Depending on their age, children can decorate, greet guests or pitch in with meal prep.

Preparing a Thanksgiving meal is a big task, and it’s easy for kids to feel left out of the preparations. With some careful planning, it’s possible to assign tasks to young family members that make them feel engaged and valued. Remember, kids love helping. The key is to find jobs that are age-appropriate and fun.

Decorating

This is a great chore for little ones. Ask them to make centerpieces, place cards, name tags or other decorations that will make your home and table more festive.

Check out these sites for inspiration:

The Spruce Crafts  Easy Peasy and Fun  Artists Helping Children  Get top reads, event recommendations, guides, parenting trends and more ideas for family fun. Subscribe to Columbus Parent’s weekly e-newsletter, The Bulletin.

Sous Chef

Consider letting youngsters help in the kitchen. Be sure to come up with a list of jobs ahead of time in order to make sure children can perform their duties safely and easily. Depending on their age, kids can do prep work ranging from washing potatoes or measuring ingredients to setting timers and stirring.

Check out this list of kid jobs from Kitchn.  

Entertainers

If adding your kiddos to the kitchen doesn’t seem like a good fit, engage them to help entertain dinner guests. Put them in charge of answering the door, hanging up coats and introducing newcomers to the family.

Also consider giving them a smartphone or tablet and asking them to take photos throughout the day. Download apps or software that will allow them to make funny edits to the photos or create a movie. Here are some fun apps to consider from CBC Kids.