5 Ways to Keep Kids Happy During Thanksgiving Dinner

For most of us Thanksgiving is a family affair; meaning we get together with our loved ones to eat good food, be grateful for our blessings, and to catch up with those we may not see outside of the holiday season.

Unfortunately though, for some of us Thanksgiving can also mean a time of overwhelming stress. My goal is to bring you a few posts between now and Thanksgiving to hopefully help alleviate some of that stress.

Instead of banishing the kids to a corner or chasing them around the room during meal time, I have a few ideas that could hopefully help make the day a little easier.

5 Tips to Keep Kids Entertained

  1. Thanksgiving Themed Activity Tablecloth
    Last year I put a Thanksgiving themed color-in tablecloth on the kids table with a few crayons at each place setting. They absolutely loved it!
    It kept them entertained for the majority of the meal. You can find similar tablecloths here and here.
  2. Set Out Activity Books
    Department stores & Amazon carry all sorts of Thanksgiving themed activity books. If you have elementary/middle school aged children I would recommend this book. MadLibs are fun and educational activities for kids to do as a group.
    You could tear out a few pages, place them at each place setting with a pen or pencil. Or you could simply have the book near the table for the kids to grab when they want something to do.
  3. Ask Them For Help
    Prepping, setting up, and cooking for Thanksgiving can be incredibly exhausting. Especially if you’re a host like my parents who do the whole meal themselves.
    It’s okay to ask for help and it’s okay to let others help you. Instead of stressing over all of the details and trying to do it all yourself, put the kids to work!
    When your guests arrive ask the kids to collect their jackets.
    If the kids are old enough to pour their own drinks, ask them to see what your guests would like to drink.
  4. Let The Kids Help Set Up
    Ask the kids to help set up the tables.
    If you’re particular about how you want the adult table then ask them to set up the kids table. They’d love it!
    Often times when kids helping they’re entertained and focused.
  5. Give Them Their Own Table Servings
    When I was a kid this was one of my favorite things about the kids table. It always made me feel so grown up!
    If it’s possible, give the kids their own food settings at the table. A small platter with turkey, a dish of a few rolls, etc. They’ll love setting up and arranging how they want their table to look.


Extra Tip!Give Them A Craft
The morning of, while you’re cooking and setting up give the kids an easy craft to do. Ask them to trace their hands on construction paper and make turkey’s for each place setting. The older children can help the younger ones with scissors and writing out names. This is a great activity to keep kids of all ages busy!