5 Ways Your Kids Can Help You Host Thanksgiving Dinner

Take Charge on 11.16.12

Photo: amboo who/Creative Commons  

Kids get excited about Thanksgiving Day. Besides being thrilled about a having a few days off of school, they're looking forward to seeing extended family members and, of course, eating their favorite foods. But are they involved in the process of preparing for Thanksgiving Day at your house?  

Thanksgiving Day is a golden opportunity to give your children ownership of small pieces of your festivities. Think of it as assigning them a Thanksgiving Day job. You'll definitely appreciate taking a task or two off of your checklist. But more importantly, your kids will feel like they contributed to the overall feeling of goodness that the day brings.  

If you're interested having your kids  help you get ready for Thanksgiving, use these five simple options as a starting point: 

1. Prepare a side dish. If your kids are interested in cooking, let them make a side dish or two for the meal. Depending on their age and/or experience level, they may be able to make the dish on their own.

2. Set the table. Teach your kids where everything goes and then let them put out the fancy plates and silverware. Or let them get creative and make a special Thanksgiving Day place setting, like this adorable one from Fiskers. Or they could make these super cute thumbprint place cards (via spoonful.com).

3. Decorate the house. Let your children add their own special touch to your Thanksgiving decor with kid-inspired crafts. Whether it's handprint turkeys or paper-leaf chains that drape across your dining table, they'll love seeing their artwork become part of the celebration.

4. Create "thankful cards."  Instead of asking everyone to say what they are thankful for out loud at dinner, ask them to write it down on the cute "thankful cards" that your kids make using index cards. They can draw leaves, turkeys, pumpkins or apples on the cards ahead of time (or make thumbprint turkeys) and then put them on each guest's plate along with a pen for writing. Gather up the cards and the kids can read them all at different times during dinner. 

5. Be the Thanksgiving photographer. What child doesn't love snapping photos? Give your kids the job of being the official Thanksgiving photographer. And give them a checklist of photos that they have to snap throughout the day.

How do your kids get involved in your Thanksgiving Day preparations?

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