For young children, Thanksgiving dinner is usually something they can’t help with because of the hot stove and hot dishes. Here a few ideas so they can feel like they were involved in preparing the holiday feast, too!
Kids can help with making pie dough or rolling out the dough after you make it. If you aren’t comfortable with them helping with that task, you can let them make these mini-pies (with your help, of course):
Using pie dough, cut out 5 circles with a 4-inch wide bowl and save the scraps for strips to top the pies. Press 5 circles into muffin tins, and press up the sides. Fill each with your favorite pie filling and top with the strips. Bake at 425 degrees for 18 minutes. You can try this with any type of pie, and your kids will enjoy eating what they made.
Kids can be in charge of the relish tray. If your child is too young to use a knife to cut vegetables, you can cut them for him and put them in a bowl. Then he can design the platter, letting all of his creativity run wild. He can even create a turkey by using red, green, and yellow strips of bell peppers to make its feathers, and using other vegetables to create the head and body parts.
Pilgrim Hat Cookies
Fudge Stripe or chocolate wafer cookies
One tube of orange or yellow frosting with piping tips (I used Betty Crocker. Be sure not to get the gel!)
Small peanut butter cups
Place the cookies on your work surface with the striped side down, chocolate side up. Have your child squeeze a dime-sized dot of frosting onto each cookie. Next, have him put an inverted peanut butter cup on the frosting, and press down gently. Using the round piping tip, draw a pipe “hat band” around the bottom of the peanut butter cup and a square “buckle” (see picture with this article). Allow the frosting to set before storing.
Have your children make the centerpiece for the “kids’ table,” if you have one, or even the main table. They will be so proud of themselves showing off how beautifully they decorated the table. Some fun and easy ideas can be found at http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/(my favorite is the “Thankful Tree”). Letting your children make a centerpiece will not only make them feel like they were involved in making Thanksgiving special, but will also keep them occupied while you are doing the other many preparations for the grand feast!