The kick off to the holidays is almost here! Thanksgiving falls on November 22nd this year so it’s time to get prepared – and we’ve got a few ideas on how to get your kids involved too.
Ugh. It might be the worst part about hosting a gathering! Getting your home cleaned up and ready for guests can be a daunting task. Encouraging your kids to get involved helps to keep them busy as well as take some things off your to do list. Dusting, sweeping or vacuuming, and window washing are all great tasks for little hands. Define a small area for them to work so the job is not overwhelming (which also means it has a better chance of being completed too!) or set a timer for the work. Taking out the trash, folding laundry, and doing the dishes are also tasks that little hands can handle.
If using cleaner or spray, make sure it’s safe for your child to use and give them a smaller version that’s easy for them to manage – you can even mix up your own, safe, cleaners like white vinegar and water. Use a smaller vacuum head or hand held brush to sweep – anything that makes the task kiddo sized.
Getting a meal – any meal – on the table can be quite the undertaking, let alone a whole Thanksgiving dinner! Look for small tasks that little hands can help with; snapping green beans, measuring and pouring for a recipe, reading a recipe and practicing math skills if the recipe is doubled, even stirring can be an exciting task. Defining where you want help and where you don’t will let your kids feel included and keep you from losing your place in your process.
For older children, consider letting them either make a dish or a just a kid version of a dish. Stuffing and pies are often a simple enough process that a child could master it on their own – with helpful supervision, just in case.
Did you catch our post about Fall Crafts? If not, check it out for some great ideas, and can be used to decorate for Thanksgiving! Use leaf rubbings scattered on a table, or as place cards. Or use ears of corn and butcher paper to create a festive table runner. And speaking of place cards, writing out names a great way to practice handwriting skills.
Next, have them set the table. Layout plates, napkins, silverware and glassware. Using a lightly damp towel, have them “polish” flatware and glasses (if it’s age appropriate). Using a diagram like this one, let your kids use it to work through the table layout. It’s great practice in following directions!
Lastly, task your kids with greeting guests. Have them open the door and welcome each person – even if they are someone they see every day. Having that little bit of extra flare on a holiday makes it special for everyone!