Grateful for the Memories:  A Guide to Planning a Thanksgiving Celebration with Kids

Grateful for the Memories: A Guide to Planning a Thanksgiving Celebration with Kids

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, as the temperatures finally cool here in the southern states.  This holiday is not just about your favorite food and expressing gratitude; it's also a wonderful opportunity to create lasting memories, especially when celebrating with kids. Planning a Thanksgiving celebration that caters to the little ones can be both enjoyable and rewarding. In this guide, we'll explore creative ideas and practical tips to ensure a festive and kid-friendly Thanksgiving.

Involve Kids in the Planning Process: Start the excitement early by involving your children in the planning process. Ask for their input on the menu, decorations, and activities. This not only makes them feel included but also sparks their enthusiasm for the upcoming celebration.  

Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving Decorations: Decorate your home with kid-friendly Thanksgiving decor. Create handmade crafts such as handprint paper turkeys, fall leaf garlands, and gratitude trees. You can also assign the little ones the task of making personalized place cards for the dinner table.  Our personalized pumpkins serve as decor and a keepsake that lasts for years (shown with one of our adorable tiny clients in the photo on this post from @shannon_bardales).

Crafts: Keep the kids entertained with a variety of Thanksgiving-themed activities. Set up a craft station where they can create their own keepsake like turkey handprints. Consider organizing a scavenger hunt with Thanksgiving-themed clues to keep them engaged and excited.  I personally love Pinterest for this.  Check out our Thanksgiving board for specifically curated content devoted to celebrating with kids. 

Kid-Approved Menu: While traditional Thanksgiving dishes are undoubtedly delicious, consider incorporating kid-friendly options into the menu. Think about mini turkey sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, and sweet potato fries. You can also involve the kids in baking and decorating Thanksgiving-themed sweets.

Expressing Gratitude: Thanksgiving is the perfect time to teach children about gratitude. Create a gratitude jar where everyone can write down what they are thankful for, and then share these sentiments during the meal. This simple practice fosters a sense of appreciation and reflection.  

Games: Plan games that both kids and adults can enjoy. Bingo with Thanksgiving-themed cards, a pie-eating contest, or a pumpkin pie toss can add a playful touch to the celebration. 

Outdoor Activities: If weather permits, plan outdoor activities to burn off some energy. A game of touch football, a nature scavenger hunt, or a fall-themed obstacle course can provide a perfect balance to the indoor festivities.

Create a Cozy Reading Corner: Set up a cozy reading nook with Thanksgiving-themed books. Encourage the kids to take a break and immerse themselves in stories that celebrate the spirit of gratitude and thankfulness.  

Capture the Moments: Don't forget to capture the special moments. Encourage the kids to take photos throughout the day or designate a photographer to document the festivities. These pictures will become cherished memories for years to come.  Consider creating keepsake frames that you later fill with pictures and share with family as a sweet gift. 

End the Day with a Movie Night: Wind down the celebration with a family-friendly Thanksgiving movie night. Choose films that convey the values of gratitude and family, creating a cozy atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.  One we discovered last year is Jim Henson's Turkey Hollow.  

Planning a Thanksgiving celebration for and with kids can be a delightful experience. By incorporating kid-friendly elements into the festivities, you not only create an environment that caters to their interests but also build cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Whether it's crafting together, sharing stories of gratitude, or engaging in fun activities, a kid-friendly Thanksgiving celebration is sure to be a joyful and memorable occasion for the entire family.

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