Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Having a Kid Friendly Thanksgiving

For kids Thanksgiving can be a very frustrating holiday. To a kid Thanksgiving means getting their cheeks pinched by Aunt Thelma, sitting at the "Kiddie Table" with cousins they don't care for, and wanting to move onto the next holiday with gifts: Christmas! It's no wonder that most Thanksgivings end with some sort of melt down.

Here are some great ideas for making Thanksgiving enjoyable for all the ages.

Start the day off right: Put on the Thanksgiving Parade, and have plenty of age appropriate crafts for the kids. Easy coloring sheets for the little ones, and decorating turkeys for the older ones. Most of your local school supply or craft stores have simple yet fun foam crafts.

For some of the older kids that love to cook, you may want to have some kitchen tasks ready just for them. Rosey Posey loves to help cut veggies, so I am MORE than happy to allow her to.

This year, make the 'kiddie table' so much fun that even the teens are asking to sit there.

Use a paper table cloth that the kids can color on. Not only does this save your good table clothes from the stains, but also allows the kids a form of entertainment while they are waiting to eat or waiting on others to finish. Make the crayons part of the place setting. Depending on the kids ages you may want to draw a 'place mat' at each place-setting and have each child draw in their own square or allow them free rein.

Make sure each child feels special and there is no arguing about who will sit where by making place-tags. Decorate them with fall stickers to make them even more fun or use my free printable here:

Have a goodie bag ready for each child to have after dinner. You can put it at each place setting or save it as a reward for eating dinner. Check out my Turkey Droppings bag or there are lots of ideas on Pinterest.

If you don't have a goodie bag for the kids consider having a desert display only for the kids and on the kiddie table.

One of my favorite things that my in-laws do to make the kids feel special is give everyone a wine glass. While the adults have their wine the kids get a sparkling cider or even just regular grape juice.

After dinner try not to forget the kids. Just like the sleepy, over filled, turkey stuffed adults, the kids may need to nap. But who can nap on a day like this? Instead of insisting on naps, offer a 'Kid room' with bean bags, floor pillows and a movie. You can do a Thanksgiving movie (A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving) or kick off the Christmas season (Finally) with some Christmas movies.

Last but not least, make sure the kids know WHY you're celebrating Thanksgiving. Whether you celebrate family, thankfulness, or kick off the holiday season, help the kids understand this forgotten holiday!

What do you do to help the kids enjoy Thanksgiving?
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