Thursday, November 25, 2010.
Note: This page includes archived materials. It is updated and expanded every year.
Personal Thanksgiving Day Cards
Surprise everyone with a special Thanksgiving card. Below are two designs. Open the file, type the
person's name on the front, and add a personal message inside. Then print and hand deliver. There
are also matching envelopes for each card. Here are the directions for making an envelope.
Quarter-fold card Quarter-fold card
Inside: "Happy Thanksgiving!" Inside: "Wishing you a Thanksgiving with all the
Matching Envelope goodies of the season. Happy Thanksgiving!"
Activity Tip: Have your craft group make a bunch of the cards (without the names or special
messages typed in) and matching envelopes. Bundle several, tie with a pretty ribbon, and give them
as gifts or sell them in your gift shop.
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Thanksgiving Day Doorknob Cards
Surprise everyone, including staff, with a special doorknob card for Thanksgiving. To make them,
follow the simple directions below.
To make them:
1. Click on one of the images above and open the file. Type a special message, poem, or
Thanksgiving blessing on the back. Or, delete our text and leave blank so that you can
handwrite a message or sign after printing.
2. Print on card stock or regular paper. (Regular paper works pretty well since it is folded for
3. Cut out along the outside lines. Fold along the center line. If you're using card stock, trace
down the center line with a dull knife to make a crisp fold.
4. Cut on the angled line in the upper corner and continue to cut around the circle. (Both holes
will be cut at once, which will make them line up perfectly.)
5. Glue the two sides together using a glue stick (which works better than liquid glue).
6. Hang it on a doorknob of someone special.
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Thanksgiving Day Puzzles
• Gobble, Gobble! #1 - challenging word search
• Gobble, Gobble! #2 - easier word search
• Talkin' Turkey #1 - word search with a twist
• Talkin' Turkey #2 - easier version
• Happy Thanksgiving - word search
• Turkey Match - picture matching puzzle
• A-Mazing Turkey - easy maze
• A-Mazing Pilgrim #1 - challenging maze
• A-Mazing Pilgrim #2 - easier maze
• Tom the Turkey Trivia - multiple choice
• Scrambling for Thanksgiving - word unscramble
• Tom Turkey Takes a "Rib"-ing - word puzzle
• There is even a Turkey Dinner Jigsaw Puzzle. (See It's Puzzling for the instructions for making
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Sandwich Cream Gobblers
You will need for each turkey:
• Two Double Stuf Oreo cookies
• Seven pieces of candy corn
• One Whopper candy
• One mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cup
• Black piping gel
• White icing
• Sandwich bag
• Knife and scissors
To make it:
1. Put the Whoppers and the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in the refrigerator to cool. Working
with cold, hard candy makes it easier.
2. Put several tablespoons of white icing into a sandwich bag. Cut a small hole in one corner to
squeeze the icing through.
3. Carefully remove one of the wafers and squeeze a generous amount of white icing onto the
cream filling. Replace the wafer. Insert six pieces of candy corn, pointy side down, into the
icing along one edge of the Oreo to make a fan-like tail. Add more icing "glue" as necessary
to hold the candy corn in place.
4. Use more white icing to "glue" the flat end of the Reese's Cup to the front of the Oreo, placing
it opposite the candy corn and lining it up along the bottom of the cookie.
5. For the turkey head, "glue" the Whopper candy above the Reese's Cup.
6. Cut the white section off of a piece of candy corn and "glue" it in place to make the turkey's
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7. Use the white icing to make two white dots for the turkey's eyes. Use the black piping gel to
8. Put the cookie in the refrigerator so that it gets nice and hard. Then, use lots of icing to stand
the turkey on another Oreo cookie. You might need to prop the cookie up with another object
while the icing hardens.
• Add candy corn wings and/or orange icing feet.
• Add a "wattle" under the "beak" with a little red
• Use just one Oreo for a flat turkey. Add pieces of
pretzel sticks for the legs.
• Make Sugar Cookie Turkeys.
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The Thanksgiving Blessing
~ a short Thanksgiving skit
A young husband, new to his wife's family, is chosen by the imposing matriarch, Grandma Hyder, to
give the Thanksgiving blessing.
Props & Preparations
This skit can be presented as a reading exercise or acted out by
residents/clients or staff. If you decide to plan a short performance:
• Make up a special program. Customize the one we have
prepared with the name of your group (on the front) and your list
of characters, etc. (inside). (Note: Print the program front first.
Then reinsert the paper and print the inside.)
