Published : Monday, 19 Nov 2012, 8:00 AM EST
My husband, John, is a huge foodie. He loves trying all sorts of foods, checking out new restaurants and also works in the food service industry. So, it’s only natural for him to love a holiday that is celebrated with what else? Food.
Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday of the year. Every year he starts talking about the big meal about a month ahead of time, brainstorming new ways to prepare the turkey, or a new side dish he can whip up to wow our family.
One of the highlights of his Thanksgiving preparation last year, was getting our daughter, Sophia, more involved in the food preparation. To get ready for the meal, my husband spends the two evenings prior to the holiday preparing the turkey with all the right spices, rubs and then brines it. Last year Sophia was inquisitive and wanted to help in the kitchen. She stirred the brine, helped pack the tub with ice and took an active part in preparing things for Thanksgiving day. It was really neat to see her and my husband don their matching aprons and do something together that could become a tradition.
This past weekend Sophia was already asking about “getting her turkey ready” and is excited for this fun tradition that her and her dad do together. I think starting holiday traditions with kids at a young age is something that is important. It makes for a positive memory and is something that kids can look forward to participating in each year.
Whether it’s letting them help prepare the meal or having them assist in decorating the dining room table, think of a way to incorporate your kids into preparing for Thanksgiving this year. Here are a few ideas I came up with that you might want to try!
1) The Mini Gourmet – Like our daughter does, let your kids help in the kitchen. Yes, it gets messy, but they will feel special when your guests comment on how good that turkey tastes or how yummy those sweet potatoes smell.
2) The Hostess with the Mostess – Let your kids make place settings for your guests. Maybe it’s creating paper placemats and coloring them with a Thanksgiving theme. Or, have them make name cards for each of your family members (this is also good practice for brushing up on their handwriting skills if they’re young).
3) The Design Star – Have your kids decorate the dinner table. Think about sticks, leaves, pinecones or other fall elements they could gather to make your table festive.
4) The Grateful Greeter - As your family comes in the house, have your kids pass out pieces of paper and pens and have each guest write down something they are thankful for. The kids can gather them up in a bag or a box and then take turns reading them to the guests over dinner.
These are four fun and simple ideas that I came up with. Now, I’d love to hear what Thanksgiving traditions you have with your kids, or something you plan to try. Happy Thanksgiving!
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