Thanksgiving morning can be a chaotic time. Especially, if you are hosting the family dinner. Children can make the time even more difficult. They are so excited about the family coming over. They smell the food cooking, and they still want your attention. There are ways to make Thanksgiving morning more enjoyable for all involved. Here are some tips to help survive the pre-dinner chaos.
Have a corner of the living room dedicated to children’s toys and books. This is especially helpful if you don’t have kids, but your guests do. Buy or borrow several books at different reading levels. Older kids can read to the younger ones, if necessary. Include a few favorite games. Clue, Monopoly, and Yatzhee are great choices. Also have on hand crayons and paper. These basic supplies can keep kids busy for hours.
If your children are older, have them guide the younger kids through a craft. Choose a simple craft that does not involve adult supervision. Kids can make Thanksgiving themed place cards for the table. They can make bracelets or beaded napkin rings. Any craft that has few supplies will work. Most craft stores sell boxes of crafts for parties, seasonal ones are already on the shelves. Most cost less than $10. Here’s a link to an online store with craft kits.
Create a scavenger hunt. Do this a few days ahead. Make a list of simple things, around the house and yard, for the kids to find. You can tie the items into Thanksgiving, if you like. A few examples are: 1) Find a red leaf. 2)Find something the Pilgrim’s ate. 3) Find the tree that Uncle Joe fell out of last year. The sillier the better! Have a prize ready at the end. Here is a link to a premade Thanksgiving scavenger hunt.
Organize a family walk. You may not be able to go, if you are cooking. Other adults can supervise. Have them go for a walk around the neighborhood. The kids can burn off some of their energy. This could be an opportunity for them to complete the Scavenger Hunt as well.
If there is still time left over, watch a movie. There are several good kid shows out about Thanksgiving. Charlie Brown has several fall related shows. If the kids are older, chose shows that will be more appropriate for them. There’s always the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! What ever you choose make sure the show is age appropriate for all involved.
Having a few activities ready ahead of time, will make it easier the morning of Thanksgiving. Be prepared. If you know children will be at your house waiting for the turkey to cook, have some books and movies ready. Plan ahead for less stress.