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Navigating Thanksgiving Dinner with Kids

Posted on 11-25-2015 | Kids 'R' Kids Learning Academy of Keller

It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is coming up so soon! Families all across the nation are preparing for the fun, food, and fellowship that comes this time each year. If your gathering includes infants, toddlers, and preschool children then you will likely have a special section or table reserved just for them. At Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Keller, we know children bring wonder and magic to the holiday season. However, expecting children to sit quietly for the entire duration of the Thanksgiving feast is like telling a tornado to stay put! With all the different personalities and ages around the table it’s no surprise it can be a challenge. The good news is, with a little creativity and flexibility, everyone can enjoy a nice meal and mom may even be able to eat her food while it’s still warm – imagine!

Set Clear Expectations - First of all, if your child is old enough to understand your instructions, explain how the dinner will work. Many children get restless because they don’t know when the end is in sight. Saying something like, “Mommy and daddy will be eating for the next hour but after we’re finished we can go back outside together” will make that hour feel less like an eternity. This doesn’t necessarily guarantee a whine-free experience, but it can help! Clear expectations are a must when communicating with young children.

Incorporate Their Interests - Once you have established the structure of the dinner, be sure to have some fun activities at the kids’ table to occupy young minds. Know your audience – are you entertaining preschool children? Toddlers? What are their interests? Sports? Disney movies? You don’t need to go overboard but having some stickers or coloring sheets with favorite characters at the table are sure to be a big hit!

Simple Décor – One of the best options when setting a table for children is to use a paper tablecloth and provide crayons for some fun spontaneous doodling. Paper or plastic utensils and place settings will save everyone from unnecessary headaches as well. If you have older school-age children at the table, you can make the meal an educational experience with Turkey Time Trivia and use the turkeys as fun place setting decorations!

At Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Keller, we love celebrating the holidays with all of the families of our preschoolers, infants, and school-age children! We are proud to be the home away from home for so many precious children and are excited to share this holiday season with you. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us. Our doors are always open to you! 

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