Mom Monday: Thanksgiving Activities for Children to Save Your Sanity

Welcome aboard, train wreck.

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, here are some ideas for kids to get involved in the festivities.

It happens this week. And I know you’re thinking about the turkey, cranberry sauce, and if your sister in law will insist on bringing those rotten deviled eggs. Have you forgotten anything?

How about the kids?


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Hold on, there, train wreck. I’m not accusing you of being Kevin McAllister’s mom and legit leaving your kids somewhere. But, I am saying, it’s way easier to get things done if you give them something to do.

When children have a part to perform or a duty that makes them feel important, they’re more likely to get emotionally immersed in events. Make Thanksgiving a memorable occasion for your children by including them in the preparations for the holiday. You have the option of assigning them a single critical duty or allowing them to take on several responsibilities. Make sure it’s age appropriate. Don’t hand your three year old the knife to carve the turkey. And don’t put your oldest teens in charge of kids if they’ve already decided they never want children because of those children. Here are some ideas for how your children might assist with Thanksgiving preparations:

  1. Assist in the preparation of the menu
    Allow your kid to choose a side dish or kind of dessert to include on the menu, and then ask them to come up with a creative name for the food they choose. They’ll be delighted to be able to display their accomplishment!
  2. Make a shopping list of the items you need.
    Children may learn valuable lessons about organization, measuring, and budgeting by creating a shopping list with their parents or teachers. Give them all of the recipes and instruct them to write down the ingredients, grouping them by item type to make shopping more efficient (group veggies together, baking materials together, etc.). Also instruct them to include the amounts in their list of items. Bring them along with you to the store and ask them to assist you in gathering the things and comparing pricing between various brands. This is also an excellent opportunity to explain how, depending on the ingredients, quality, and personal choice, sometimes cheaper is not always better. Plus, they can bend down easier to get the stuff on the low shelf. Work smarter, not harder.
  3. Assist with the preparation of meals
    It’s possible for children of any age to help in the kitchen while preparing a feast like Thanksgiving dinner. Younger children can read recipes aloud, measure ingredients, roll out dough, set a timer, use a cookie cutter, wash lettuce, mix, and mash potatoes with ease! Using older children as role models, they may learn crucial cutting skills and prepare several meals from start to finish.
  4. Prepare the Dining Room Table
    Profit from the opportunity to educate your children about formal table arrangements and eating manners. If you are unclear about any of the rules, you and your partner may work together to learn them. Allow them to arrange the table, and if they are very artistic, ask them to design place cards for each of the guests. It is possible to have basic cards with just names on them or customized cards with creative artwork. Or you can do like my family does and eat where you are. Dining room, kitchen island, living room, mother in law’s living room, the porch. Just remember, in this house, if it’s on the ground it goes to the hound.
  5. Make a statement with your décor.
    Allow the children to decorate the table as well as the space where everyone will congregate before and after the meal. It is possible for them to pick beautiful leaves and twigs from outdoors, to create the traditional handprint turkeys out of construction paper, or to design felt coasters to use at dinner. If you’re going with the outdoor leaves, have the kids look in an area where you don’t walk the dog. We learned that lesson last year.
  6. Create a Playlist of your favorite songs
    Assign older children the responsibility of creating a playlist to create an ambience before to, after, and during supper. Make them choose a genre, or have them create a playlist of everyone’s favorite songs, or songs that make them think of each person who will be attending the meal! Having an after-dinner dance party is a fantastic method to aid digestion and prevent everyone from succumbing to the terrible food coma that may result from overindulging. Make sure to check that playlist before they play it. There is nothing worse than settling down only to hear “What Does The Fox Say” or some anime theme song.
  7. Take on the role of host
    If you have visitors, enlist the help of your children to serve as hosts. Invite them to greet visitors at the entrance, collect their coats and bags, and serve snacks and refreshments to those who arrive. This is an excellent opportunity for children to improve their social skills in a warm and friendly environment.
  8. Make a Gratitude Jar to keep track of your blessings.
    Set up a box or mason jar with your children’s artwork, and then offer around scraps of paper and pencils so that everyone may jot down something that they are thankful for this year. After supper, they may read them aloud to see if they can figure out who wrote what and when. It’s also entertaining to write down the notes in a diary to look back on at future Thanksgiving parties to see how things have evolved. It will be fascinating to see how your children’s ideas develop and evolve over time.
  9. Make a plan for the entertainment.
    While spending quality time with your family and enjoying a nice meal is the goal of the day, let your children decide what else you will do in addition to eating. Maybe they’ll compose and perform a play, or maybe they’ll gather everyone for a game of touch football, or maybe they’ll choose a movie to watch as a family after dinner to relax after a long day. Whatever they decide, it will undoubtedly contribute to making the holiday a memorable one!

If none of those work, you can just make them clean up after everything is done and you’re sitting with your turkey and cranberry sauce reading a book on the couch. Again, if you like what I post, please like, comment, share, and subscribe. Please consider donating to help keep this going. $1 and I’ll ask you what your favorite book is so we can talk about it. $5 and I’ll write a review of a book you suggest. $10 and I’ll write a blog suggested by you. If you try any of the ideas listed, please let me know what you thought of it and how it worked out for you. That’s all I’ve got for today, train wrecks. All aboard.

When all else fails, printable learning to the rescue. My kids are off for 5 days. I know they’re going to lose something they learned so far. I’m giving you a few Thanksgiving themed learning printables for your kids to keep them busy and out of your hair.

And speaking of kids, check out these cute Crocs for kids. Remember, I earn money when you click and/or buy but it doesn’t cost you any extra so thank you.


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