Thanksgiving is almost here! A favorite, for many of us that celebrate. A day that brings back warm memories of a busy kitchen filled with laughter, the aroma of roast turkey and sweet potato,…full bellies, but most of all, very full hearts. A day to remind ourselves of all that we have to be thankful for.
Some of you are getting ready to host, while others are packing suitcases and will travel for miles to spend it with family. Excitement is already filling the air with hopes of special memories to be made.
Now, if you have children of your own, or have some coming to your home, you know that those adorable little humans need to be kept busy if you want to get anything done in the kitchen. So, with that in mind, here are a few ideas to help keep them happy and entertained:
1. Get Crafty! – Visit your nearest craft store and grab a few fun holiday-themed craft kits, which by this time will probably be discounted. Make sure they are age-appropriate and that you have any other supplies that will be needed for assembly, such as glue, scissors, tape, etc. When the day comes, set up a small area for crafting, bring out some snacks for them to munch on and let their creativity run wild!
2. Schedule Video-Calls with loved ones – Schedule Caribu video-calls with Nana, Pop-pop, Aunt Susie or any other family member whom your child is close to, but whom you won’t be physically seeing on Thanksgiving. The adults will love bonding with your munchkins on such a meaningful day, reading stories, coloring pictures, playing tic-tac-toe or any of the many other activities available on the Caribu video-call app. The little ones will enjoy the quality time with their dear ones and you’ll be able to move your recipes along without interruptions. It’s a win-win for all involved!
3. Let them run! – Outside that is! Recruit some volunteers to take the kids out (bundled up if the weather demands it) to the nearest park or your own backyard to breathe some fresh air and burn some energy, while you get things done. They could toss a football, play some soccer or any other game that gets the blood pumping. They’ll return tired and ready to dig into the feast that awaits!
4. Holiday wish / donate list – Hand them a pen and some paper and get them working on their holiday wish lists (younger ones could use drawings instead of words!). However, this time around, let them get inspired by the spirit of giving and ask them to also jot down all the gently used toys they can donate to those less fortunate. Once they’re done, you’ll have a better idea of what to get them this holiday season, but most importantly, it will provide an opportunity for your kids to experience how giving back feels even better than receiving.
5. Recruit them as your sous chefs – If all else fails, recruit them as your sous chefs! Kids love to help out in the kitchen, whenever given the chance. Identify some age-appropriate tasks they can help with, like mashing potatoes, layering marshmallows, setting the table, etc. They will feel so proud to have helped and you’ll make beautiful memories, in the process. After all, Thanksgiving is about spending time together as a family!
Hope these help a bit! But remember, even if there’s chaos, (let’s face it, there probably will be at least a bit of it) give yourself a chance to stop and take it all in. Happy Thanksgiving!