5 Ways to Keep Kids' Brains Busy over Thanksgiving Break

Let's be honest: Thanksgiving is a time to relax (and eat, and eat). That's why we love it. Kids deserve a break as much as anyone, but that doesn't mean that learning has to stop completely. Here are five easy ways to keep their minds active and have fun at the same time.

1. Cook with your kids

Not only is cooking together a great way to reconnect with your kids, it also involves a lot of counting, measuring and timing, which is great math practice. Want some tips? Check out these suggestions from PBS Parents.

2. Read a great book

There’s plenty of time over the Thanksgiving break to hit the couch with some hot chocolate and a good book. If you have kids of different ages or are on the road, try listening to an audio book together. Many public libraries now allow you to download audiobooks online.

3. Get outside

Find a park and play flag football. Go for a run. Take a walk or a hike. Jump in some leaves. Don’t just send your kids out to play – go with them. Fresh air is good for grownups, too.

4. Visit a museum 

Some museums offer free family days over the break; others may offer discounted rates. You can also check your local library for passes that you can check out.

5. Write a thank you letter

It’s Thanksgiving, after all. Who are your kids thankful for? Encourage them to write a short letter or make a card to send to that person. It's a great way to practice some writing—and make someone else's day.

5 Fun Thanksgiving Facts to Share with Your Kids

Although the first Thanksgiving took place in 1621, Thanksgiving was not officially celebrated until 1863 (nearly 250 years later), when Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November "a national day of thanksgiving."

The first Thanksgiving probably didn't include turkey. But ducks, geese, deer and seafood were likely on the menu.

Today, Americans consume an estimated 46 million turkeys at Thanksgiving. The average weight of a Thanksgiving turkey is 15 pounds.

Turkey doesn’t actually make you sleepy: Don’t believe what you hear about tryptophan. If you’re sleepy after the big meal, it’s probably just because of all that food or an extra glass of wine.

Thanksgiving leftovers inspired the TV dinner: What else was the Swanson company going to do with 260 tons of extra frozen turkey?