9 Hacks for Hosting Thanksgiving With Little Kids

If there will be kids under the age of 10 sitting at your Thanksgiving table this year, consider trying one (or all) of these real-mom holiday planning tricks proven to make things easier.
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When the kids are in college, you won’t have to take any shortcuts if you don’t want to. Until then, these turkey-day hacks from real moms like you will save you time and make everyone have more fun this Thanksgiving. Now that's something to be thankful for!

#1 Skip appetizers.

"We stopped doing them because there is always so much main-meal food." Ayn-Monique Klahre, Raleigh, NC

RELATED: 15 Easy Appetizer Ideas

#2 Host potluck-style.

"Last year, when I had a toddler and a newborn, someone else even cooked and brought the turkey!" Kate Bennecker. Carnation, WA

#3 Ask guests with special dietary requirements to bring a dish.

"My vegan friend Jeni always brings a mushroom Wellington." Dora Stone. San Antonio, TX

#4 Have the kids make an easy dessert that can be refrigerated the day before.

"It can be something simple like a marshmallow-fruit salad. They’ll feel like they helped make the meal." Dora Stone

RELATED: 5 Thanksgiving Dishes Kids Can Make

#5 Don’t be afraid to cheat.

"I buy Trader Joe’s frozen mashed potatoes and doctor them up with butter and cream. They’re a huge hit." Joanna Borner. Westport, CT

#6 Serve greens you can prep ahead.

"I make a sturdy salad in the morning, and the flavor improves by sitting around all day." Allison Graham. Denver, CO

RELATED: Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving Menu

#7 Ask guests to bring whatever they need to make it “Thanksgiving” for them.

"For instance, my dad has to have canned, sliced cranberry sauce." Allison Graham

#8 Enlist the kids to make place cards for the table.

"It keeps them busy, and when I set the table I can then be sure everyone has the right glassware. Plus, when we sit down, no one is waiting for me to tell them where to go." Allison Graham

RELATED: Super Cute Thanksgiving Hat Crafts

#9 Appoint the kids the official guest greeters.

"They can welcome the guests with a tiny party favor or a special drawing." Dora Stone

Directions for making a paper Pilgrim's hat for your Thanksgiving celebration.


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