15 Ways Kids Can Help with Thanksgiving Prep

Happy Turkey Day!

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How Your Kids Can Contribute on Thanksgiving Day

While parents start cooking the night before or morning of Thanksgiving, kids search for ways to get in on the action. However, the idea of giving them something to cut or measure can be daunting, or too hard for their age group. Instead, parents can encourage their little ones to take part in the festivities with one of these mini Thanksgiving projects.

Choosing the Spread

Kids are picky eaters, but they’re more likely to try foods they had a hand in picking. So, try letting your little one choose a few of their favorites to go on the Thanksgiving table. Or, offer a couple options for them to pick from–just to avoid having PB&J as a centerpiece.

Making a Shopping List

After the night’s meals have been decided on, you’ll probably need to run to the grocery store. Use this moment to teach your kids about making a shopping list by going through each recipe together and having them check the cabinets and fridge to see what needs to be added. They can continue the fun by checking off each newly acquired item while you’re at the store.

Stirring Batter

Your kids love to do this on any homemade meal day, but Thanksgiving is especially exciting because they can brag about their work to family members who try the dish.

Rolling Dough

Make sure your little ones wash their hands, give them a roller and watch their faces light up as they flatten dough. It’s one of the few meal prep activities that are kid-friendly and devoid of sharp, hot or sensitive items.

Watching the Timer

Thanksgiving meal preparation can be hectic. There are a lot of foods cooking at once, and multiple timers are set for each. To make this process easier, write down which food is cooking on a sheet of paper, and set a timer on top of it. As each timer goes off, have your little one report which ding goes with which food. This will help you stay on top of each meal and give your little one the sense of responsibility that they crave.

Cleaning Fruits and Veggies

While you’re busy seasoning, your kids can be cleaning the fruits and vegetables. This is an easy task that will satisfy their want to contribute and your need for sanitary ingredients.

Contributing an Easy Recipe

Pinterest has a plethora of three-ingredient recipes that take nearly no time to make. Parents can help their kids pick a favorite that everyone would enjoy and watch as they put their dress-up chef hats to the test.

Making Thanksgiving Decorations

Handprint turkeys are incredibly popular in classrooms, but a trip to Pinterest can inspire your little ones to get more creative. Scroll through some décor ideas with them and let your kids choose DIY projects that will lighten everyone’s spirits.

Crafting a Guest List

Before the big day arrives, kids can pull together a guest list and make calls to personally invite each of your family and friends. Your loved ones will find the call to be adorable and your kid will feel like the boss of the evening.

Picking New Kids Games

Friends, aunts, uncles and cousins will bring their kids over to enjoy the holiday, and you’ll need something to keep them busy. During your trip to the store, have your kids pick out a few games for the younger ones to play with after dinner.

Setting the Table

While you’re wrapping up on cooking, the kids can begin setting the table. Tell them what needs to be added–forks, spoons, plates, etc.– and watch them jump into action.

Making a Centerpiece

Ditch the simple flower centerpiece and opt for a handcrafted one instead. Recruit your kids to create a masterpiece that will surely become a talking point.

Snapping Behind-the-Scenes Photos

Holidays are special, and you’ll want to remember these moments with your family forever. Enlist your little ones to be the day’s photographer and snap enough photos for a Thanksgiving scrapbook.

Being a Taste Tester

Kids are brutally honest, and they’ll let you know if you went a little heavy on the salt. Put your cooking to the test–if you can handle the criticism.

Compiling a Recipe Book for Guests

After the meal is over, guests are bound to ask for the recipe of their favorite dish. Ensure them that a book is coming and have your kids slide recipe cards into short photo albums to send home as gifts at the end of the night.

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