5 Ways to Include Children in Thanksgiving

If you are hosting Thanksgiving this year then you are probably like most and want everything perfect for your guests. Juggling children while preparing for this special meal can be daunting. So how can we be great hosts and parents and involve our children on this day? First, it’s important to involve them! Thanksgiving is about blessing others and being thankful for those around us. Making your kids a part of this day is a lifelong seed well planted.

And even if you are at someones else’s house for Thanksgiving? It’s still important to get your kids involved in the day’s activities.

Here are 5 ways to involve your children during the Thanksgiving season:

1. Pre-Thanksgiving Work

Be sure and involve your kids BEFORE turkey-eating day. It’s good for them to see and understand all that goes into preparing for this special holiday. Here are some ways:

  • Let them help make the shopping list.
  • Take them grocery shopping and have them put items in the cart.
  • Help with unpacking the groceries. 

2. Helping Out in the Kitchen

There are lots of little jobs in the kitchen your kids can handle. Assign them a task and watch them light up and take pride in their work.  It will warm your heart as you see your children quickly assume ownership of the dish they helped to put together. Don’t be surprised when they proudly announce to all, “I made that” and will often eat it even if they wouldn’t have otherwise! Here are some ways to get them excited about working along side you in the kitchen:

  • Crumble the bread/cornbread for the stuffing/dressing
  • Mash the potatoes or sweet potato
  • Rolling out pie dough
  • Measure ingredients

3. Crafts

Visit Pinterest or dust off your Thanksgiving Pinterest board and find some simple and fun creative activities for your children to make. Here are some ideas:

  • Ask them to create festive place cards or placemats.
  • Have them trace leaves on construction paper then cut them out. Use these leaves for guests to write on the back what they are thankful for this year. Your kids can put them at each place setting.

4. Making Memories

Family gatherings are an ideal time for family members to tell stories from the past. Be sure to audio or video record to get the story to have and pass down. Have children come up with interview questions to ask older family members when everyone gathers together.

5. Outside Activities

After the main course and before dessert, head outdoors for a post-meal walk with your family and bring some cousins or pets along too. A family walk can turn into a healthy tradition for all. Take a walk around the neighborhood so children can show relatives their favorite spots or if visiting, tour the neighborhood and enjoy the new sights. Even an outdoor game of football, soccer, or frisbee can be a fun time after everyone’s food has settled!

Our family is even adding a new tradition this year that the kids are excited about. It is sweet how the smallest things excite them and energize them as they anticipate gathering with friends and family for Thanksgiving. What will you be adding to your family traditions for 2018?

And if you are like me, then preparing for Christmas is lurking in the back of your mind. Be sure and check out my blog post about how to have a stress free holiday season.

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