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Keep kids involved: Fun crafts and ideas for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and many Mom's have been too busy to do much of anything except plan for the big day! Whether you are staying home or going to a relative's house, there are many things you can do to make the day meaningful and special for your children.

Many families are again choosing not to travel this year, planning a small family gathering at home instead. In some communities, like Fort Morgan, Colorado, a community Thanksgiving is being held for all who want to join others in celebrating the holiday.

Whether you choose to participate in a community gathering, travel to relatives' houses or just stay home with your spouse and kids, get the kids involved from planning to decorating to cooking.

Planning

Ask your kids what dish they want the most. Use your discretion and veto power for oddball requests like macaroni and cheese pizza with ketchup if you want. You may want to give them a list of things you are willing to make then let them choose!

If you are inviting others to your house, let your kids help with invitations and let them help decide what activities to do, both at the kids table and in general.

Decorations

Let your kids help decorate the house, even if it is just your immediate family. A festive atmosphere gets everyone in the mood, even when family is far away.

Get a cheap, cloth tablecloth (white works best) and some fabric markers. Let your kids lay out the markers in the middle of the table and have everyone write what they are thankful for. Remember to date what is written so that you can look back from year to year, remembering the things that were important to your now 13 year old when she was 3.

Make a Thankful Tree and set it in the middle of the table for everyone to see and enjoy!

Have your children write questions, 3 to 4 per person expected, on strips of paper or construction paper leaves that they have cut out. Put them in a decorative basket, bowl or other container. Pass the basket around the table and have everyone pick a question and answer it. It's amazing what you learn about each other when kids are asking the questions!

Cooking

Even the littlest kids can break eggs, sprinkle paprika and mix stuffing. Have your kids help according to their age and ability. Learning is fun in the kitchen!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

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