We want to include the kids, but we also want to finish the cooking, and get food with a minimum amount of stress. Here are a few satisfying jobs kids can do to help get ready for Thanksgiving, plus a few printables that might make waiting for pie a little more fun.
Decorate place cards for the table.
- These can be simple doodled names or elaborate cards made with special paper glitter and glue. One blogger shares how her family writes things they appreciate about one another on these cards.
Create a fall nature display in a basket or on a tray.
- Send kids out for a gathering excursion to fine the most beautiful leaves, pine cones and stones and display them on the table or sideboard.
Help select dishes and serving ware to use.
- It might sound inconsequential, but I used to feel very important when my mom asked me to choose the serving spoons, or help her decide which tray to use. It felt so good to know she valued my opinion.
Fold napkins in a “fancy” way.
- Don’t know any fancy folds? No worries – I found the Napkin Folding Guide.
Arrange a vegetable tray, cracker plate or other dish
- Can you give your child artistic license with any of the foods you’ll be serving? Can they sprinkle the topping on the pie or put the rolls into the basket? The pride with which they serve this food will make up for any imperfections.
When the helping jobs are done you might want a few more kid activities close at hand. Here is a little selection I’m going to set out with some crayons or colored pencils for my crew:
- Fun Free Thanksgiving Printables (No Time for Flashcards)
- Turkey Talk and Color Page (The Holiday Zone)
- Thanksgiving Jokes Printable (Activity Village)
- Cute Fall Coloring Pages (Kids Activities Blog)
- Thanksgiving Word Searches (Creative Family Fun)
- Turkey Maze (A Kid’s Heart)
Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!
PS – Want to be more present and less frantic this holiday season? I hope you join us for Keeping Christmas Cozy – find out more here.
Alissa Zorn is an author, and founder of the website Overthought This. She's a coach and cartoonist passionate about helping people overcome perfectionism and shame to build authentic, joyful lives. Alissa is certified through the International Coach Federation and got her Trauma-Informed Coaching certification from Moving the Human Spirit. She wrote Bounceback Parenting: A Field Guide for Creating Connection, Not Perfection, and is always following curiosity to find her next creative endeavor.