Hosting a Thanksgiving dinner can be quite overwhelming. You need to plan your food, drinks, table décor and don’t forget about the timing of the football games! It can be even more overwhelming if your dinner includes entertaining little ones.
My first concern in getting ready in the morning is to keep my kids occupied so I can slave away in the kitchen. Step one is to turn on the Thanksgiving Day parade. I know, putting the kiddos in front of the television is not always an ideal situation, but if your kids are anything like mine, it will buy you some quiet time getting the house and kitchen ready. Bonus for you if yours can hang until the end to see Santa closing out the parade!
I have found that my boys love to help in the kitchen. That being said, put them to work! Have them stir, mix, whatever you feel comfortable with. Even if they don’t want to get their hands dirty, have them pull up a chair and let them watch you work your magic on stuffing that turkey (plus it is fun to watch them get a bit grossed out when cleaning out the innards of your turkey!) There are a lot of fun dishes that kids would love to make, check out some kid friendly ideas here https://www.forkly.com/food/top-thanksgiving-recipes-kids-can-help-make-8-great-ideas/
The kids table may be cliché but it is key to a successful dinner party. I like to print out blank coloring pages, themed for the occasion. Instead of spending money on another table cloth, tape these coloring sheets down on the kids table. Complete with a bucket of crayons and fun Turkey stickers, the kids will be busy for a while. Check out Crayola’s website for some great choices https://www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/holidays/thanksgiving-usa-coloring-pages/
It’s Thanksgiving, so we all have to share what we are thankful for, right? Have the kids write down what they are thankful for on a turkey feather. Kids, and the adults, can contribute their feather to the Thanksgiving Turkey. All you need is a paper plate, construction paper, an empty toilet paper role, a glue stick and your child’s creativity. At this point in the day, I am sure all moms agree, we will be thankful for wine!
Your dinner has been served and now it’s time for dessert! By this point in the day, the kids have been asking non-stop for something sweet. If you need another dessert idea for the kids beyond the traditional pies (and let’s be honest, adults will love it too), set up an ice cream sundae bar. This will take no baking or cooking on your end, which is exactly what you need after spending the day over a hot stove. Just set up the ice cream, chocolate sauce, caramel, red and orange sprinkles, whipped cream and don’t forget the cherries! Let the kids make their own wonderful Thanksgiving ice cream creation. There’s always room for ice cream, right?!
I know I am thankful for happy, busy children on Thanksgiving day! Now only if we could get them to do the dishes….
What are some of your kid-friendly Thanksgiving Day ideas?