Thanksgiving is a great time to catch up with relatives and friends. Often times, the people we spend Thanksgiving with are those we only see around the holidays. On these rare occasions, visiting is an important time to build relationships.
Those with young children might have a more difficult time visiting. Parents know how hard it is to keep children at the dinner table. Children quickly loose interest and grow restless during long meals. Keeping the little ones occupied during dinner can be a challenge but it doesn’t have to be.
Enjoy these helpful tips on how to keep your children occupied during Thanksgiving dinner.
Backup Plan – Children eat much less than adults and finish their meal while you’re still on your first course. Having something for your child to do at the table while everyone is still eating will keep them quietly busy. Place crayons and a coloring book under your child’s chair. Doing this secretly will make it even more exciting for them. When you see your child becoming a little restless, tell them there is a surprise taped underneath their chair.
Cool Kids Table – Making the kids table cool will keep your children interested in dinner. This can easily be done by placing teenagers at the kids table. Children look up to those in their teens and find them to be cool; they will be excited about getting to sit next to their teenaged cousins. While the adults are drinking wine, include the children by giving them sparkling grape juice in plastic wine glasses – the teenagers will enjoy this as well.
Prizes – Having little prizes throughout dinner will most definitely keep your children sitting patiently at the table. Tape a star under one of the children’s dinner plates and once they’ve all finished their meals, tell them to look under their plates. The child with the star wins a prize. The same can be done with the desert plates. Prizes can also be given to those who eat everything on their plate and who is the most polite. There is no need to buy expensive prizes, dollar prizes will do just fine.
Puppets – After all of the children have finished eating, give them each turkey, pilgrim and American Indian finger puppets. Older children can make their own figure puppets. The children will have fun playing and making different scenarios with their finger puppets. This will keep them busy and also harness their imaginations.