Thanksgiving is around the corner, and the long weekend of festivities is a great time to form good memories with your child and extended family! One of the main ways families come together during this holiday is over food, often with a homemade meal of classic Thanksgiving dishes like turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. While your child may have been eating this meal with you for many years, there’s no better time than the present to involve them in making this big family meal. Here are some age-appropriate ways to involve your child in preparing the Thanksgiving meal!
Ways to involve younger children
Even toddlers can help some! Preschool-age children may involve tasks like helping with mixing some ingredients together with supervision. The trick is to make sure they are kept far away from any sharp or hot objects for safety. They may love the experience of turning a closed salad spinner round to dry lettuce! As they get older and fine motor skills develop, you can include them in setting the table, measuring and counting items, and even sharpen their reading skills by having them read recipe steps aloud!
Ways to involve preteens
Preteens are prepared to help in more hands-on ways! If you have already helped them learn how to use blades in the kitchen they can be especially helpful. Try having them help by teaching them to peel potatoes, make salads, and open cans. You can also have them show younger children how jobs should be done. They can also be extremely helpful at locating and prepping ingredients on a small scale. While they do not need as much supervision as younger children, they may still need help with some tasks. Make sure there is at least one adult available to help them as needed.
Ways to involve teens
Teenagers, with a little instruction, are ready to be your sous-chef! Teenagers can be helpful by washing dishes as they are used and preparing fruits and vegetables. When shown how to, they can also stir dishes on the stove! While it is still recommended they have adult supervision and help available if needed, teens are old enough to be quick learners and dependable helpers as older relatives assemble this large family meal.
Now, you are prepared to empower your child of any age with age-appropriate tasks to help make Thanksgiving special! Enjoy this time together as you make memories, teach them valuable life skills, and experience the process of preparing and eating a holiday meal together as a family.