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Child Labor on Thanksgiving

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Check out our tips to get your kids to help you prepare for the holiday -- all while still having fun!

kid serving cocktails

Have them make place cards. They are the perfect way to avoid any awkward situations. Maybe Uncle Andy dated your friend Iris at your birthday party and it ended badly. Or maybe Grandma Pauline has gas and you don't want your brother-in-law to have to smell it. All you need is a few pieces of paper, some crayons or markers and maybe some glitter. The kids can make artistic cards for each guest and you can place them in the appropriate spots on the table.

They can decorate the house. Give the kids free rein. They'll want it to look good, and even if it's not the neatest, it's guaranteed to be cute. They can collect leaves and acorns and place them on windowsills. They can arrange pine cones for centerpieces and fold the napkins creatively. Plus, setting the table is part of this task, so it's one less thing on your to-do list.

Employ them as servers. Have them act as your cocktail waiters and waitresses. They can pass hors d'oeuvres, prepare drinks and collect dirty dishes and napkins. Surprisingly, kids actually enjoy doing this.

Let them do prep work. Younger kids can break bread for the stuffing and older ones can help cut the veggies. And all kids make great mixers and mashers. Of course, they get to lick the spoon after. Also, kids are more likely to eat their veggies if they helped to prepare them!

Have them help with the dishes. There ARE actually ways to make this fun. Make it a game to finish the dishes before three songs are over. Have them figure out how to fit the maximum amount of dishes into the dishwasher. See if they really can keep all the silverware separate by keeping them in their own section.

Let us know if you have any other ideas. We might be able to use them for the next holiday!

next: Construction and Pregnancy Do Not Mix!
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