Top 9 Ways to Distract Kids on Thanksgiving

Nov 20, 2018Reading Time: 4 min

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, you may feel overwhelmed with your to-do list. With all the food you need to make before your guests arrive, you don’t want any distractions. And, that includes the little ones running around your home. So, what can you do to keep your children out of the kitchen and away from the cooking chaos? Try preparing some of the following activities for your kids to do this year while you cook:

Coloring Placemats If you have children that like to color, you can keep their little hands busy while letting them help make dinner extra special. Print out Thanksgiving coloring pages that can be used as placemats or decorations at dinner. Give them plenty of coloring utensils and set them loose to allow their creativity to soar.

Homemade Butter What goes great with homemade rolls on Thanksgiving Day? Homemade butter. It’s easy to make, and it will keep your children busy for a while. All you need is several glass jars with lids and heavy cream. Fill the jars halfway with the cream, seal the lid, and let your kids shake the jars. They should continue this process until almost all of the liquid is gone. If you want to speed up the process, try adding marbles to the mixture. Just be sure to take them out before serving the butter.

Thanksgiving-Themed Books For your little book lovers, there are some great Thanksgiving-themed books for them to enjoy. Some of the books include:

  • Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks
  • Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving
  • The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks
  • Little Critter: Just a Special Thanksgiving
  • Too Many Pumpkins
  • How to Catch a Turkey
  • Happy Thanksgiving Curious George
  • Llama Llama Gives Thanks
  • Turkey Trouble

Some of these books are just fun, but others will teach your children about why Thanksgiving is celebrated and help them think about what they’re grateful for, too.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Many families make it a tradition every year to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Your kids may even get to see some of their favorite characters in balloon form. They can also enjoy the floats, musical performances, and more.

Snack Station While waiting for the feast, your kids may be tempted to sneak into the kitchen for a snack. If you don’t want distractions and obstacles to move around in the kitchen, then creating a snack station is vital. Include some of your kids’ favorite snacks. Or, you can spring for Thanksgiving-related snacks like popcorn, dried fruit, or trail mix.

Holiday Films Movies can be a great way to keep kids out of the way for an extended period of time. Pair it with your snack station, and you’ll have them quietly enjoying the show for however long it runs. Some of the top Thanksgiving films include:

  • Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving
  • A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
  • Free Bird
  • Addams Family Values
  • Turkey Hollow

Of course, if you want to get kids out of the house (and you don’t mind missing out on the film), you can always check out the movies playing at a theater near you, too.

Family Turkey Trot Many families have a tradition of participating in a turkey trot on Thanksgiving. It could be as short or long as your family chooses, and little ones could be pushed in strollers. This could be a great way to get everyone outdoors and moving before the big dinner.

Thanksgiving Games Depending on the children’s ages, there are lots of great games that you can prepare. By adding a Thanksgiving twist on the games, you can make it a fun way to celebrate the holiday, too. Some great ideas include:

  • Thanksgiving Bingo
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Charades
  • Pictionary
  • Pin the Feather on the Turkey
  • Pumpkin tic-tac-toe

Thanksgiving Crafts For kids that enjoy flexing their creativity muscles, crafts are a must. Fortunately, there are lots of great options for Thanksgiving-related crafts. For example, you could make a turkey out of a pinecone and construction paper. You could also make homemade playdough that smells like pumpkin spice. Or, have your children think about what they’re thankful for and write them on a paper chain, paper leaves, or handprints to be placed around the dinner room.

So you can focus on making the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, plan some activities that will keep your children’s focus this Thanksgiving Day. What activities will you prepare this year? Tell us about them in the comments below.