I was thinking back on all the Thanksgivings we’ve spent as a family and I realized — we never do the same thing twice. We once spent a low-key Thanksgiving with just our two kids (way back when!), eating early so my husband could go to work. We’ve driven to California and spent Thanksgiving with 45 people at a small cabin in the desert. We’ve crashed other families’ Thanksgivings and eaten all their food. But I can tell you — if we’re spending Thanksgiving at someone else’s house, the one thing that will send me into their arms, weeping with gratitude, is discovering there are things for the kids to do.
Having crafts for kids is a lifesaver. They keep kids busy. They serve as an icebreaker, giving relatives who haven’t seen the kids in a long time something to do with them. They can also keep older cousins occupied, helping the little guys. They don’t have to be complicated crafts — this handprint turkey placecard just requires construction paper, markers, scissors and glue. Well, and a hand.
Gingerbread houses are a little more involved, but hold everyone’s attention a lot longer (and the kids can ruin their dinners eating the decorations…). I recently got a kit at IKEA for $4, but there are kits available at Target and grocery stores as well.
You can also use graham crackers to build your house. Or I suppose you could make gingerbread from scratch but for heaven’s sake, you’re making a Thanksgiving dinner. Give yourself a break.
Here are a few more craft ideas for the kids’ table:
Paper Plate Turkey from Crafts for All Seasons
Chalkboard Paper Turkey from Crafts ‘n Coffee
Pinecone Turkey from Margie’s Mark
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!