• Make a special sign to advertise your performance.
• Make copies of the script for all your performers and ask them to
highlight their roles.
NOTE to our members outside the U.S. - Change or omit the few
references to America and use the skit for your "thankful" celebrations.
Props and Set
For ACT ONE: a chair and table, paper and pencil, a bell or buzzer (doorbell), armful of clothes,
For ACT TWO: Overcoats for everyone but Grandma Hyder, couch, chairs, a table and lamp
Stephanie, a young bride
Todd, her husband
Harold, Stephanie's father
Marian, Stephanie's mother
Grandma Hyder, Stephanie's grandmother
Stephanie's relatives (These are non-speaking roles - there can be many or just a few.)
Here is a copy of the script in large print. Read it as a short story or put on a Thanksgiving
• Have you ever found yourself in an awkward position, like Todd? What did you do?
• What was it like when you first met your spouse's relatives?
• What are the Thanksgiving traditions of your family?
• For what are you thankful?
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Robbie the Ribbon Turkey
With a little ribbon and a little glue you can create a little turkey to wear or display.
You will need:
• Brown, orange, red, and yellow 3/8-inch wide
• Googly eyes
• Tacky glue or hot glue gun (If using tacky glue, you
will need a few clips to hold the ribbons in place
while the glue dries.)
Print a picture of the finished project for a closer look. Post
a copy of the picture on your bulletin board to create
interest in the activity.
How to make it:
1. Cut the ribbon pieces:
• Three pieces of brown ribbon - one 7 inches long, one 4.25 inches long, and one 3
• Three pieces of orange ribbon - two 3.5 inches long and one 0.5-inch long
• Two pieces of red ribbon - one 3.5 inches long and one 0.5-inch long
• One piece of yellow ribbon - 7.5 inches long
2. Shape the piece of yellow ribbon into a figure 8, creating two loops. Apply a small amount of
glue at the center to hold the loops together.
3. Make loops with the two 3.5 inch pieces of orange ribbon and the one 3.5 inch piece of red
ribbon and glue them in a fan shape (red in the center) to the middle of the yellow loops.
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4. For the body, take the longest piece of brown ribbon and make a figure 8, but create a small
loop (for the head) at one end and a larger loop (for the body) at the other end. Apply a small
amount of glue at the center to hold the loops together.
5. Form single loops with the two remaining pieces of brown ribbon and glue them to the back
side of the body, with the smaller one in the middle. (See photo below.)
6. Glue the body section to the tail section. Make sure to use a little extra glue to seal the edges
so the ribbon doesn't fray.
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7. For the beak, cut a V shape out of the 0.5-inch piece of orange ribbon. Cut a small rectangle
out of the 0.5-inch piece of red ribbon for the turkey's wattle. Glue these onto the head. (See
8. Glue on the turkey's googly eyes to complete the face.
What can you do with Robbie the Ribbon Turkey?
• Napkin rings: Glue an extra loop of ribbon to the back of your
turkey for a festive table setting.
• Hair clips: Glue the turkey to the outside of a barrette or hair
• Brooch: Pin backings can be found in the jewelry section of
most craft stores. Simply glue one to the back of the turkey
and pin it on.
• Magnet: Glue the turkey to a strong magnet.
• Wall hanging or ornament: Attach a small loop on the back
and hang the turkey (or a flock of turkeys) on a branch or
large houseplant to add some holiday decor.
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Thankful for the Movies
Thanksgiving Day Movies
Once the table is cleared and you can't face even attempting to walk off all those calories you just
ingested, why not relax with some Thanksgiving-themed movies?
Probably the best-known Thanksgiving film is Plymouth Adventure (1952), starring Spencer Tracy as
Captain Jones of the Mayflower. Other possibilities include:
(Check for appropriateness for your group.)
Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) - It's a wild and crazy ride
when snobby businessman Neal Page (Steve Martin) has to sit
in coach on a flight home for Thanksgiving with overweight,
loudmouth salesman Del Griffith (John Candy). Things go from
bad to worse when the plane is grounded, and the two share a
room in a cheap motel and then a ride in, you guessed it, a train
and automobile. It is a perfect cast with plenty of chuckles.
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) - Bookended by Thanksgiving
gatherings, Woody Allen's Oscar-winning screenplay tracks the
intertwining loves, tribulations, and neuroses of New York
Dutch (1991) - Dutch Dooley picks up his girlfriend's son from boarding school in Atlanta, and
sets out to drive to Chicago for Thanksgiving. He thinks it's a good chance for them to get
acquainted, but Doyle turns out to be an upper class brat. Their cross-country battles land them in
big trouble and make it doubtful whether they'll ever make it home. Starring Ed O'Neill, Ethan
Randall, and JoBeth Williams.
