After all of the hours of prep work that go into Thanksgiving dinner, it seems as if the meal is gobbled up in no time flat. Now what? Here’s a bounty of activity ideas, big and small, for the entire family to enjoy after the big feast.

Sign a pumpkin.

According to positive psychology research, simply expressing gratitude can actually enhance our overall happiness. Invite your family to consider their individual blessings. Purchase a large artificial pumpkin that you can bring out each year for your family to sign. Ask each person to write a note on it about what they’re most grateful for this year. Perhaps a new baby arrived into the family, wedding bells will soon be ringing, your child got an A in a difficult class, or a loved one overcame a health issue. Be sure to have everyone sign and date his or her note.

Create a Thanksgiving tablecloth.

Similar to the pumpkin idea, lay the Thanksgiving table with a memory tablecloth. After the table is cleared, each person can write a note to the host or a note of gratitude using fabric markers. Protect your table by placing a matte, like cardboard, under the tablecloth in case ink bleeds through the fabric.

Go for a Nature Walk

According to the Calorie Control Council, the traditional Thanksgiving meal serves up 4500 calories and 229 grams of fat to the average American. Start burning some of those calories by taking a stroll after the big meal. Angela, Holmes and her sons, Ezekiel, Xavier and Drake, traditionally make the outing extra fun by searching for fossils and bones. If there’s snow on the ground, they go sledding.

Get out the board games

Get your kids off their phones and video games and engaging in lighthearted family fun and conversation with a board game. In a world where more and more people say they have zero confidants, playing games together can build camaraderie and provide a low-key, entertaining opportunity for face-to-face togetherness. Some family favorites include Caan, Pandemic, Telestrations and Clue.

Play touch football.

Football is as much a part of Thanksgiving as turkey and pumpkin pie. Angie Worth and her family play one-touch football. They choose the strongest players to be team captains, and the captains pick their teammates. “The rules are very loosey-goosey. The captain explains the route for offense or assigns coverage for defense. Then, it’s all about the touchdowns and points,” Worth explains. “It’s very casual, but fun—a good way to burn off some Thanksgiving dinner calories before pie!”

Share family stories.

While your kids are anticipating the mouthwatering dinner that’s about to grace the table, have them write questions to ask the family. They can slip a question under the glass or plate of each table         setting. After dinner is over, go around the table and each person can pull their question and share their answer. Questions like “What was Thanksgiving like when you were growing up?” and “What was your best Thanksgiving ever and why?” are sure to rekindle fond memories.

Plan a scavenger hunt.

If the weather is agreeable, send everyone outside for a scavenger hunt. Provide each team with a small bag to collect their items or have them use their cameras to take photos of the objects on the list. Keep the hunt simple for youngsters and make it a little more complicated for older kids. Items on your list might include: something red, a heart shaped leaf, a stick shaped like a Y, a black rock, a      feather, etc. Team adults with kids and turn the hunt into a fun race to the finish. The winning team receives the first slice of pie or a silly prize like pilgrim’s hats to wear on their heads.

Puzzle fun.

      Lauri Duncan, a mom of two boys, ages 8 and 11, says that she and her family traditionally       put together a puzzle after the big dinner. “We do one big puzzle every year that every age can work on. The kids, parents, cousins, and grandparents all chip in and work on it in rotations throughout the afternoon, between naps and football and snacking on leftovers,” she says.

Pumpkin tic-tac-toe.

Choose five small white gourds and five small orange gourds. Make a grid on a card table using craft or painter’s tape. Or use larger gourds and set up the game in your yard using sticks to make nine squares.

Get into the holiday spirit

If you have a large extended family together for Thanksgiving dinner, this is a good time to pull names for holiday gift exchanges like Secret Santa, a Pollyanna Gift Exchange (popular in southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey), or a White Elephant Exchange. Everyone draws a name, keeps the name they pulled secret, and purchases a light-hearted or wacky gift to exchange around the holidays.

In memoriam.

The holidays can be especially difficult for those grieving loved ones. Look through family photographs together, watch old home videos or take time to tell stories about your special someone. After Thanksgiving dinner is packed away, Mindy Foral, mom of two, says one of her favorite Thanksgiving night traditions is listening, with her children, to a recording of The Night Before Christmas that her late mother had made in a Hallmark recordable book. “It’s such an incredible treasure. There is something about hearing the voice of your loved one…especially of someone who loved spending the holidays with her grandkids,” Foral says.

Remember those on deployment.

If your spouse is deployed for military duty over the Thanksgiving holiday, he or she will definitely be top of mind for you and your family. After dinner, invite your family and friends to circle around the table to make cards and write letters to your absent loved one. Mail everything in a package. Even though your honey will receive it after the holiday, they’ll know that they were still an important part of your day.

Christa Melnyk Hines

Freelance journalist, Christa Melnyk Hines and her husband are the parents of two boys. She finds happiness in historical romance novels, sunny days and chocolate chip cookies. Christa is the author of Confidently Connected: A Mom’s Guide to a Satisfying Social Life.