With the chaos that Thanksgiving Day can bring, it’s easy to leave kids in front of the TV and shoo them out of your way. There are others ways to let them have fun and be a part of this family oriented day. Bonus, these may hopefully help maintain your own sanity.
- Let them play outside – Nothing can make kids crazier than being stuck inside a crowded house all day. Give them the opportunity to let out that pent-up energy outdoors. Even if it’s cold out, bundle them up and let them run. You may even be in luck of having older kids and teens that can help watch the little ones while you continue cooking the Thanksgiving meal. After the family eats, I encourage an after dinner walk. Fresh air and physical movement can help that big meal to digest.
- Let them create – Set up a place in the house that kids can let their creative juices flow. This can be a corner of the living room, a playroom or any other separate room of the house. Have a table, chairs (or anything comfy to sit on) and creative supplies and toys available to them. These items can range from: Legos, blocks, train track set, beads and thread to make jewelry, paper with art supplies, and anything else that encourages kids to use their imagination. Open ended toys and supplies can keep children entertained for a long time.
- Let them help – Kids love feeling helpful! Even though it may feel like they are in your way and hindering your cooking process, resist the urge to completely kick them out of the kitchen. They would be happy helping with any job that you tell them is important you. Depending on their age, you can have them: set the table, stir the food cooking, make a simple side dish, wash the dishes, cut up veggies or fruit, or taste test your work. They will love that last one! The point is, make them feel important, helpful and part of your family tradition.
- Let them connect and learn – Don’t completely separate them from the adult family members. I know many families incorporate a kids table during holiday meals. Often this is due to space and the desire for adult conversation. All understandable reasons! Though if this is the case, make sure there are other opportunities for kids to interact with the adults. They can learn so much from their older family members. From historical experiences, family history and how family members are connected. All best learned from listening to the stories of the people we love and trust the most.
From my family to yours,
Plaid, Pearls & Toddler stains