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How to Keep Kids Busy on Thanksgiving Day

Cooking on Thanksgiving Day can become stressful trying to prepare the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, pies, etc. When you add kids running around, or wanting attention because they are bored, or getting antsy because they are hungry, it can make for a hectic time. 

Keeping kids busy and having light snacks can avoid your frustration and your kids’ frustration.  Below are ways to keep your kids busy on Thanksgiving Day so you can cook in peace.

Watch the Parade.  This is a fun tradition at our house.  Give your kids a snack that they can have while they watch the floats, listen to the songs, and watch the dance performances. 

Sales Ads.  Give them a few of the sale ads, like from Walmart, Toys R Us, and department stores.  Have them circle what they want or write their wish list, plus they can write letters to Santa. 

Set up a Game Area.  Board games have always been a favorite with my kids.  Put out 3 – 4 games that they have not played in a while.  For older kids, you can even set up musical chairs.

Set up a Craft Area.  This can be as simple as leaving out craft supplies or you can have a few crafts with what they will need with instructions printed out and put on a table.  There are so many easy Thanksgiving crafts. Paper plate turkeys, thankful tree, placemats and napkin holders have been favorites with my kids.  Here is an article on Parenting.com with 20 easy crafts for kids.

Scavenger Hunt.  Depending on the weather, the kids can go out in the back yard and look for pine cones, different color leaves, etc.  If it is too cold, you can make an indoor scavenger hunt.  You can use paper turkeys; you can even have the kids make them and then you hide them around the house.

Let them Help.  Some kids just enjoy helping and being a part of the day.  Give them easy jobs to help with like folding napkins, setting the table, mixing ingredients, etc.  These little things will make them feel involved.

Taking a few minutes of planning will eliminate the extra stress that anxious or bored kids can cause.  Plus your kids will be happier too with having various activities to do, what a wonderful family day this will be!