Thanksgiving is a family holiday, but so often the adults focus on the adults that will attend the dinner, and they leave out the kids. If you want to plan a Thanksgiving that includes the entire family- even the smallest in the clan- check out these tips for hosting a kid-friendly thanksgiving holiday.
Have the family make a book
Entertain each of your guests for a bit with a keepsake book that even the kids can get in on. Ask each guest to draw a picture or leave a message of what they are thankful for and what they hope to see come to fruition in the upcoming year. Save it all in a scrapbook and keep it around to read the next year when the family gathers again.
Provide Thanksgiving books
Leave out some books about the meaning of Thanksgiving. The more the kids will understand why they are at the party, the more they will be able to enjoy it. This will get them involved, and it is always a great idea to read to children and allow them the opportunity to read, as well.
Make finger foods
It’s easier for kids if they can grab finger foods rather than have the adults cut all their foods to pieces. It is also easier for the adults! Make smaller versions of the foods you are cooking, or go ahead and cut them into pieces before placing them on the table or buffet.
Make friendly decorations
Make kid-friendly decorations, like centerpieces made of pine cones or chair décor made of crepe paper (or recycled/reused paper). This will ensure that you won’t faint if your decorations get destroyed by kids, and it is safer than cleaning up glass pieces should a child knock a centerpiece off a table.
Have a designated play area
Let kids be kids- give them a place to play! Don’t confine them to a room full of adults and expect them to be quiet. Instead, provide them a room full of toys and art supplies (ask their parents to bring some along) and let them run and have fun.
Don’t wait too long for dinner
Kids get antsy and angry when they’re hungry, which can lead to tantrums. Make sure dinner is served within one hour of people arriving for the dinner party so that you can avoid tantrums as much as possible.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!