With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to get festive and start setting the scenes for the special evening. This day is most commonly celebrated with the closest people around you. Friends and family gather together and share moments of gratitude over a Thanksgiving meal in a cozy atmosphere.
It sounds like the perfect evening, right? However, if you are a parent celebrating with the kids, it may be difficult to go through the celebration according to plan. Littles ones are easily distracted, tend to get pretty upset whenever something is not going according to their taste, and have their own perception of a fun night.
To help you make this Thanksgiving pleasant for you and your little ones, we’ve prepared a list of ideas that can make the celebration truly enjoyable! Take out your pens and papers, here we go!
Introduce the kids to the celebration
When preparing for Thanksgiving, one of the first things you could do is actually introduce the kids to the celebration and the meaning behind the special day. Most of us enjoy a good story and children are no exception. In fact, storytelling is a great way to capture their attention, help them shift their focus, and keep them entertained. It will also help them get in the festive mood and truly appreciate the day.
Go over your history books and prepare a story of your own about Thanksgiving, basing it on the facts. Share with your little ones that Thanksgiving dates back to 1621 and is related to a gathering following the Mayflower’s arrival at Plymouth Rock and a number of events that followed. You will be surprised how intrigued kids are by stories of the past, which help them shape their perception of the future and put meaning behind certain activities.
Make them feel comfortable during dinner
Especially if your kids are toddlers, making them feel comfortable at all times is essential for getting through Thanksgiving dinner in an enjoyable way. Toddlers are extremely sensitive and easily irritated by a poor choice of clothing, temperature changes, and a number of other factors.
If you have decided to invite guests at home for dinner, make sure that your baby is prepared for the night. Dress up your little one in a cozy and gorgeous onesie costume romper. You can choose from a wide range of animals and bring in more fun to the table! If your baby is too young to sit on the table, make sure that they are always by your side in order to keep them happy and safe at all times.
Organize fun games that they can be a part of
Games are one of the best ways to keep the kids entertained, and not only! You will be surprised by how open to playing Thanksgiving games adults can be! What better way of keeping your guests happy and creating memorable moments that will last! Let’s look at a few game ideas worth trying this year!
- Turkey Tag
You might have heard of Turkey Tag before but if you haven’t – you’ve truly missed out! This game is like a foundation for Thanksgiving fun and can be accompanied by fun homemade turkey tag clothespins. Paint turkey clothespins at home with the kids before your guests arrive and place them on the back of their shirts. Once ready, jump into the fun game of tag!
- Turkey Waddle
Ever heard of Turkey Waddle before? It’s a great way to be silly with the little ones! Place balloons between your legs and organize a relay race to the finish line! Whoever completes the race first can win rewards or have a special part in the Thanksgiving day – the call is yours to make!
- Thanksgiving Bingo
You can purchase ready-made Thanksgiving Bingo cards or you can create your own by using images of pilgrims, trees, turkeys, acorns, and whatever comes to mind that is related to Thanksgiving. Your little ones will enjoy sharing the game with your guests and feeling part of a team!
Be creative together
The mind of a kid wanders around constantly in search of new discoveries or activities. It is quite difficult to capture and maintain children’s attention unless you have something interesting to offer.
Art has a lot to offer when it comes to creativity and attention-grabbing. Take out your coloring pencils and encourage your little ones to dive into the world of color and art, in their own, individual way. Thanksgiving is the best time to do so as the theme of the Holiday can easily be combined with the activity. You can choose a nice Thanksgiving-related coloring book and help your little ones select the best colors. Another fun idea is to help the kids prepare Thanksgiving welcoming cards for the guests. You can even ask them to create colorful Thanksgiving name tags to be placed on the dining table.
Regardless of your choice, all that matters is that you are able to create an intriguing and fun environment that your little ones will enjoy.
Involve the little ones in the cooking process
There is a range of different Thanksgiving recipes that kids can participate in the making of. Cooking has the power to unite people together and can be an inspiring process for children. It not only maintains their focus for longer periods of time but it also encourages them to be creative and improvise, where possible. You never know how your Thanksgiving dinner can change without you expecting it!
Do your research in advance and prepare a few recipes for pies, appetizers, bread, biscuits, or candy. To add some spice to the process, write the recipes down on pieces of paper, fold them, and put inside a large bowl. Have your little ones pick out a few. This will also help you stay away from having second thoughts about the Thanksgiving menu. Of course, it is preferable to include turkey as your main but there are so many different variations you could try! And your kids will love taking part in the process.
Decorate the table with the kids
The Thanksgiving dinner table should shout festivity and joy! After all, the day is different from the rest and your interior should represent the holiday vibe. There is so much that you could do to make the day extra special! Here are a few tips for creating a hard to ignore table décor
Welcome your guests with turkey name tags
This is a great way to get the kids involved and bring out the color of the holiday! Handmade is always best, especially when we’re talking about getting your festive spirit on! Cut out colored paper in the shape of a turkey and have your little ones write down the names of your guests according to their vision. Let them be as creative as they want.
Bring autumn to the table
When we think of Thanksgiving, it is only natural that autumn also comes to mind. Go for a walk in the park with the kids and let them collect autumn leaves, which they find beautiful. The autumn gorgeous autumn colors can be a perfect finish for your dinner table décor. Add the leaves in a themed basket and place them in the middle of the table for extra warmth and coziness.
Get your pumpkin ideas out
Halloween may be over but pumpkins will remain in style for the rest of autumn so don’t be afraid to use them. You can get pretty creative with pumpkins and decorate them in any way you choose. You can paint them together with the little ones, cut them in funny shapes, and so much more. If you want to add a delicate pumpkin accent on the table, choose from a range of mini pumpkins that are just the perfect choice.
There we have them – six ways to make this year’s Thanksgiving more fun and memorable. Getting into the habit of spending the holidays with the kids may take some patience and extra preparation in advance. However, we assure you that the results are more than rewarding. Seeing your little ones be introduced to certain traditions for the first time is certainly an exciting time that you won’t want to miss!
So when you start planning the special day, worry not – you are now well equipped to turn it into a day to remember. We hope that our list of suggestions will come in handy and will fill your Thanksgiving day will joy and heart-warming moments.