Thanksgiving is as much about being thankful for our blessings as it is about giving. There is no better time to teach our kids how to take an impactful role during this holiday. While everyone in the household has different capabilities, there’s no reason everyone can’t contribute!

1: Participate in family giving

While many of us are fortunate to enjoy a wonderful meal with family this holiday, many others are not. Involve your kids in deciding how the family will give back and why it is important to do so. Some ideas include:

  • Donate clothing to Goodwill or Salvation Army – Have your kids sit with you when going through clothing/ items they have out-grown. Teach them what is still useful and could be donated and what should be tossed.
  • Give non-perishable food to a local foodbank – Ask your kids to join you at the grocery store to help choose a few items they think another child would enjoy.
  • Participate in a turkey or food drive – If your children are older, this hands-on task will allow your children to feel like they’re a part of the community and actually see how their involvement is helping other families.
  • Make a monetary donation to a charity – There are so many wonderful charities to choose from. Narrow down a few options and then ask your kids to help decide which charity your family will participate in.

2: Help get the house ready

Parents, you don’t have to do it all! Allow your kids to be involved in getting the house ready when hosting Thanksgiving dinner. Some kid-friendly tasks include:

  • Tidy shoes at the doorway
  • Ensure washrooms are stocked with toilet paper, soap and clean towels
  • Younger children can put their own toys away
  • Older children can wipe living area surfaces and vacuum
  • Set and decorate the table (They can gather leaves, twigs or even flowers from the yard – kids love to get creative!)
  • Greet guests and take coats to a designated area
  • Empty dishwasher before dinner and load dishwasher after dinner. If you don’t have a dishwasher, kids can help bring dirty plates to the sink/ scrape food.

3: Contribute to the dinner/ desert

Kids can be picky eaters, but they’re more likely to eat what’s on their plate when they have a say! A lot of time and preparation goes into making Thanksgiving dinner; here are some ways kids can help:

  • Measure and mix ingredients, or help cut and wash veggies.
  • Make the final call between parent’s two options: If you’re planning to make a soup, ask your children to decide between two that could go well with the meal.
  • Kids choose desert!
  • Have your kids create a fun dinner menu. One option is to use their chalkboard which could sit nicely in the corner of your dining room. Or, kids can make paper menus that get placed on the dinner table. This is sure to be a hit with extended family!


How do you teach your kids about gratitude during the holidays and year round? Comment below!