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Fun ways to incorporate turkey into Thanksgiving

Source: Heather Norman Burgdolf, assistant extension professor for food and nutrition and David Weisenhorn, senior extension specialist for parent and child development

Due to the pandemic, you may find yourself staying closer to home this Thanksgiving. You may see fewer extended family members and maybe even eat a scaled-down meal. This meal may or may not include turkey—the usual Thanksgiving staple. But you can still find unique, fun ways to include turkey in the day.

Here are some ideas to get you thinking outside of the box about turkey this year. These activities are ways you can celebrate the holiday at home with your immediate family or share with your extended family over video conferencing apps.

• Get crafty. All ages can enjoy making a turkey-themed craft. The craft can be as simple as making a turkey by tracing your hand on a piece of paper. Use your thumb for the head and transform your other fingers into feathers. You can order many turkey-themed crafts online from a craft store or you can find tons of crafting ideas on social media sites for all ages and abilities.

• Get moving. During a normal year, some communities will have a race to mark the holiday. These “turkey trots” can be easily made into family competitions and give us some physical activity during a traditional big eating day. You can choose a shortened race with your immediate family members or make it a friendly competition with family members across the country through video conference.

• Spend time in nature. Take a nature walk and call it a turkey hunt. On your hunt, look for things like sticks, leaves and acorns. You may even see a wild turkey. This can be a fun activity for young children.

• Make and eat a different kind of turkey. If you have a turkey or Thanksgiving-related cookie cutter, now is the time to dust it off and put it to work. If you have children, allow them to help you make and decorate turkey-themed cookies. Not only is this a great way to spend time as a family, but it can teach children important skills like measuring, fractions and how to read a recipe.

• Read. Reading books about turkeys or the history of Thanksgiving is a great way to promote literacy and educate your children about the holiday. If your public library is open, you can check out turkey-themed books or you can find plenty of Thanksgiving-related articles online.

For more information, contact the Letcher County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

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