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Get the kids involved this Thanksgiving!

As America prepares for their Thanksgiving feast, many will realize all that actually goes into organizing such a day. It can be a crazy time of year, one you would hope to get done without a hitch, but what about the kids? It may seem easier to try to get everything done on your own, but getting the kids involved will help them appreciate (or be thankful!) for the day and realize it is more than just a day that cousins come over to play. Plus, it can be a lot of fun for them, also giving a sense of pride that they helped! Most of all, it makes for good bonding time over this special holiday. We have a few ideas on how to make the holiday meaningful and enjoyable for all ages.

Thanks and Giving

Thanksgiving is about exactly what it says…giving thanks! It is being thankful for what we have but also giving back to those who may not have as much. Why not get the children involved in picking out and packing up perishable foods to be donated to other families? It is a good time to mention how we should be thankful for what we have.

Meal Planning

Yes, we often have our set meal in place, but ask your children what they would like to see on the menu too. You can even turn this into an arts and crafts session by drawing or coloring pictures of typical Thanksgiving foods and gluing them to a paper plate. This may help interest your child in foods they may not normally try too. Take them shopping with you to help hunt down the ingredients needed for your Thanksgiving meal.

Prepping and Cooking

We understand that prepping and cooking can be a hectic time – sometimes even chaotic! But giving your child a little job to do here and there will help them feel part of the day. Keep it simple – your child can wash vegetables, pour, and mix ingredients. They can put marshmallows on top of sweet potatoes and help with dollops of whipped cream on pumpkin pie. Mashing the potatoes and ripping up lettuce for a salad are also easy things young ones can get involved with.  If your child had picked out a side dish when planning the menu, then let them get even more involved as if it was their own special make. They will be super proud to share it with the family!

Setting the table

The littlest ones may not be great for setting out the knives and finest china, but they can put out napkins, forks, and spoons. Older children can go further, putting a proper place setting for each guest. If there is a kids table, they may be able to help more with setting that table. Have some fun making place cards for each seat too.

Decorating

In the coming weeks to Thanksgiving, get out the glitter, glue, markers, paper, tissue paper and more and get creative! From classic handprint turkeys to more elaborate trees of thankfulness, you can’t really go wrong. Make a centerpiece for the table on the big day. Your child will love having it shown off to the family. Check out our previous blog on for Thanksgiving crafts and watch this space for even more before the big day!

Music Playlist

This one is great for older kids! Leave your teen or pre-teen in charge of the music playlist to be played during dinner. You may even want to let your older kids help pick up a color scheme and decorations to go with the day.

What are you Thankful for?

Some families have adopted the tradition of talking about what they are thankful for at dinner while others keep it to themselves. Either way, it would be a good idea to sit down with your child to talk about the meaning of the day and ask them what they are thankful for. Encourage them to share it at the dinner table if you share. Even if you aren’t the family who shares what they’re thankful for, it is still ideal to get the children realizing why we celebrate Thanksgiving and why we should be giving thanks for all that we have.

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