Marking your kids' heights in a doorway is the classic way to show how they've grown, but this chart, complete with remember-when snapshots, is so much cuter.
How it's done: Cut a 72- by 8-inch length of kraft or butcher paper, then hang it on the wall using poster tape. Adhere two strips of measuring-style duct or masking tape down the center (we used the Scotch Expressions brand). Add round stick-on labels to show the foot increments. Mark heights with a permanent marker, then write (or let each child write) the name and date on tape or a page-marking label and stick it by the mark. Attach a corresponding photo with a paper clip. Add heights from earlier years, along with your favorite old pics.
This family-created artwork makes a colorful memento of all the guests at your turkey dinner. (Just make sure to have wipes handy so no one has to eat their meal with inky fingertips.) It's also a lovely present for grandparents. Pull it together on the sly when all the cousins are gathered for Thanksgiving—and save it to give during the holidays.
How it's done: Lightly pencil a simple shape onto a large piece of watercolor or other sturdy white paper (we made a heart, but a leaf, star, or tree is nice, too). Lightly trace a guideline or two below your drawing, then write guests' names along it with a marker. When family members arrive, ask them to choose a stamp-pad color and make scattered fingerprints inside the shape, as well as one just above their name. After the big day is over, frame your new artwork.
Let kids match memories to each other with a personalized concentration game. Perfect to play on Thanksgiving!
How it's done: List 27 things that mean something to your crew: favorite foods and activities, family history, inside jokes. Collect an image for each by scanning old photos or doing a search on Google Images. Use the PiZap app (free at pizap.com) to arrange the images into three-by-three square photo collages, then print each in duplicate onto white paper. (Or crop the images into squares and print duplicates.) With a glue stick, adhere the printed-out pages to colorful card stock, then cut out squares.
To play: Lay the cards facedown. Each player flips two cards per turn, and if the cards match, he keeps them. Whoever gets the most matches wins. During the game, quiz kids on family stories: Who saw the owl on our camping trip? Who was born in Texas?