Watching parades, football games, cleaning for guests, and cooking what is arguably the biggest meal of the year are all things for adults to do on Thanksgiving. But how can you keep the kids busy? You don't really want them out of the way, it is a day for family after all, but when you have a lot to do, it can be hard to answer a million questions and deal with bored and restless kids. Here are some clever crafts for kids that will not only keep them occupied, they'll help them feel like they're part of the festivities as well.
- Menus and/or Place Settings for Your Guests: While you're preparing the house for guests and getting your meal prepped, it's a great time to let kids help in a way that's not too messy and can serve a purpose for dinner. Making cute menus is a great way to provide a fun and family friendly decor piece for your table while also giving you the opportunity to talk about what's part of a traditional Thanksgiving meal with your kids. Everyone knows the usual dishes that will be served but every family has their own unique twist and this is a great time to teach your kids your family's special traditions. Children can also have fun making colorful and unique place settings for all the family members.
- Preparing Simple Dishes: Depending on the age of your children, they can help prepare simple dishes with you. Younger children may enjoy setting the table with napkins and silverware or preparing a relish tray or other simple, cold dishes. Other safe and simple tasks that children can help with include shredding pieces of bread for stuffing and washing vegetables. Older children who understand heat safety can help with stirring a dish that needs constant stirring, watching for water and liquids to boil, or keeping an eye on a timer for you.
- Making a Thankful Book: This craft is a great way to keep kids busy and helps them get into the spirit of the holiday. It also makes for a wonderful keepsake for yourself and other relatives attending the festivities. Have children make and decorate a book with things that they are thankful for. They can draw a picture of what it is, write a small statement about it, and share their words before or after dinner. You can get even more creative and incorporate a hand print turkey into the design.
- Thankfulness Tree: A thankfulness tree can be made from a lot of things and be as creative as you want. A beautiful and simple idea is to draw a tree on paper and cut out leaves for everyone to write down something they're thankful for on and then glue on the tree. Your kids can help with cutting and gluing and even add color, glitter, photos, etc. In the end you'll have a wonderful craft to remember each Thanksgiving by.
What are some of your Thanksgiving traditions? Do you use crafts for kids to keep them occupied on the big day? Share your ways of including children on this special family holiday in the comments below.