Make Thanksgiving More Enjoyable for Kids

Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Although you and your family are probably getting excited, buying ingredients to cook up the annual feast, and taking stock on all the things you have to be thankful for; kids often don’t fully understand the meaning of this special holiday. They may even become restless and bored while you are busy with preparations. Thankfully, you can make Thanksgiving more enjoyable for your own kids, as well as any children who will be visiting with friends and family members, by keeping them in mind as you make your holiday plans.

We’ve listed a few items to get your home child-ready, even if you don’t already have kids of your own.

Make sure you have plenty of activities, games, and/or toys on hand to occupy kids of all ages. Things that very young as well as older children can enjoy include arts and crafts, puzzles, building toys, and pretend play toys. Designate a special place in your home for kids to play. You may choose a corner of the living room so they can still be amongst the rest of the family, or a bedroom where they are free to make more noise. For toddlers and very young children, you may supply play food so they can help “cook” right along beside you!

The kiddie table doesn’t have to be boring. Choose children’s tables with unique shapes, fun themes, and comfortable chairs. By spending a little extra money up front for a quality table, you will have one that will last year after year, as well as give children a fun place to eat or play even when the holidays are over.

Put away any items that you would prefer not to have broken or lost. If you don’t have children, or if your kids are past the age of grabbing knickknacks and putting them into their mouths, you may have valuable or hazardous things sitting around that young children can get into. Get down on the child’s level by crawling on your hands and knees, and remove anything that you would rather not see shattering into a million pieces, or that could prove a choking hazard for small children. This will allow you to stop chasing your own kids around if they are of a certain age, and will let guests who have toddlers or infants relax and enjoy the festivities.

Have everyone in attendance name one thing they are thankful for including kids. This will force them to think about how lucky they are to have those toys you buy them and allow them to better understand a appreciate the holiday. You may also choose to do this in private as you put the kids to sleep. Explain to them what Thanksgiving means to you, whatever that may be, and have them tell you their own ideas.

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At SensoryEdge our focus is to educate, inform, and inspire each person caring for children to be and do their very best. It is not always easy and sometimes we don't take action (or we take the wrong action) because of a lack of understanding the real issues. We hope that the conversations that occur here will help in some small way better the lives of children, their families, and the professionals who work with them. We are always looking for valuable contributions to our site so if you are interested in becoming a contributor contact us.