When dinner is complete families of young and preschool age children can find themselves wondering “what now?” Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to create traditions your little ones can look forward to year after year. Here’s a couple examples to get you started!

1. Bake together – Little ones love to be a part of the action in the kitchen. Include them (safely) in your pie making, turkey stuffing and table setting. We think little ones would love placing the marshmallows on the tops of these twice baked sweet potatoes!

2. Learn a new sport or game – Find a new game to try or make up your own! Games like Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders are all appropriate for children ages three and up and are not only great for language building but also fine motor skills!

3. Reflect on the past year – Talk about what you’re most thankful for from the previous year, for little ones with short attention spans it’s helpful to do so with pictures! Creating a “thankful tree” with leaves for each item your thankful for can be a great visual for young children trying to understand what Thanksgiving is all about.

4. Volunteer – A neighborhood homeless shelter, soup kitchen or Salvation army is a great place to start for volunteer opportunities for families. These experiences can help truly impact your preschoolers and show them why it’s important to be involved in their own community. For a list of volunteer activities closest to you check out Volunteer Match!

5. Set up the Christmas tree – There’s nothing that gets you more in the Holiday spirit than setting up the Christmas tree! We recommend setting aside a “special box” of ornaments that little ones can don the bottom of the tree with that are all plastic or non-breakable. Crank up a holiday playlist, get your dancing shoes on and have a blast!

Family Thanksgiving Traditions

Quality time with family, traditions and making memories are things that are all very important to us. Does your family have any special Thanksgiving traditions?