10 Tips for the Wee Ones on Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a hard time of year for those who are preparing the meal and hosting the family get together. It is hard to keep everyone occupied while preparing the meal and getting everything ready for the guests. If kids are in the way during all the preparations, there are several things you can do to keep them occupied and out of the way while you work.
Let the kids choose a few of their favorite movies to watch while everyone is busy. Be sure to have some snacks readily available, or wait until after a meal is served, so they do not run in and out of the kitchen claiming hunger pangs.
Find age appropriate games that do not require adult assistance, either online or off. Have more than one on hand to combat against boredom. Take breaks and offer to play a few rounds with them.
Color or draw pictures.
With a few art supplies on hand, have the kids draw or color things they are thankful for. If they are old enough to write, have them write what they are thankful for and decorate it for a nice new piece of refrigerator art.
There are several different crafts that can be done easily with children in various age groups. Keep the kids and crafts close by to ensure everything runs smoothly, and offer to display the masterpieces on the dinner table or in other areas where the guests will see them.
Prepare the dinner table.
Make the kids feel special and ask for their help setting the dinner table. This will give them a role to play in the festivities and keep them occupied a while as they strive for perfection.
Help with simple meal preparation.
Include the children where and when it is safe. Keep them busy stirring or passing utensils to you. Older children may be able to help with chopping, cutting, and other tasks that are too dangerous for younger children.
Dance and sing.
Remember the reason for the occasion, and relax. Have a silly fun dance and sing at the top of your lungs while you wait for food to come out of the oven. It will release your stress, and let the kids work out some of their energy, too.
Be sure to plan your cooking and other Thanksgiving preparation activities around known obstacles. Get up earlier than the kids, go to bed later than the kids, and don't end up having to run to the store for a last minute item during a little one's nap.
Teach the children the history and the meaning of Thanksgiving.
Share with the children things you are thankful for and why. Share with them in the joy of Thanksgiving and they'll never forget it.