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Heidi Klum's tips for keeping kids busy during Thanksgiving dinner

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Heidi Klum seems to have it all. The star and executive producer of "Project Runway" is also a fashion designer and the mother of four children ranging in ages 4 - 9 years. Although it seems this internationally-known supermodel wouldn't have to worry about keeping her kids busy during a holiday meal, she is an involved parent who has been photographed riding bicycles, attending soccer matches and more "regular" family activities with her children.

Now on her lifestyle site, heidiklum.aol.com, Heidi has provided some tips for keeping kids entertained before and during Thanksgiving dinner. Without having to send kids to opposite ends of the house to stop annoying each other, the holiday meal is sure to be a more peaceful one for everyone involved. Here are some of the tips provided by Heidi in the accompanying video.

  • Make sure to have age-appropriate art supplies that won't make a huge mess. Crayons, construction paper, pre-cut shapes and child-safe scissors are all great items to have at a table that includes preschoolers.
  • Provide enough materials and activities to keep kids entertained for about 2 hours. They don't have to be creating the entire time, but make sure there is something to do for those kids who are always ready for the next thing. Think books, puzzles and building blocks.
  • Give the kids materials to make their own placemats. This could be some large pieces of heavy duty paper and stickers or even recycled cereal boxes, markers and some self-inking stamps.
  • Make sure to keep the kids table in view of the table where the adults will be sitting. Unless you have older, responsible teens who are willing to be in charge of the smaller children, don't let the little ones get to far out of sight.
  • Let the kids come up with their own ways of using the materials you supply. Maybe they want to turn that pile of leaves into a crown or they want to cut the construction paper into strips rather than making a placemat. Give them creative control.

Whether you plan on hosting a large family Thanksgiving dinner or you will be traveling to spend the holiday with friends out of town, make sure to be prepared for keeping the kids entertained during the meal. No one wants a family gathering where the kids are whiny and bored.

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