Worried that your usually angelic younglings will turn into little devils right in front of Great Aunt Peggy and the rest of your family? Let’s face it, isn’t it always the times when we’re hoping our kids will be on their best behavior that they really lose it? For us, holiday gatherings are about catching up with family and friends and food. However, watching us visit with relatives is a ZERO on our kids’ excite-o-meter and we know what can happen when you get a group of kids together and boredom sets in. Where’s the volume control knob?
Well, now imagine you might actually enjoy your Thanksgiving Mighty Feast this year! Yes, it could happen. With a little forethought and planning, you can avoid the dreaded major meltdowns and clashes and the even more dreaded glances of pity from helpless family members witnessing the calamity. So, you ask, “How do we keep the kids from getting bored?”
I know a lot of people suggest having kids help in the kitchen and that’s great – in theory! Honestly, does this work for more than one or maybe two kids? Sure, kids rinse vegetables and help with a few simple things but most things need to be supervised. While you’re in the throes of preparing the mighty feast you probably don’t have the time or patience to supervise like you need to. So, forget that.
Read on for some simple suggestions for fun things we can give kids to do to keep them occupied while we prepare the mighty feast! Something to keep in mind; just because you have these great activities lined up doesn’t mean straight away start imposing them upon your kids! Let the energy of the group cue you. You’ll know when it’s time to step in!
Starting Out Simple…
Coloring Activities: There are millions of Thanksgiving printouts on the internet, just do a quick search for a great selection. Print a selection out ahead of time! Don’t wait to let each child pick one and print. Can you see how that creates a bottleneck problem? Sidestep that mess! You might want to save the ones you pre-print just in case you need duplicates. Have your markers, crayons, etc. assembled in advance.
Letter Wheel: You’ll make the letter tab plates ahead of time. To play, have kids walk around the house looking for letters of the alphabet. Players fold down the tabs on the plate as they find the letters. Another way to play is to have guests call out letters as they carry on conversation. Players listen for the letters and fold them down as they hear them. You can confine the searching to certain areas of the house or outdoors if you like, and with little ones it helps to have assistance. This game is especially good for new spellers who are learning letter sounds, but older kids can play too. You can make it more challenging for the older ones by having them write the name of the thing they saw (or who said the letter) on the back of the plate. Everyone is a winner. Give a treat or small prize when all tabs are turned.