If reality TV is any indication, lots of kids enjoy being in the kitchen. It’s easy to focus on the dangers of the kitchen—sharp knives, moving gadgets, hot stoves—but there are many things that children can do in the kitchen to help with the cooking. And if you’re anything like most families this Thanksgiving, you’ll need all the help you can get. Discover all sorts of ways that kids can help in the kitchen for the holiday, and help them explore their creative and culinary skills while you get an extra pair of hands.
Are you serving a green salad? Deviled eggs? Potato salad? Kids can help with any cold salad you’re making for your Thanksgiving meal. They can wash vegetables, peel hard-boiled eggs, scoop filling into deviled eggs, rip lettuce, measure and mix ingredients.
Making the Meal
Children can help with many different aspects of the meal prep. Have them mix up the ingredients and add them to recipes. You can chop up the mushrooms and put the pieces in a bowl so they can be added and mixed by your helper. They can also add garnishes and help make toppings. If you need crushed crackers or bread pieces, kids can easily help out and have fun doing it.
Decorating the Table
Children can help with all sorts of decorating and setup tasks while you put the finishing touches on the meal, which buys you valuable extra minutes. Have them collect acorns for the table, fold the napkins, place the silverware and add other little odds and ends you might have.
Counting and Measuring
Helping out in the kitchen during Thanksgiving can be educational for kids. Put them to work by having them count apples for the pie or potatoes for the casserole, or anything else that you might need a certain number of. You can also show them how to measure. Just make sure they don’t have to lift anything too heavy or too large while they do this.
Make the Kitchen More Kid-Friendly
Even small kids can help out in the kitchen if you take a few extra steps. If kids have trouble reaching the counter, make them a work space on a table. Be careful with where you place knives and other sharp objects, and give them a dedicated space to work in so they aren’t moving around the kitchen and being exposed to dangers. Keep kids away from the stove and the oven, and make sure they’re not sharing a space with an area where you’re chopping, slicing, dicing or cutting.
Thanksgiving with the Kids
Let the kids help out in the kitchen this Thanksgiving. After all, this is a holiday all about coming together and sharing. Plus, it’s a good way to get a little free assistance during what can be a very stressful holiday! There are many safe kitchen activities for them to perform, the little detail stuff that can be time-consuming but very simple to do. Get them in the kitchen, and share more of the holiday together this year.