Last week we talked about a few ideas and activities for you and your kids to enjoy during Thanksgiving. Today we will expand on those ideas and focus more on ways to involve the kids directly.
The word “thanksgiving” has two parts – “Thanks” and “Giving”. Lead your kids in prayers of thanks for all the blessings that God has given your family, and then involve them in a giving project. Ask for their ideas about ways to give to others. If they’re stumped, you can offer some suggestions. You can go shopping together and buy food to donate to the food bank or to one of the ongoing Harvey Relief Centers. The kids can sort through their toys and choose some to give to a church for their nursery or Sunday School classrooms. If your kids have a piggy bank or receive an allowance they might donate money to a favorite charity. Give the gift of time and labor to a neighbor who is in need. There are so many ways to help others and Thanksgiving is a great time to teach your kids to be givers.
If you’re cooking at home, let the kids help. Making cranberry sauce from whole cranberries is easy and a great science experience. Just follow the simple directions on the cranberry package and voila!, you will have homemade cranberry sauce. This can be made days in advance of the meal, so you can do this together today! Depending upon your children’s ages, they can also wash and peel vegetables, help roll out pie dough, mix up the ingredients for stuffings and more.
If you’re having company for dinner, ask the kids to make place cards. Just construction paper or index cards, stickers and markers are all they need. You can also involve them in decorating the table with found nature items like pine cones, twigs and dry leaves. Encourage their creativity in making the table look inviting.
If you’re joining another family at their home, involve the kids in making something to take. Again, this might be the cranberry sauce or a pie. Salads are also easy, kid-friendly contributions that kids can make. Let them tear up lettuce and other greens. Make salad dressing by putting the ingredients in a jar with a lid, closing the lid tightly and asking the kids to shake, shake, shake it up.
You might help deliver food to another family in your neighborhood, take food to an elderly person who lives alone or volunteer to help serve at a community dinner.
May you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving. I am thankful for the opportunity to work with you and your kids. Let me know if I can be of help to you with any parenting challenges that you may be facing. I would love to talk with you!