4 Ways to Keep Your Littles Busy While You Make Holiday Meals
The clock is ticking, the turkey is not even in the oven yet, the kids are hanging off your leg, and oh, you’re feeling jolly, right??? Let’s face it, being a mom with Little ones during the holidays can be a challenge, especially when it comes to preparing a big family meal. Mom mode kicks in and you try to think of ways to keep the Little ones busy while you try cook a delicious feast (without turning in the Grinch). Here are a few ideas that can help keep your Littles out from underfoot in the kitchen.
Make a Special Placemat With pieces of paper, markers, crayons, and colored pencils, give your child task of creating a special placemat for each of your dinner guests. Ask older kids to write small messages as to why they are thankful for that person being there, a holiday riddle, or make a puzzle or activity on the placemat. For the littlest of Littles, you can print out some coloring pages to help get them started.
Center Masterpiece Get some craft supplies and have your Little design a centerpiece for the table! I know it may not be the pretty centerpieces you see in Hallmark movies, but it will become both a memory maker, a conversation piece, and give your child a sense of special value and importance for contributing to the table. See Pinterest for some super cute ideas to get them started or let them have a go on their own!
Menu Maker This idea is geared towards the older kids, but it’s a great way to get them involved without being too under your feet. Have your kid(s) create a menu of what all will be served at your holiday Meal. To make it fun, have them design a logo for the front. If your Little one is still learning to spell, drawing pictures of the food is a fun option. You can even have your Little “take orders” from your guests as they arrive. After all, we all loved playing pretend when we were young.
Play Along A great way to keep your Little one busy while you cook is to have them cook along with you using their play set. If you don’t have a kitchen set feel free to get out some extra pots, pans, spoons, and other (kid safe) cooking items. If your Little likes Play-doh and can play with it with minimal supervision you could bring that out and let them “make food.” Have them bring out stuffed animals and host their own holiday dinner!
With Christmas and Hanukkah right around the corner, I hope that these ideas will help keep your little one busy to make cooking the feast a little easier. At the end of the day, you got this! After all, parenting gives you superpowers! Happy Holidays!
Author: Karissa Sargent
Photo credits: Karissa Sargent and Bonnie Pyles