If you need some ways to entertain kids this year while Thanksgiving dinner is cooking, you are in the right place. I have three kids of my own and a ton of nieces, nephews and cousins that run through the house causing havoc wherever they go. Keeping kids busy helps prevent disaster and keeps you sane while you cook. So, without further ado, here are some fun and easy ways to entertain kids so that you can prepare the meal and the kids can have some fun at the same time.
1. Colorful Tablecloth
Here is one of my favorite ways to entertain kids on Thanksgiving. Instead of covering the kids' table with your favorite heirloom tablecloth, lay down a large piece of butcher paper instead. Then scatter a bunch of crayons around so that kids can color or draw to their heart’s content. This is an easy way to provide something to do without worrying about your house being destroyed in the process.
2. Set out a Craft
Head to a local crafts store and grab a few pre-made kits to put together a turkey, pilgrim or something similar. These crafts are generally easy to put together and leave kids with something they can take home. Have the older kids help the younger kids so that you are free to finish cooking the meal.
3. Let Them Help
Giving kids easy kitchen tasks is a simple way to keep them busy in a place where you can see what they are doing. Let kids use a butter knife to slice fruit for the appetizer table or spread soft cheese on crackers. Kids can also arrange the table décor and lay out the place settings. Kids are also great at washing, stirring and mixing so give each of them a job and dinner will be on the table that much faster.
4. Screen a Favorite Movie
Set up a movie watching area in a room you aren’t using for dinner. Put out bean bag chairs, pillows, blankets and snacks. Then turn on a kid-friendly movie that will keep all the kids sitting still until the turkey comes out of the oven. Choose a seasonal movie or just grab one from the stack that all the kids vote on. You can also tune into the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on television.
5. Put out Board Games
This is an idea that is sure to get the adults involved too. Put out some easy to play board games and let everyone get in on the fun while the turkey finishes cooking. Not only will everyone be making great memories, but they’ll all be out of your way so you can get dinner ready without all the craziness.
6. Send Them outside
Where I live, the weather is often pretty mild on Thanksgiving. If you live in a place with a decent fall climate, send the kids outside to play. They can toss a football, dig in the dirt or hunt for nature. This gives them the chance to burn off some energy and get some fresh air. When dinner is ready, they’ll be running to come in and eat it all up.
7. Bribe Them
Most moms aren’t against the occasional bribe when it keeps kids in line. Myself included. Tell the kids they can have a special treat or win a prize for staying out of the way and finding something to do. The allure of a reward is often enough to get all kids behaving.
How do you keep your kids entertained while the food cooks? I love all of these ideas because they works for kids of all ages. Will you try any of them this year?