Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday full of love and family. But with a house to clean, a meal to cook, and a long to-do list, it can also be a stressful day. Keeping the kids occupied and happy is crucial to your success. Check out these great suggestions to help them (and you) have a great Thanksgiving.
Let Them Help With Cooking
This is a no-brainer. You have work to do preparing for the meal and house guests. And the best way to keep an eye on your kids while you work is if they’re in the kitchen with you. So pull out the potato peeler or cheese grader and put the kids to work. The age of your children will dictate which tasks they are capable of completing, of course. But regardless of their skill level, they’ll love the chance to do what you’re doing. Plus, they’ll find satisfaction in knowing that they contributed to the meal in some way. And with any luck, you’ll create memories that they’ll cherish for a lifetime.
Get them Outside
Recruit one of your adult family members to lend a hand by taking your little ones outside to play. If you don’t have a backyard that’s well-suited for playtime, send them off to the local park. So long as the weather is pleasant, they’ll love having the opportunity to run around before they’re asked to sit quietly at the table. Plus, it’s a great way to get them out from under your feet while also helping them burn off excess energy. It will go a long way to increase the odds of a good nap time and calm demeanor during dinner.
Fall Scavenger/Photo Hunt
If you like the idea of getting the kids outside for a while, but you’re looking for a structured activity, then try a Fall Photo Scavenger Hunt. Send the kids out to explore the natural world while searching for things like pumpkins, scarecrows, snow, apples, and spider webs. When they find an item on the list, they’ll need to take a picture of it on a smart phone and send it to a family member who is keeping score back at the house. And if your kids use social media, they can post their finds online using a unique, family Thanksgiving hashtag.
Printable Placemats/Coloring Table
As we’ve all learned at one point or another, the “kids’ table” doesn’t create an invisibility shield around the adult’s table. The children still need us for things and will always manage to come over, asking for something or tattling on one of their cousins. Limit these interruptions by using a butcher paper placemat at the “kids table” and providing plenty of crayons for them to color with during and after their meal. It won’t last forever, but doing this will keep them occupied for long enough to allow you to have a few more pleasant moments with the grownups.