Top 10 Ways to Keep the Kids Busy This Thanksgiving

by Early Math Counts

It is here!  The day set aside when we celebrate family, food, and all of the big and little things we are thankful for.  For many of us, it is a long day of work with children under foot.  Here are 10 ways to keep the little rascals busy while the turkey roasts, fries or grills.

10.  Set the Table– Setting the table continues to be a great way for children to explore one-to-one correspondence.  Putting one plate, one napkin, one fork, one knife, and one spoon in front of each chair is a complicated task for the very young child but mixed-as can help one another.  Don’t expect it to look perfect.  That is not the point.

9.  Make Name Place Cards– Give your children small note cards and while you are basting, break out the markers or crayons and have them create place cards with each guest’s name on it.  You may have to spell out the names, but that is why they will be so charming.  They can then go and put them around the table-one place card per chair.

8.  Create the Decorations– While the markers are still out, find some construction paper and let the kids go at it.  They can draw turkeys or pumpkins, or whatever they wish.  It is the homemade(ness) that will draw the oohs and aahs of your guests.

7.  Be the Official Tasters– Allow the children to be the official tasters of all of the Thanksgiving fare.  Encourage them to tell you what they think.  They are nothing, if not honest.

6.  Provide the Entertainmen-Have the children prepare some songs to sing for the guests.  You can show them how most of the songs they know can be adapted to a Thanksgiving theme like “10 Little Turkeys Jumping on the Bed.”

5.  Go For a Walk– Take a break from the kitchen and take a walk around the block.  Collect some dried leaves and bring them home to sprinkle around the table for an air of authenticity.

4.  Create Menu Cards-Fine dining establishments provide their dining guests with a list of the food that will be served.  You can have the children either write these, or you can print them up and they can draw pictures of the foods on them.

3.  Make a Thankful Tree– Cut out different leaf shapes and tie strings to them.  The children can draw pictures of they things they are thankful for and then tie them to household plant.  As guest arrive, they, too can write what they are thankful for and tie them to the Thankful Tree.

2.  Watch the Parade– Curl up on the couch and watch the parade.  Children really enjoy this activity and they will have memories of it throughout their lives.

1.  Give Thanks– Since Thanksgiving is about thanks and gratitude, encourage your children to list the things they are thankful for.  Be sure to let them know how thankful you are for having them in your life.


3 Replies to “Top 10 Ways to Keep the Kids Busy This Thanksgiving”

  1. Wow, the ways to keep the kids busy sound great. I think children can feel confident, delightful, and responsible through the tasks. Also, in my opinion, it would be good for parents to take their child\’s personality and interests into account when they decide a mission(s) for their child. For creative children, creating the decorations would be good, and for children who are fond of singing or dancing, providing the entertainment would be good. Let\’s make a plan so that children can have a meaningful, joyrous Thanksgiving day.

  2. Great Ideas to make children participate in the thanksgiving celebration at home. In my personal opinion most of the families are very busy trying to have everything done for dinner time that they forget that it can be a great opportunity to teach children the importance of this holiday. Thanks for all those tips. I will definitely take those in count and do some with my own children in the future.

  3. Top 10 lists are a Early Math Counts favorite. I like a lot of these ideas as well and I remember completing some of them with my own children on Thanksgivings gone by.

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