The holidays are wonderful. And a little bit stressful — Ok, a lot stressful! Especially when you are trying to cook a big dinner with family all over and tons of kids in the house. It’s a lot! You need a way to entertain the kids on Thanksgiving while you cook. Haven’t even thought about that? Don’t worry, I know you have enough going on. I’ve got you covered.
Here’s how to entertain your kids on Thanksgiving.
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How to Entertain Kids on Thanksgiving While You are Cooking
Have Them Help Cook
Kids can easily serve as a much-needed set of hands in the kitchen. You’d be surprised at how helpful they can be! Here are some ways they can assist.
- Mash potatoes. This is a great job for little ones. So simple and should keep them busy for a little bit.
- Snap green beans. Pop some music on and have kids snap green beans for your casserole. This job isn’t messy, so it can be done away from the kitchen if need be.
- Make the cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauce is a great job for older kids since it requires using the stove. But it’s not overly complicated and is best done in advance, so it’s a great job to delegate to bigger kids. This recipe would be a good one to start with.
- Alternately, you could have younger kids in charge of opening the cranberry sauce can and putting it on the table. There’s no other option in my family. And don’t you dare cut it, we need to see the lines from the can! Ah, family traditions!
- Older kids can make dinner rolls. The toaster oven is great for this.
- Kids can make corn casserole. Only five ingredients, plus you can make it in advance. And it is super yummy!
- Young kids can even make their own dessert—my eight-year-old made brownies for a holiday. We used the Ghirardelli Brownie mix, and he was able to make them from start to finish. After hearing all of the oohs and ahs, he got from family and he couldn’t have been prouder.
Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen?
I get it! You can certainly have too many cooks in the kitchen. And sometimes, the kitchen is your sanctuary to get away from the craziness. That being said, you can still use the extra set of hands. Here’s how they can help outside of the kitchen.
- Have the kids set the table. They can put out the silverware, plates, etc.. You may be surprised at how well they do!
- Kids can create place cards even if it’s an informal family dinner. Kids love to put them out to determine who sits where.
- Have them practice their penmanship and write menus for everyone to be placed on the table.
- You can even have them decorate the table. Send the kids outside to get some leaves for decoration or put their pumpkins on the table.
- Already have a vision for your tablescape? Let the little ones decorate the kid’s table.
Be Prepared with Game Time!
Have some games ready for the kids to play. When picking them out, you want games that allow for multiple players and appeal to all ages. You will want to play some of these after the kids are fast asleep!
Ticket to Ride
You haven’t thought about entertaining the kids and now they are driving you nuts. What can you do to get them out of your hair? We’ve got you covered.
- Make a show for the grown-ups. Have the kids showcase their skills to family members. Do they dance? Sing? Place an instrument? They can even tell jokes. Of course, they need time to practice, so while you are cooking, it is the best time. The performance can be a great way to break up the meal, and showtime can be between dinner and dessert. And don’t forget to limit the showtime to 10 minutes or so.
- Make a playlist on Spotify. Don’t know what Spotify is? I bet your teenager does! Have them put together a list of fun songs that everyone can listen to during dinner. Just make sure they use the clean versions of the songs.
- Decorate Take out boxes. Plan on sending your guests home with doggy bags? Have the kids decorate them with names, pictures, etc.
Have paper and a printer? That’s all you need for these activities and games that will surely entertain all of your guests.
- Thanksgiving Cootie Catcher Just like when we were little, fold, and it’s ready to go.
- Coloring Pages Let’s be honest, even grown-ups love to color. They are even known to be a stress reliever. Print some pages and use the finished masterpieces as decorations or give to family members to take home.
- B-I-N-G-O! Anyone can play. Super simple and engaging. This Thanksgiving, Bingo is sure to be a hit.
- We all need a good laugh, and these Thanksgiving jokes are perfect.
How Do You Entertain Kids on Thanksgiving?
Have you thought about how to entertain the kids on Thanksgiving? Let me know your best tips in the comments below. I’d love to hear them. If you are looking for a simple appetizer to serve, check out our easy appetizer, which is sure to be a hit. Just watch out; it’s tough to stop eating!
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