Partners In Learning Blog Team

Partners In Learning Blog Team
Blog Team

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ways To Have Children Help At Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a national holiday that encourages us to take stock of our blessings, Thanksgiving can be fairly stressful…especially for parents. All the preparations and cooking and a more formal mealtime are not exactly child-friendly. But gratitude isn’t just for adults, and neither should Thanksgiving be an adult-only activity. That’s why  I like to get the children involved as much as possible.

Here are just a few of the ways I suggest doing it, from helping prepare the table, to giving a hand in the kitchen. 

volunteeringVolunteering as a family is rewarding in a multitude of ways. By learning to appreciate what we have instead of focusing on what we lack, we are reminded to be thankful and appreciative of our lives. This in turn inspires us to help others and create joy in someone else’s life.

From washing vegetables to setting the table, there are many ways your child can help with Thanksgiving dinner. 

This Thanksgiving, plan a meal that has traditional dishes and child-friendly ones that everyone around the table will enjoy. A few days in advance of the meal, ask children what special side dishes they would like to eat. For example, should the sweet potatoes be served as fries, in soufflé form or both? Children may be more likely to eat a veggie or two at this year's dinner if they pick them out themselves.

While the adults are  in the kitchen, even children as young as 2 or 3 years old can help create homemade decorations to make the table more festive. Simply provide the necessary supplies; construction or butcher paper, markers, crayons, scissors, paint, and glue, even magazines to cut pictures out off.  Let children create one-of-a-kind place mats that can be laminated and saved for future meals.  Children can also create Thanksgiving-themed napkin rings, table toppers and place cards for each guest. Use decorating as an opportunity to remind children of the true meaning of Thanksgiving. 

Let children do the actual table setting, too. If the job is too big, just have them fold the napkins or set out the silverware...anything to get them involved!

What goes down (the hatch) must be cleaned up. I'm not saying the children should do all the cleaning in the kitchen, but I do think children need to be responsible for clearing their dishes and helping with the cleanup. (Motivation spin: the sooner the table is clean, the quicker the dessert comes out.)

Older children, especially, can take  a shift in the kitchen, especially when they are told it's respectfully giving older family members a break. 

Just a reminder...Partners In Learning will be closing at 12:00 Wednesday November 26 and closed Thanksgiving Day, November 27 and Friday, November 28. We hope you have a safe, fun, memorable Thanksgivng holiday with family and friends. 

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