Thanksgiving Day with kids can feel eternal, especially if you’re trying to prep, cook, and clean with littles in the house. Adopt some of these traditions from our circle of mom friends to keep kids busy and teach them about gratitude. You’ll be so thankful you did.
We go on a hike as a family Thanksgiving morning, and the kids collect leaves and pinecones to make turkeys for the table. We use leaves instead of feathers in this video but either turns out great.
We started using Turkey On The Table last year and love that it makes the kids think about gratitude for more than just one day. It also helps that it makes a cute centerpiece and takes care of the Thanksgiving dinner conversation.
While I'm busy prepping, the kids make pomanders as party favors for our guests. You can incorporate them in the table setting or just hand them to guests as they leave. Set kids up with oranges and a big box of whole cloves and let them go nuts poking the cloves into the citrus. Fun fact: The cloves perfectly preserve the fruit, so they last for years.
I get out stickers, feathers, markers, and construction paper for the kids to make festive place cards for the table (so they're distracted while I prep).
We run the Turkey Trot as a family, and then celebrate our accomplishments with hot cider for the kids and bloody mary’s for the adults. It makes the cooking much less stressful.
We make a Thanksgiving tree. We put branches in a vase and hang cut-out orange/red/yellow leaves, on which everyone writes what they’re thankful for each day of the month of November. You might find a leaf with the name of their grandmother beside a leaf that said “dinosaurs” because kids.
Dad takes everyone in pajamas to get bagels or donuts to eat while watching the Macy's Parade, which means I'm off breakfast duty and can focus on cooking.
Instead of saying what we are thankful for, everyone writes it down (or draws a picture) and puts it in a bowl before the meal. Then we pull them out and guess who wrote what. It makes for fun dinner convo and nobody is put on the spot.
We make signs the night before and I take the kids to cheer on the runners in our local Turkey Trot, while Dad gets the bird going.
While we are all hanging out after Thanksgiving dinner, we choose a few Letters to Santa from low-income children to buy Christmas gifts for and pick presents out online as a family. We try and choose ones close in age to our kids so they can lead the shopping charge.