The Global Domain Name (url) Families.com is currently available for acquisition. Please contact by phone at 805-627-1955 or Email for Details

Putting Kids to Work During Thanksgiving Break


When you are cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 30 guests, there’s no room for pride. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in the kitchen… and other parts of the house.

One of the biggest mistakes stressed out parents make during the chaotic countdown to turkey carving is letting their kids run around aimlessly when they could be helping with a myriad of holiday preparations.

For example, even very young kids, can lend a hand when it comes to crafting decorations for your Turkey Day feast. Simply line a table with newspaper and let kids go to town making their own construction paper or fabric turkeys. If you are a brave mama, you might consider giving your kids devil’s dust (a.k.a. glitter) to decorate their holiday birds. Another option is to cut out a turkey body from brown felt and allow kids to attach fabric feathers to it. They can finish off the bird by adding googly eyes, a felt beak, and feet made from pipe cleaners.

Younger children can also make Thanksgiving centerpieces from apples, glue, gum drops, mini marshmallows, construction paper and some toothpicks. Start by having your child trace his thumb onto brown construction paper two times. Next, cut out the thumbprints and glue them together with the top half of a toothpick in between. You can make the turkey come alive by drawing some eyes on the apple or by placing a toothpick into the fruit in order to make the neck and head of the bird. You’ll be covering the toothpick with three gum drops, so be sure not to shove the pick in too far. Finally, you will be making the turkey’s tail feathers by skewering mini-marshmallows on the remaining toothpicks and inserting them to the back of the apple. When the turkeys are done, have your kids place them around the house, including the dinner table, the mantle, or they could be given out to guests as parting gifts.

Older children don’t need to be supervised by an adult to create floral arrangements, cornucopias and other homemade holiday decor, such as wooden message blocks. The wood can be purchased at home improvement stores, and you only need two blocks to get started. In addition, you will need a small bottle of dark orange craft paint and one bottle of gold paint. Use the orange paint to cover both blocks, then go back and spell out the word “GIVE” on one block and “THANKS” on the other with the gold paint. When the paint dries, stack the blocks on a bed of fall leaves or in the middle of an autumn wreath that is being used on the eating table, rather than hanging on the wall. If you don’t have leaves or a wreath, you could simply place the blocks on a pretty plate and embellish with twigs, berries and nuts.

Related Articles:

Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving Art Projects

Homemade Thanksgiving Decorations Courtesy of Mother Nature

Fun Ways to Keep Your Kids Entertained on Thanksgiving

Keeping Kids Busy on Thanksgiving

This entry was posted in Activities by Michele Cheplic. Bookmark the permalink.

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.