With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, sometimes I find myself getting caught up in perfection. During these times, I usually find something else for the kids to do so I can get lost in whatever preparations I am doing. This is no fun for them and they often end up bored which then leads to them trying to drive me crazy!
This is why I have started trying to include the kids in holiday prep work. They love it and it actually takes some of the work off of me. Here are a few simple ways to get your kiddos involved this Thanksgiving.
- Setting the table. The kids are GREAT at setting the table and they really enjoy it. This is also a great learning opportunity for them. You can teach them things like where the silverware should be placed and how a place setting should be configured. I also let my kids get creative with napkin folding. This often gets a bit silly but there is nothing more fun than trying to fold a napkin into something cool.
- Pie Making. Making pies like pumpkin or a sweet potato are relatively easy. This is a great way to get the kids baking and if they are old enough, reading! Reading recipes is great practice and you can teach fractions too. It’s hard to mess up a pumpkin pie, so let the kids help out!
- Leaf collecting is a great activity for the kids. Once they spend some time outside collecting their leaves, they can bring them in and use them to decorate. A simple idea is to take a fruit bowl or small platter and put the leaves on it. Then place a few apples, a candle or both! You have a quick and easy fall decoration that the kids can make all by themselves.
- Ask for input on dinner. I know what you’re thinking, “they’ll eat whatever I make…it’s Thanksgiving!” While this is true, I find that my kids are more likely to try new foods on their plate if they have something they feel comfortable with on their too. They also like being heard and knowing they are included. When I ask Cole what he wants for Thanksgiving dinner he says “eggs!” and when I ask Ansley she says “marshmallows, cherries and whipped cream!” So I am making deviled eggs, putting marshmallows on my sweet potato bake, and I picked up some cherries to go on top of the whipped cream on our pie.
Kids just want to help and sometimes it’s more trouble than you anticipated but give it a try, they’ll have fun anyway. The kids will feel involved and it will take some of the stress off of you. Hopefully these ideas will inspire you to start some new traditions for your kids to pass on.
I wish each and every one of you a Happy Thanksgiving. May it be filled with family, friends and great food!