Hosting Thanksgiving (or any holiday, for that matter) with lil ones in the house is a tricky task. Shopping, cooking, and cleaning are all made just a bit more difficult when you've got kids clamoring for your attention at the same time. Instead of trying to keep them out of your way while you prep for guests, put them to work! Here are eight ways to enlist the help of your kiddos in preparing for Thanksgiving company — both in and out of the kitchen.
Make Place Cards or Favors
Enlist little crafters to create place cards ($12/kit to make eight) or favors for your guests. Even a formal dining room table could use a little handmade charm!
Wash Fruit and Veggies
Put little hands to work at the kitchen sink — tots can help rinse off fruit and veggies (cranberries are especially fun) before you start cooking and baking.
Roll Out the Pie Crust or Cookie Dough
Little ones love getting into flour and sugar! If you can handle a little extra cleanup, let them roll out your pie crust or cookie dough — it doesn't matter if it's not perfect.
Snap Ends Off the Green Beans
If green beans are playing a supporting role in your Thanksgiving feast, ask your little ones to help with the tedious task of snapping off their ends.
Stir the Soup
If you have soup or gravy simmering over the stove — and a kiddo who's old enough to safely navigate the kitchen — put them to work stirring.
Set the Table
While you probably don't want them running around with stacks of your wedding china, bigger kids can be super helpful when it comes to setting the table. Give them exact instructions and a handful of flatware or a stack of cloth napkins to fold.
Arrange Sweet Treats
If cookies are coming out at dessert time, enlist the creative skills of your little ones to help in arranging them on a platter.
Provide an Ice Breaker
If cocktail hour has begun and mama needs some alone time in the kitchen, charge the kiddos with entertaining your guests. We love these letterpress "Thankful For . . ." printed coasters ($10/10 coasters) — they provide a great Thanksgiving conversation starter. Have your little ones pass around pens and instruct your guests to share a sentiment.