Scent of a Woman (1992) - Al Pacino landed an Oscar for his blustery performance as Frank
Slade, an abrasive, womanizing, blind drunk who needs someone to look after him when his
family goes away for the long Thanksgiving weekend. The job goes to a young college student
named Charles (Chris O'Donnell), who gets himself in over his head. Unbeknownst to Charles,
Slade, a former Army colonel who lost his sight in a stupid, self-inflicted accident, plans to live out
his fantasies during the weekend and kill himself after his last fling. He whisks Charles off to
Manhattan, rents a room at the Waldorf, and lives it up. Believe it or not, the movie has a touching
and happy ending.
Son-in-law (1993) - L.A.'s funkiest college student, Crawl, is hilariously out of his element when
he spends Thanksgiving at the family farm of a straitlaced fellow student. Starring Pauly Shore,
Carla Gugino, and Lane Smith.
Nobody's Fool (1994) - Paul Newman plays Sully, an upstate New York construction worker who's
been down on his luck, well, all his life. When his son, whom he abandoned as a baby, returns
with his family for the holidays, Sully gets a chance to redeem himself. Jessica Tandy, in her
penultimate role, plays Sully's landlord and former teacher who, beneath a crusty veneer, has a
deep attachment to him.
Home for the Holidays (1995) - Claudia Larson is a divorced single mom who just lost her job and
now has to fly home for the traditional family Thanksgiving in Baltimore. From the plane, she calls
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for reinforcements - and her brother Tommy makes it down from Boston with a little surprise: a
handsome friend named Leo. Between dropping the turkey in their sister's lap and a few fist fights
on the front lawn, Claudia and Tommy recapture their childhood - and Claudia and Leo explore
the sweet possibility of romance. Starring Holly Hunter, Robert Downey, Jr., and Anne Bancroft;
directed by Jodie Foster.
Pieces of April (2003) - A wayward daughter invites her
estranged family to her apartment for Thanksgiving dinner. If
preparing a holiday feast isn't enough pressure, April
discovers that her oven is broken. Starring Katie Holmes,
Patricia Clarkson, and Derek Luke.
For visiting children, show the classic movie A Charlie Brown
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More Thanksgiving Activities & Resources
Posters & Clip Art
Check out our Poster page for a special Thanksgiving poster you
can print and post. There are two different designs, each
available in two different sizes - 8.5" x 11" and 11" x 17".
If you need images for newsletters, calendars, signs, etc., check
out our playful, but sophisticated Thanksgiving clip art.
Play a game of GOBBLE Bingo for Thanksgiving. The cards are
available from Activity Basket for only $9.95. There are 35
different cards (printed on high quality, coated, thick cover stock
paper), along with instructions and game ideas.
Decorations to "Gobble" Up
You will find bulletin board borders to print and the directions for
making a "Paper Bag Turkey" on this month's Decorate &
Thanksgiving Door Decoration
See the "Give Thanks Door Wreath" on this month's Crafter's
Go to our Exercise & Healthy Living page and do an exercise
routine to "The Turkey Trot" and "Turkey in the Straw."
See this month's Music Matters page for the music and history of "Turkey in the Straw."
Make Pilgrim Hat Treats or Turkey Cookies this month. Try this
Thanksgiving Cornbread recipe or the Pumpkin Pie recipes on our
Morsels & More page.
Don't miss the "Turkey Ticklers" on this month's Lighten Up page.
For extra fun, make some "Talking Turkeys" like the ones on our
special Grab Bag page.
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Other Activities & Resources to be "Thankful" For
• Order a copy of Erma Bombeck’s Forever Erma and have fun reading the chapter on "No One
Diets on Thanksgiving." Encourage people who are able to help with the narrating.
• Discuss The History of Thanksgiving and The origin of Thanksgiving.
• Read An Old-fashioned Thanksgiving, one of Louisa May Alcott's short stories.
• Click here to have the group take turns reading aloud a series of short essays written by fifth-
grade students about what Thanksgiving means to them.
• Read books with a "thankful" theme. Suggestions: Radical Gratitude: Discovering Joy Through
Everyday Thankfulness, Ellen Vaughn; Thankfulness, Susan Lutz.
• Learn How to Draw a Turkey.
• Watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade together.
• Check out this Thanksgiving page for more.
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