Ah Thanksgiving… with toddlers… or young kids… sounds lovely doesn’t it? Well if you’re kids are anything like mine, you know; crazy, loud, obnoxious, rough, picky, silly, and I’ll say it… annoying. Yep, just when you pour yourself a glass of wine and sit down to eat your warm Thanksgiving meal, my kids will inevitably interrupt my entire dinner. Over the years, I’ve crafted and started to fine tune our holiday tradition to ensure I have a peaceful (and hot) Thanksgiving meal and to make sure everyone else does too! Here are my top tips to help you survive the Thanksgiving holiday with your young kids or toddlers.
Outfits and Props were provided by Moon and Sun, our favorite boutique in San Diego! Go grab your kiddos Thanksgiving outfits, if you haven’t already, and treat yourself to a little something too! My dress is one of my favorites and I plan on wearing it all year long! Also, how stylish is Easton with his mixed prints… he is in love with his shoes too!
Tips For Surviving Thanksgiving With Kids
Tip 1: Whether you’re hosting or joining a gathering, bring something to the meal that your toddler or kid will eat. For instance, I know mine will devour cornbread stuffing so that’s my go to meal to bring to our Thanksgiving. I know there is going to be a plethora of food that my kids won’t eat like green beans, broccoli casserole, cranberry sauce… and sometimes even Turkey so if I can guarantee a small amount of food will go in their bellies with the least amount of judgment from others at the table, I think it’s a win!
Tip 2: Feed the kids first… make their meals and actually feed them first before you sit down to your meal. Some people try to eat together and while this may work for them, it can be annoying in my opinion. Kids need a lot of things and are constantly making a mess. If you eat when they eat, it’s likely you’ll be getting up 20 times to help them and you won’t eat a hot thanksgiving meal. After you feed the kids then set them up with a movie or an activity so you can sit down to eat. I like to use the time while the kids are eating to set the table up, enjoy a glass of wine, and set out the appetizers.
Tip 3: Bring things to entertain YOUR kids, just in case. A movie on the ipad is probably my least favorite option to bring out if needed but I know it’s a sure fire way to make my kids calm down and sit still for long enough to allow me to eat. Another great option is a new toy… something that they can play for a while like a Young Wild and Freidman play dough kit or a new art set.
Tip 4: Set your expectations low but also explain to your kids what your expectations are. We do a lot of talking about how we’re going to behave, what the day/evening will look like, and what I’d like to see from them. Dessert is also my bribe… “if you want pumpkin pie, stop jumping on the couch” tends to come out of my mouth more that a few times on Thanksgiving day.
Tip 5: If your little one still naps, Ask to have Thanksgiving around nap time… I know that this may sound like you’re inconveniencing others but in reality, you’re ensuring that the time together goes off without a meltdown! We like to have our Thanksgiving get together start around 3 and eat around 5:30. This way we spend the afternoon and early evening together but we’re done and wrapped up before 8 so we can get the kids to bed at a somewhat decent time.
Do you have a go-to tip for surviving holidays with toddlers? I’d love to know what it is! I hope these tips help your Thanksgiving go off without fail this year! Happy Thanksgiving!