Thanksgiving brings to mind delicious food and relaxed family time. Unless you’re the host or the parent of little kids.
Here are ideas for simplifying holiday travel, streamlining meal preparation and table setting, getting the kids involved and keeping them entertained while they wait for the turkey and pie. Not to mention teaching them about the spirit of Thanksgiving.
It’s doable, and with a little planning, fun for everyone. Happy Thanksgiving! — Asha
Thanksgiving meal planning and preparation
- What are your Thanksgiving traditions? Talk amongst yourselves.
- An organized Thanksgiving (including shopping list and supplies list templates)
- Cook and freeze the side dishes and desserts ahead of time
- Organize the Thanksgiving potluck with Google Docs
- Label the serving pieces
- Cut up the turkey before roasting to cut cooking time
- Online grocery services organize your shopping list for you — even if you don’t buy
- Store seasonal recipes and serving pieces in the same place
- Why catering your Thanksgiving meal may be easier, cheaper and smarter than you think
- Play “oven Tetris” with your baking dishes to simplify Thanksgiving cooking
Thanksgiving travel tips
- Book a “nap flight” for holiday travel
- A keepsake journal triples as travel entertainment, art preservation, and a grandparent gift
- Toy catalogs make for good kid distraction
- Stash quick-prep meal ingredients in the freezer before you travel
- The Travel archive is full of hundreds more great family travel tips!
Thanksgiving activities for kids
- 6 easy ways to involve kids in Thanksgiving
- Thanksgiving craft project: Cup cozies
- Non-TV ideas for organizing children during social gatherings? Talk amongst yourselves.
- Special event coming up? Try a practice run beforehand
At the table
- A trick for figuring out which plate and glass are yours at a crowded table
- Speed up after-meal cleanup with wipe-down placemats
- Attach the step stool to the chair or potty with bungee cords
Photo credit: Teo/Flickr CC