A typical afternoon in my house looks like this: I’m in the kitchen making some kind of food, and I hear a tiny voice say, “Can I help, mama?” Usually, I start looking around for something my little person can help out with. First, it started with the silverware, just the spoons and forks and she just kind of tossed them in the drawer. Then, a few weeks later, she wanted to learn how to crack an egg. At 2 years old, that was, well, messy. Now she’s putting some of the groceries away, most of the dishes she can reach, and wants to make her dad a salad every night because that’s what she can make all by herself. Your kids can help, too! And what better task for them to help out with than Thanksgiving.
Let Your Kids Help with Thanksgiving!
The holidays can be stressful enough, but luckily you’ve made the decision to make one or more kids your helpers in your very own home. I remember loving to help my grandmother make cookies and pies as a kid. As an adult, all I want to do is cook stuff in the kitchen and make a big mess. My little helper is three-years-old, and I can’t get her out of the kitchen. I’ve tried, it doesn’t work. Sound familiar? So in the last year I’ve taken a new approach with this sentence, “If you’re going to be in here, you have to be helping.” Most 3-year-olds or any age of kid love to help or enjoy being included and feeling like a “big boy” or “big girl.”
Here are some things your kids, of any age, can help you with during holiday meal prep.
- Put the marshmallows on the sweet potatoes.
- Mix up the spices for the seasoning for the turkey.
- Slice the cranberry sauce with a butter knife or help rinse real cranberries in the sink.
- Help stir pie mixings (let them make the top crust of pies with play-doh shapes).
- Let them fill up measuring cups and dump into bowls.
- Maybe crack an egg. (This is a tricky one but it’s totally doable with patience and time).
- Empty the dishwasher. (Start off slow, just silverware to start).
- Snap fresh green beans.
- Setting the table.
To make this endeavor even more fun try making a pretend cooking show together on video or go on Facebook Live. And if this is your first Thanksgiving that your kids are helping prepare, take pictures throughout the adventure. Take pictures of the egg they dropped on the floor and the flour from the pies on their faces. Trust me, you will be so glad you did. The time you spend with your kids teaching them life lessons are the ones that stick with them for the rest of their lives. So take extra time, especially if you have little ones, to show them and relearn with them. Thanksgiving is about counting your blessings and being grateful for one another and what better way to spend it than learning with your children.