It’s soon to be Thanksgiving, and if you’re already stressing about the big feast (especially when we’re all trying to figure out how Thanksgiving will look this year), we at Famokids get it. Breathe.
Ultimately, Thanksgiving should be a day of gratitude, giving, family time, and yes, great food. Let’s shift the focus from perfecting a meal to prioritizing family time, and get the kids involved.
That’s not meant to compound your stress, either! In fact, little kids can be helpful in the kitchen, and giving up a little perfection for a family-filled day is a worthwhile trade. Here are a few tips for keeping the kiddos involved on Thanksgiving.
Perhaps one of the most important lessons we want to leave our children with this season is this: It’s important to give and give generously when we can. So, involve your children in some kind of giving activity (or multiple giving activities) this season.
Have them help with collecting food to donate to a food drive (a virtual one is an option, too), or round up their toys they no longer play with for donations. Or, have them help you pick out a toy to be donated to a toy drive.
We’re often so stressed by the big feast on Thanksgiving, we push our children out of the kitchen and in effect lose a big bonding and learning opportunity. Here’s a tip: Forget about perfection, and let those little ones into the kitchen (even for just a little while).
By getting your children involved, you’ll make memories, they’ll learn how much goes into the holiday meal, and you’ll foster their independence. Plus, it reshifts your focus from perfecting a meal to prioritizing family time.
You’d be surprised by how much toddlers and preschoolers can do in the kitchen. You may not let them handle any knife work, but they can help:
- Wash produce
- Mash potatoes or sweet potatoes (be sure to cool them first)
- Stir, whisk, and pour ingredients
- Knead dough (honestly, they’d probably have more fun doing it than you)
- Crack eggs
Older kids can take on even more tasks, all the way from chopping and prepping to completing a simple recipe on their own.
Babies can be in the kitchen, too. While your littlest ones will not be able to lend a hand in dinner, they can pretend! This is a great opportunity to model skills and let them play on their own.
Set up a pretend cooking station in the kitchen or nearby (away from any dangerously hot pots and pans, of course). We’d use our comfortable Famokids foam play mat for baby to sit on, then pile on the pots, pans, measuring cups, spoons, and more for baby to play with.
You’ll occupy your little one while you work to get the meal ready, and they’ll have loads of cooking-inspired fun. It’s a win-win.
Decorating for Thanksgiving can be a fun family affair. If you’re crafty, you can help your children put together some of these DIY Thanksgiving decorations. We recently launched the FamoArt™ Collection including custom family portrait and custom ornament. Cheers the season and turn a treasure moment into a custom decoration art.
Even if you keep things simple, let them have fun with some paper and autumnal colored paints. If you’re putting up store-bought decorations, involve the kids. Allow them to help pick the spots for certain pieces, or help you put them up.
At its essence, Thanksgiving is about expressing gratitude for all that you have in life, and it’s important to pass this tradition onto your little ones. On Thanksgiving, go around the table and express the things you’re most grateful for. Ask your little ones, too.
We hope you have a gratitude-filled, delicious Thanksgiving.