Entertaining Tweens on Thanksgiving

By Katherine Doble-Cannata, Co-Publisher

“We’re boreddddddd!” – the most annoying statement uttered from my kid’s mouths and it’s even more annoying on Thanksgiving.  Do they expect me to stop baking pies, mashing potatoes and casseroling the casserole to be their personal entertainer?  After all they have bedrooms stuffed with toys, a huge backyard and plenty of Abuelos, Abuelas, primos, Tios y Tias around to nag!

Over the year’s, I’ve learned the key to keeping my tween and her siblings entertained on Thanksgiving is to provide them with plenty of activities.  Here are some ways that I no longer hear “Estoy aburrido” on Thanksgiving:

  • Thankful Tablecloth:  Every year, I cover the dining room table with a large piece of butcher paper and write, “We’re thankful for…” across the top.  The kids are responsible for writing down what they and everyone else is thankful for.  They also enjoy covering every available space with drawings of turkeys, pumpkins, and dinosaurs (my 5 year old son’s contribution).
  • Abuelos Share Time:  Sure, you’ve heard Papi’s story about how his dog ruined Thanksgiving a bazillion years ago but chances are your kids haven’t.  While everyone is munching away on appetizers, I get the conversation started by asking someone to tell the story of the “time when…” and then I leave my tween in charge of asking the questions.  She gets excited to play reporter and her younger siblings often chime in with their own questions.
  • Young Chef:  As much as we try to keep them our babies, our tweens will one day have their own families and perhaps be responsible for making their own Thanksgiving dinners (cringe!).  Try doling out age appropriate cooking assignments to your kids this Thanksgiving – mashing potatoes, topping sweet potatoes with marshmallows, stirring the pie filling, etc.  They will be proud that they helped and appreciate more the work that you do.

By doing easy crafts, providing distractions and involving tweens in the kitchen, you can make your  Thanksgiving a little less stressful.  And don’t forget to give thanks for your amazing (yet often bored) kids!

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One thought on “Entertaining Tweens on Thanksgiving

  1. I’m lovin’ the tablecloth idea!! I would def remember if I were a kid, even adults might probably like taking part in this as a whole family tradition not just for the “kids”

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