Happy Thanksgiving! This is the wonderful time of the year where families gather together to share in fellowship and a bountiful feast. If you are the lucky host for Thanksgiving 2016 you may be experience a little bit of stress before the big day. There are many proverbs that come along with preparing a meal for a group of people. Two immediately come to mind for me: “Many hands make light work” and “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” Of course, the lesson here is to find a balance between delegating responsibilities and still feeling like you have some kind of control over how the day unfolds.
Young children have a sixth sense of anticipating when an event is coming and are almost always eager to help. There are many easy ways to include your child in preparing for the oncoming celebration. Below are some fun tasks they can do to help lighten your load when hosting Thanksgiving in your home.
- Make name cards for the guests. Children can practice their writing skills by making seating cards for all guest. You can include stickers or little harvest items for embellishment. While they are at it, children can also be responsible for setting the table. This is a great math activity because children need to count how many plates, silverware, and napkins each guest should receive. It’s also a purposeful way to practice one-to-one counting.
- Have children act as the welcoming committee by being in charge of greeting guests with big smiles and taking their coats as they arrive. Children can also help make sure that guests’ shoes stay in pairs to clear the front entry way. To make things a little more cozy, have your kids gather clean pairs of socks or house slippers to loan to guests to keep their feet warm during their stay.
- Children can gather arts and crafts materials and establish one table as the “Turkey Table.” This can be an activity for young (and old!) guests to use open-ended art to make a turkey. Children can also be encouraged to write or draw a picture of something they are thankful for.
- Delegate a child to be the “after meal line leader” to encourage guests to get up and take a nice walk around outside before preparing for dessert.
- Choose an easy appetizer for children to prepare beforehand. Here is a yummy pumpkin dip recipe that children can easily serve to guests.
Pumpkin Pie Dip (a.k.a Pumpkin Fluff)
1 15 oz. can of pureed pumpkin
1 8 oz. contain of Cool Whip, thawed
1 1.5 oz package of Vanilla Instant Pudding mix
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Chill for at least 1 hour and then serve with graham crackers, pretzels, or vanilla wafers.
The Parenting Hub would love to hear how you encourage your children to be helpful during the holidays. Please send your ideas and tips to: firstname.lastname@example.org