Helping Hands: How the Kids Can Help with Thanksgiving Prep Hosting Thanksgiving is a huge undertaking, even for the most skilled host(ess). When you’re preparing for a gathering, it can feel like your children are underfoot. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Put them to work! As long as they are steady walkers, even very young children can pitch in. 😉 Here’s how to get them involved.
If they can walk steadily, they can dust. Show them how it’s done, and let them get to it. Yes, you’ll need to check in regularly with the really young ones to assess their work, but at least the work is getting done by someone other than you. And you’re teaching the value of pitching in and working together. Older children can dust tricky areas, like stairs and ceiling fans, and they can also vacuum, mop and wipe down the bathroom. And look at that – your house is clean!
Setting the Table
Setting the table can be fun! Demonstrate what you want done and then let the kids complete the task. Invite them to make place cards or decorations for each setting. This will keep them busy for a while, and they’ll love adding personal touches to the festivities. Be sure to point out their handiwork to your guests.
Are your children are old enough to handle knives and peelers? That opens up a whole world of prep duties in the kitchen. Potato peeling, vegetable chopping, salad prep, bread slicing and preparing cold appetizers can all be checked off your list with minimal effort on your part! Make sure to give positive feedback along the way.
If your children are steady enough to carry dishes, show them how to serve your guests – make sure everyone gets their favorite Tickle Water flavor! – and clear the table after dinner. The process might not be as smooth as dining in a fine restaurant, but at least you can sit and chat with your company instead of waiting on everyone. Your guests will likey compliment the kids’ effort, which will be gratifying after all their hard work. If you pre-portion desserts, they can serve. You might have to tackle coffee, tea and after dinner cocktails, but you probably won’t mind after such a relaxing meal.
When the guests have gone, it’s cleanup time. This can be tough because everyone will be exhausted, but maybe you can tempt them with a family board game or TV time if everyone pitches in. Depending on age and ability, children can help to load the dishwasher, hand-wash dishes, wipe the table and do a quick sweep.
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!