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5 Ways to Involve your Kids This Thanksgiving

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Get your kids on board with your most treasured family traditions! These give tips will help your kids feel capable and connected during the Thanksgiving season.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner! As you keep busy planning and prepping, remember to involve your kids. Welcoming them into the Thanksgiving traditions in your family helps make the holiday more meaningful for them, and helps your family bond. Here are five fun and creative ways your kids can take an active role this Thanksgiving.

 1.  Lead a Gratitude Activity for the Family

Gratitude is all about celebrating the good things in your life.  While this practice should happen year round, Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to spend time as a family and count your blessings.

See some great ideas in this list of gratitude activities your kids can choose, and that your whole family can participate in.

2.  Decide on Family Giving

This Thanksgiving, have everyone in the family write down a charity or community service project idea on a small piece of paper then draw one of the ideas to be completed by the end of the year. Knowing that you value and listen to your kids’ ideas is a great confidence booster for kids. Some example ideas might be: donating to the local Goodwill, sponsoring a child or participating in a turkey or food drive.


3.  Decorate and and Set the Table

Let little ones create a centerpiece and/or set out everyone’s silverware, cups, plates, and napkins.

One family tradition you might like to try: making a bouquet of construction paper flowers. Collect sticks outside and then attach flowers and leaves with paper and regular white glue.

4.  Help with Meal Planning

Kids can help decide what to serve for the holiday meal! Let them add their favorite dishes to the list (and challenge them to try something new!) This offers a great opportunity to teach how to create a balanced meal from different dishes. They’ll also begin to build basic concepts of how to take a large project and break it up into smaller steps. Involve them in making the shopping list and helping you find the ingredients needed for the meal. When kids have a job to do, shopping with the them goes a whole lot smoother.

Involve Kids in Thanksgiving

5.  Cook and Prep

Holiday cooking can a multi-day event. While initially it may seem easier and faster to let the adults handle all the cooking, getting your kids involved can be a big help. Kids learning to cook builds confidence, empowerment and independence. Let them prep and wash veggies, measure, and mix. Or give them a special dish to make independently.

There are so many kid-friendly recipes to choose from, like these easy & fun Baked Apple Pie Bites, a twist on traditional apple pie. Or they can prepare a make ahead breakfast the family can enjoy Thanksgiving morning such as this kid-friendly Berrylicious French Toast Casserole recipe.

No matter which option you choose, use this opportunity to slow down and cherish the time you spend together as a family.  Happy Thanksgiving!

5 Ways to Involve your Kids THIS Thanksgiving

Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

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What a great idea to involve kids in the preparation of the Thanksgiving meal. I especially liked the idea of having the kids helping in the kitchen doing some of the small tasks, such as washing vegetables. This would help kids to know how to prepare healthy meals for when they get older. Probably the best part of these Thanksgiving ideas is the family togetherness and bonding that takes place. My wife is pregnant with our first child. I’ll have to remember these ideas for when he is born and old enough to do some of these things.