Monday, November 14, 2011

Celebrating Thanksgiving with Children: Making Memories for a Lifetime


Celebrating Thanksgiving with Children: Making Memories for a Lifetime

At four and five, my children are just old enough to start looking forward to the holidays. Recently, they started mentioning the turkey cake I made for Thanksgiving last year. They enjoyed watching me put it together. From carving the cake pieces to rolling out the fondant, we created memories together that they are still talking about. I have few more suggestions about how kids can participate in Thanksgiving preparations.

Allow the children to help with the cooking.
 Now of course, most kids cannot help you roast a turkey; but there are many cooking tasks perfect for little hands:

• Mashing potatoes. I bet many kids would like being able to mash something. It is a great activity for your child with a lot of energy to burn.

• Mixing stuffing. Give your child the ingredients for stuffing and a large bowl. He can stir to his heart's content.

• Rolling pie crusts. If you make your own crusts, let your child help by rolling it out for you. This a great opportunity to teach about thick and thin.

Let the kids help prepare the table.
Everyone loves a festive table for Thanksgiving, even the kids. Allow them to assist in making it something special. Some examples are:

• Setting the table. From draping the linens to placing the forks in the correct place, kids will love that they helped make it perfect.

• Making decorations. Children can arrange fruit in the center of the table or make turkey centerpieces out of pinecones.

• Decorating place cards. Creating customized cards for each setting can foster conversation about Thanksgiving guests and why children are thankful to have them in their lives.

Your children will cherish the time you spent together preparing for Thanksgiving. They may even have ideas of their own. Listen to them; you may just find yourself making memories of your own.

Head Ant is the author of Let's Go on a Picnic! She is the mother of two children and married to her soulmate. She loves to celebrate the holidays with special meals and family.

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