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Thanksgiving Kids4
If you do a quick search for “thanksgiving” and “young children,” you’ll notice a few things right away. One, printable coloring pages claim to solve all your problems. Two, decorations for the kids’ table have never been cuter (or more insanely complicated – thanks, Pinterest!). And three, the focus of nearly every single advice piece seems to be on keeping kids busy and entertained while grown-ups do their thing.

Here’s a little slice of my reality. Coloring pages lost their appeal long ago. The number of minutes my kids would spend coloring a happy pilgrim would be about equal to the number of minutes it took to find and print the pilgrim, so that buys me zero time cooking or socializing. As for table decorations, anything within reach of my toddler won’t last a hot second, so there’s another place where the cost/benefit ratio is not in my favor.

But maybe most importantly, I’m not sure “keeping kids entertained” while I host Thanksgiving is my end-goal anyway. I’d rather look for ways to include them in the events of the day – and if I can’t directly include them, I’d like to create ways for them to feel a part of the celebration.

Hosting Thanksgiving is a big undertaking (as we’ve talked about over the last several posts), and if you’re the mom in charge and you have small children, something’s got to give. Often it’s our patience with the littlest ones that goes first, followed by their willingness to cooperate at all, and the cycle can spiral downward fast. When a child feels stressed, marginalized, or out of sorts, his behavior reflects it, and all the printables in the world aren’t going to keep a kid like that out of your hair. 

Here are some things to keep in mind as you juggle hosting and mothering little ones at the same time (and take heart – you can do it!): 

Fill Their Cups

If you know that the demands of the day are going to pull you away from your kids, start “filling their cups” well in advance. Make sure to build in little bits of time together this week, whether it’s a walk after dinner, a longer story at bedtime, or some time doing something they love like LEGOs or drawing.

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by Sarah Powers November 21, 2014
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Who else is getting ready to host Thanksgiving this year? Meagan and I had so much fun taking your questions about it on yesterday’s episode of The Home Hour, and today I’m going to share some of the little ways I’ve been getting my home ready for the holiday – most of which have very little […]

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Since Meagan and I both love children’s literature, we thought it would be fun to round up some creative Halloween costume ideas based on beloved children’s book characters. And since we also both favor “good enough” over perfect, we’re of the belief that costumes don’t always have to be 100% handmade OR purchased head-to-toe from […]

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We think many of you will relate to this month’s reader-submitted feature in our My Happiest Place series. Before we share Juniper’s words and photos, though, a quick update on the series itself! For the October, November, and December features in the series, we’re looking for holiday-themed photos of your homes. The autumn holidays followed by […]

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by Sarah Powers September 10, 2014
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