Monday, November 16, 2015

Including the Kids in Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday to focus on family, friends, and blessing.  It's the quiet holiday just before Christmas.  No presents, no huge holiday displays... just a thankful heart to give and receive.  And dare I say, it's one of the most important holidays on the calendar.

But for a kid, Thanksgiving can be quite lack luster.  No wrapping paper to throw off, no holiday music, cold weather and football.  How can we better include them in this important celebration?

Here are just a few ideas:

1. Create a Thankful tree-- Find a pretty vase and have the kids gather some sticks and rocks and start the tree.  Then add tags or colorful construction paper leaves.  Have the kids write down something they're thankful for, then interview others and include theirs as well.  See how many things you can find the be thankful for.

2. Have them set the table-- Thanksgiving is filled with pretty plates, cloth napkins, and shiny silverware.  It fun to set the table all fancy with vases and runners.  And it's a great time to learn about proper place settings and etiquette.  You might be surprised which of your kids gets the decorating bug.

3. Include them in creating a snack platter-- Appetizer and snack platters are fun to create with little hands.  Have them slice olives and fruit, arrange pickles, create a vegetable turkey, or mix up the dip.

4. Or a special desert-- We're making pretzel turkeys this year, but why not decorate cupcakes to go with the pie?  Or stir up a fruit dip?  My kids love helping run the mixer or learn to make homemade whipped cream.  Kids love being in the kitchen and since most deserts can be made ahead of time, including them in making desert avoids a time crunch.

5. Read a Thanksgiving book together-- Snuggling up with a good book together is always a great way to spend an afternoon.  Some of our favorites include: The Bernstein Bears Give Thanks, Turkey Surprise, The Thanksgiving Story, The Very First Thanksgiving Day, and This First Thanksgiving Day.  

6. Or watch a special Thanksgiving video-- We love watching Walton's movies on Thanksgiving.  Or why not pop in old family movies and walk down memory lane.  Or create your own family movie on Thanksgiving.  Interview other members of the family.  What are they thankful for?  What do they remember about Thanksgivings past?

7. Create Thanksgiving crafts-- Create a fingerprint fall tree with the kid's fingerprints.  Make a paper bag thankful book with a turkey on the cover.  Play Thanksgiving Bingo.  There are so many turkey crafts out there.  Go browse through Pinterest.  :-)

How are you including your kids in Thanksgiving this year?

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