social emotional,  Thanksgiving

A Peaceful Thanksgiving – Tips for Avoiding Holiday Meltdowns

Thanksgiving is supposed to be time to relax and enjoy family, time to take a few minutes to recognize the blessings in our life.  You aren’t alone if your annual Thanksgiving celebration is anything less than stressful and overwhelming.  There is food that needs prepared, family members to please, extra furniture to set up, grocery shopping to do, not to mention arranging schedules to make sure that you are present at every family celebration.  In all of this, kids often get less to their own devices, and end up making messes that need cleaned up, and arguments that need solved.  By taking a few minutes to prepare simple activities to keep the kids busy, you can check one worry off your list! Here are some ideas and resources that you can use to entertain children – big and small – and bring some peace to the holiday.

  • Coloring sheets that double as a place mat.   Print enough of these for all of the kids at your celebration, and a few extras in case the adults want to join in too.

These are from Paper and Glitter
  • Give your kids a job.  Thanksgiving morning can be hectic – whether you are hosting or traveling, there is a lot to do, and not a lot of extra time to hang out with the kids.  You can get it all done and spend time with them if you ask them to help. Young children can help set the table, ask guests what they’d like to drink, help mash potatoes, take foil off of dishes, and show visitors where to put their coats.  when children feel like they are helping they are less likely to complain.

  • This genius idea comes from Tom Kat Studio.  Set out small containers of nuts, dried fruits, and candy with bags or containers.  Ask each child to create their own Thanksgiving Harvest Mix, which they can snack on before the meal.  This will keep them out of the kitchen, and you won’t have to answer “can we eat yet?” over and over again.

    • If you are hosting the celebration, gather a collection of Thanksgiving related books from your local library.  The children will enjoy the books, and older relatives will have just as much fun reading to them.
    • Start a new family tradition – whether your family watches the Thanksgiving Day Parade, plays the same board game every year, or always goes for a walk after lunch, traditions give children something to look forward to.
    Preparing a few of these activities now will help you have a smooth, fun, family holiday!
    *Portions of this post were originally written by Erin Holleran for Inspirations Early Learning Center

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