Thanksgiving … love it! What a perfect time for family, gratitude, memory-making, and kids in the kitchen!
At our house, Will and Christina helped prepare part of the meal and set the table when they were little. As they grew older, they took responsibility for a lot of the grocery shopping, preparing our cranberry salad (post with printable vegetarian recipes), helping with every dish, setting the table, and getting the food on the table. If you’d like to know more about how my family traditionally spent Thanksgiving when Will and Christina were growing up, here’s my post: Homeschool Thanksgiving.
The more you can help your children prepare for Thanksgiving ahead of time and let them be part of the planning and preparations, the less stressful and more fun Thanksgiving Day will be for all of you. And your children will feel a special sense of pride and happiness in having an important role in the Thanksgiving preparations.
Here are links to some posts I’ve published with lots of resources to help your children truly be a part of preparing and enjoying the Thanksgiving meal:
I have a post on Montessori-Inspired Gratitude Activities, which can be used to help plan a gratitude activity for the Thanksgiving meal.
My Kids’ Thanksgiving Activities Pinterest board contains gratitude activities, kids’ crafts and other Thanksgiving activities, Thanksgiving placemats and other place setting ideas, and fun Thanksgiving foods for kids. My Pinterest board contains an overwhelming number of activities, but the beauty of Pinterest is that you can choose what your eye is drawn to. And you can have your child help you choose an activity as well!
Give your child practice in food preparation: Montessori-Inspired Food Preparation for Preschoolers (photo from Kids Cutting post at How We Montessori).
Everyone will feel more comfortable if your child is prepared to meet relatives: How to Help Your Child Feel Comfortable Greeting Relatives.
Your child can learn to set the table beforehand. Just use one of the simplest ideas if you have little time to prepare: Table Setting.
Give your child some basic introductions to table manners before the Thanksgiving meal: How to Teach Your Child Table Manners for Holiday Gatherings.
Most children are excited about the upcoming holiday and will be happy with extra Thanksgiving-related activities. Montessori philosophy encourages you to prepare your child with lessons and activities reinforcing important skills. It’s fine to take time from your regular curriculum to truly prepare your child for an extra special Thanksgiving dinner.