For some parents, it’s difficult to hand over tasks to their young children, especially if it involves food and drinks. It’s not that the parents are “control freaks”; they just know that kids aren’t always careful, which can lead to mistakes and messes, spills and stains. And that means the parents spend less time fixing dinner and more time fixing problems.
Thankfully, there are lots of ways to get children involved in Thanksgiving preparations without having to worry about big messes. Here is a sampling of ideas:
- Helping out at the grocery store – Taking a child food shopping can be a real challenge, but you may find that your son or daughter will be better behaved if you assign a specific task, such as finding the corn or the stuffing mix. Also, you can make a game of letting your child find the “red” items, such as cranberry sauce, peppers and radishes. Once your child finds the item, show that you’re excited that he or she is being a good helper. You also might let your child put the items in a specific section of the cart. This is nice visual reminder for both of you that your child is actually helping.
- Measuring the ingredients –If a recipe calls for salt, pepper or other spices, ask your son or daughter to help measure the ingredients. Be sure to place a piece of plastic wrap in their work area, in case a little extra spice comes out of the container. Doing so will make clean-up a snap.
- Decorating name cards for your guests – This is usually one of children’s favorite tasks because their handiwork ends up on the Thanksgiving table. One idea is for parents to make name cards out of paper and write the names on them, then let the kids color them in fall colors with pencils or crayons. Another idea, if your children are old enough, is to let them do the cutting and coloring. You just might be surprised by their creativity.
These are only a few ways to help get your children involved in preparing for Thanksgiving. We hope this helped make your holiday more enjoyable this year!