Stressed out about cooking a Thanksgiving dinner? If your kids aren’t helping you out, it’s time to put them to work. Even the littlest ones can get into the act. Here’s our list of the top ten kids’ Thanksgiving jobs:
You may not want to trust your kids with Great-Grandma’s china or crystal, but they can certainly set out silverware and napkins. Furthermore, if they’re still looking for something to do, have them design place cards.
9) Scrub the Veggies
Even your littlest ones can be in charge of washing fruits and vegetables. For example, how much fun is scrubbing a potato? They won’t want to stop until every speck of dirt is gone.
You may not necessarily think to assign your kids the task of chopping things, but you’d be surprised what they can do if you give them a kid-friendly knife and a lesson in safe chopping skills. Our kids’ chop-list includes bread that needs to be cubed for stuffing, apples to be cut into slices for pie, cranberries to be chopped for relish, and cooked sweet potatoes to be sliced for a casserole. Additionally, if you’re serving salad, there are plenty of opportunities for veggie-chopping right there.
7) Mash, Mash Baby
What kid would turn down an opportunity to take a potato masher and go to town on a big bowl of potatoes? Just give the potatoes a few minutes to cool after you boil them.
If there’s anything on your menu that needs to be ground or blended, give your kid the task. For example, are you making cranberry relish? Put your kid in charge of pressing the buttons on the food processor. Need ground nuts for your stuffing or pies? Your kid can do the honors with a small nut grinder. Pressing cranberries for sauce? Try one of our family’s standbys, the kid-proof and irresistible Foley food mill.
If you are making your own pie crust, give a kid a rolling pin and put him on rolling duty. Alternatively, if you’re concerned about pie dough perfection, take a different approach. Let your kid roll out the pie dough scraps and cut them with cookie cutters to make leaf decorations for the top of the pie.
Is your kid old enough to read and follow a recipe? Put him in charge of one simple dish, from start to finish. For example, they might make a fruit-and-veggie appetizer plate, an easy biscuit recipe, or a sweet potato casserole.
3) Do the Dishes
Kids running around like crazy after dinner? Hand them an apron and put them on dishwashing duty. Of course, you might not trust them with the crystal or the china. But you can fix them up with a sink full of soapy water and a bunch of utensils.
2) Collect the Trash
Give each kid a bag and send them around the house looking for things to pick up. Bonus points to whomever fills up a bag first.
1) Create a Gratitude Project
Put your (older) kid in charge of organizing a gratitude project. For example, have them design a board that all guests can write on to express what they’re thankful for. Or have them cut out small cards that guests can write on, and then read the cards aloud at dinner. Have them create a “bucket” for each person, and then others fill the “bucket” with notes about why they are grateful for that person. Alternatively, let them brainstorm their own gratitude project.
What are we thankful for? Having a bunch of kids in the house… and having someone to do all of these kids’ Thanksgiving jobs!
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
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