Tipsy boot: All competitors take off one rubber boot and perch on the other foot for as long as you can. To up the ante, try balancing your removed boot on your head.
  • Standing boot jump: This is the standing broad jump in your wellies.
  • Fisherman’s crabwalk: Everyone must do the crabwalk (hands and feet on the ground, belly up) from start line to finish line in their rubber boots. First one there wins.

Send me pictures from the weekend (to—I’d love to see the antics you get up to, and also any shots you take of the fall colours.

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Liann Bobechko