5 Ways to Get Your Kids Involved in Thanksgiving

It’s almost time for every food lover’s favorite holiday: Thanksgiving! All of our celebrations involve food, but this one takes the turkey (wink wink) for the most fun and delicious day of the year.

As parents, we know how much planning and preparation goes into pulling off the big meal. This year, try some of these tips to get the kids involved, too. Letting the kids share in the experience will make the day more meaningful (and less stressful!) for the whole family.

1. Planning

Don’t simply assign tasks to your child, let them be involved in the process from start to finish. Kids feel a sense of ownership and pride when they are allowed to contribute their ideas. Let them select dishes for the menu (bonus points for healthy choices that incorporate fruits and veggies!), make ingredient lists, and schedule grocery shopping trips.

2. Cooking

There are countless big and small ways kids can help in the kitchen. From measuring and mixing and slicing and dicing for older kids, to washing and mashing and scooping for younger chefs, let the kids get as hands-on as possible to help create the family’s meal. The turkey is a big part of the meal, so let kids set the timer for the turkey and keep and eye on it in the oven to build anticipation for the special meal. Dessert is an especially fun one for kids as they roll up their sleeves to dig in to roll pie dough and flex their creative decorating skills.

3. Decorating

Speaking of decorating, if you’ve got crafty kids, let their express their artistic side by creating festive place mats, decorating the table, folding napkins, and writing menus to give to guests.

4. Hosting

As you put the finishing touches on the meal, the kids can be a big help by answering the door and greeting friends and family, then they can take coats and show guests to the dining room. If they like to play restaurant, allow them to take beverage “orders” to give to a grown up, or pass out small plates of appetizers. They can even announce the meal or explain dishes to the guests, especially ones they had a hand in creating.

5. Clean Up

It’s never too early to teach kids the importance of cleaning up after cooking and eating. Let them help clear the table once everyone has finished eating, and then set up an assembly line in the kitchen to divide and conquer the tasks of cleaning, drying, and putting away.

For more kid-friendly Thanksgiving ideas check out our Pinterest page!