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100 Tips for Nannies and Families

The advice in this book comes from Candi Wingate, President of Nannies4hire.com.
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Getting Your Kids into the Thanksgiving Spirit

It’s easy for kids to see Thanksgiving as merely an opportunity not to be in school.  You want your kids to appreciate the occasion, its significance, and its opportunities.  Here are some suggestions to help you get your kids into the Thanksgiving spirit.

1.      Read bedtime books about early Americana, pilgrim migration and settlements, etc. each night throughout November.  Ask your kids what they think their lives would have been like if they would have been born in early Americana.

2.      If you live in the Northeast, take your kids to historic locations that are relevant to Thanksgiving.  Tour historic sites in Plymouth, Massachusetts, for example.  Discuss life as it was led in pilgrim days . . . life without a microwave, clothes washing machine, or even electricity . . . living an ocean away from friends and family with no telephone or Internet to allow frequent communication with loved ones . . . hard physical labor just to survive.

3.      Participate in school and community events related to Thanksgiving.

4.      Have your kids help you decorate your home for Thanksgiving.  You and your kids can even make many festive Thanksgiving decorations.  Young children can make paper or foam cut-out turkeys (following the tracings of their hands), draw on their turkeys to give them details, and even glue googly eyes to their turkeys.  Older children can make a Mayflower model.  Lots of fun Thanksgiving crafts can be found at.

5.      In advance of Thanksgiving, prepare some foods proactively and in pilgrim style.  For example, a day or two before Thanksgiving, you and your kids can grind corn by hand so that, on Thanksgiving, your guests may be offered cornbread made from scratch.

6.      Have your kids help you plan and prepare your Thanksgiving meal.  Your family tradition may be to serve pumpkin pie and pecan pie every Thanksgiving, but perhaps a third selection may be acceptable as well . . . and perhaps you can let your kids choose that third selection, with some guidance from you, of course.  When it’s time to prepare the meal, your kids can prepare the dessert of their choosing and personalize it in their own unique, creative way.  For example, they may make Thanksgiving turkey cupcakes.  Many kids enjoy preparing foods of their choosing and that allow them to express themselves through creativity.

7.      Have your family dress in costume for Thanksgiving.  Pilgrim and American Indian attire can be made, rented, or purchased for the occasion.  If your son wishes to march to his own drummer, so to speak, and wants to be costumed as an ear of corn for Thanksgiving, so be it.  If being an ear of corn helps him get into the Thanksgiving spirit, that’s great!

8.      Encourage your kids to embrace the bonding opportunity of a shared meal.  Give your kids social responsibilities on Thanksgiving so that they can experience the benefits of the gathering.  For example, your gregarious daughter may be your official greeter, the person who welcomes guests as they arrive and takes everyone’s coats and hangs them in your foyer closet.  Your more reserved daughter may be tasked with refilling beverage glasses while people chat before and after the meal.  Your son may be responsible for entertaining the very young children and keeping them safe and out of trouble.

9.      Share your Thanksgiving meal with people outside your family who may be new to your community or in need of a place to go for Thanksgiving.  Speak with your kids about the value of a sense of community, supporting and caring for others, and generosity.  Parallel your Thanksgiving meal inclusivity with the inclusivity of the pilgrims and American Indians who similarly shared a meal.

10.   While sharing the Thanksgiving meal, ask all your guests to share one thing for which they are grateful.  You may wish to be first to state what you are grateful, just to open the discussion for your guests.  You may say, for example, “I am grateful that we are all gathered here today, loved ones and friends, new and old, all treasured.  I am grateful for each of you.”

By following the tips above, you can inspire your kids to get into the Thanksgiving spirit.  For more useful tips; continue to visit Nannies4hire.com.

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