In the movies, Thanksgiving is often portrayed as a magical time. The family gathers together, everyone is happy, all of the food tastes delicious, and there are no messes. In real life, this is far from the case in many homes.
If you’re like many families with small children, you might be racking your brain trying to find kids’ Thanksgiving ideas. How do you get them involved? More importantly, how do you keep the stress (and mess!) at bay?
At Twin Cities Kids Club, we have loads of ideas to get your kids active and involved, whether you are at home or out enjoying nature and activities. Join the club today for free!
Of course, the most obvious way to get kids involved is to have them help decorate your home. Whether you have them create and design placements and name tags and napkin rings, or go all the way and let them loose on your house, they will appreciate putting their touch on things.
If you have kids that like anything shiny, why not let them bedazzle some gourds? These fall plants are relatively inexpensive, easy to get at most grocery stores and make the perfect centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table.
This craft project is simple to pull off; just get some gourds, paint, glue, glitter, jewels, and anything else you want to be included, depending on their ages. You can even control the color theme by only supplying certain items.
Another fun kids’ Thanksgiving idea is to let your kids make placemats and name cards for each seat. Name cards can be as simple as large pieces of construction paper they color or elaborate as canvas, burlap, or other material cut and painted. Don’t be afraid to get creative and let your kids have some input.
For more ideas, check this out.
Now, having your kids help in the kitchen is another story. Some kids will make your life easier preparing everything; others, let’s say, do not.
Thankfully, whether you have the next Gordan Ramsey or your kids have no idea what a spatula is, we have some tips to let your kids help in the kitchen and not want to pull your hair out.
We recommend you do some research and choose a dish or two your kids can prepare by themselves or with minimal help. Not every dish needs to be elaborate and complicated. There are plenty of things kids can do, plus think how proud your kids will be serving their own creation!
If you want to stick with Thanksgiving staples, pumpkin pie is surprisingly easy. If you use a store-bought pie crust and a simple recipe, most kids with any kitchen experience could handle making one.
Another dish most people expect at Thanksgiving is cranberry sauce. We’re not talking about the canned kind, either. Cranberry sauce from scratch is easy, quick, and oh-so-worth-it. Put your older kids to task with a cranberry sauce recipe.
Getting Everyone Involved
The most important thing to do is to find age-appropriate kids’ Thanksgiving ideas. However, this might seem easier said than done. Thankfully, we have some ideas to consider for each age-group.
While you might not have a sous-chef with the littler kids, you do often have willing helpers. Take advantage of this!
Young kids are great at helping you set the table. Give them plates, napkins, spoons, forks, and anything else they can safely handle. Remind yourself that it doesn’t need to be perfect, either.
If you want your littles to help in the kitchen, let them mash the potatoes, or clean the lettuce, fruit, or anything that needs a colander. They can also get you things you need from cabinets or drawers they can reach.
Kids in this age range can be surprisingly helpful in the kitchen and during set up. If you have kids that like cooking, let them be in charge of something within their experience level. Maybe they can handle a dessert on their own, or they can perhaps make the rolls. Find something they can handle and that they’re interested in.
You could also let kids in this age group come up with an idea for a Thanksgiving game or conversation starter for the dinner table. You might be surprised by what they come up with! You should probably preview the game beforehand, to be safe.
Finally, this age group is old enough to help with dishes after the meal. Help them learn early on the importance of helping out, even when they are tired and likely don’t want to do anything.
If you have older kids, there are many more options. Depending on their age, they can watch the younger kids while you shop and prepare dinner. Perhaps they are old enough to shop for you!
These kids can have more input into what is being prepared, how it’s cooked, and how it’s served.
Give these older kids some planning responsibilities, as well. Let them work with you to plan out when you are cooking everything to ensure all of the dishes are done on time and don’t get cold. Planning is harder than it seems, and your big kids might enjoy the challenge.
Join Twin Cities Kids Club
How ever you celebrate Thanksgiving, be sure to get your family involved with these kids’ Thanksgiving ideas. The day will be more meaningful for everyone, and maybe they will appreciate you and your hard work a little more.
Join Twin Cities Kids Club today for access to exclusive discounts as well as advice for raising your children in today’s world.