Fun Ways Kids Can Help Decorate for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Table
Photo by Evi Abeler
  • 01 of 09

    Creating a Beautiful Thanksgiving Table

    Thanksgiving Spread
    Evi Abeler

    In our house, having the kids make the table look beautiful is a big part of the Thanksgiving holiday, one of my favorite traditions. They love owning the process, and it’s always great to see the little kids and the big guys working together. Here’s how you can make this happen in your own house.

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  • 02 of 09

    Create a Menu

    Creating a colorful menu. Evi Abeler

    Let the kids write up what on the menu so everyone can see.  A chalkboard is a great way to present the menu and make sure you have lots of colored chalk on hand. Even little kids who can’t yet write can decorate the edges of the menu.

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  • 03 of 09

    Gather Seasonal Decorations

    autumn leaves trees
    Colorful autumn foliage makes great decor. Laura Agra

    Gather some leaves, pinecones, and other natural items to use for the tablescape or centerpiece.  If you are lucky enough to leave in a seasonal area with access to the outside you can let the kids go outside and find the prettiest, brightest leaves, stones and pinecones, come cool twigs, maybe there are still some branches and flowers in bloom. Bring them all inside and use them to decorate the table or the buffet.

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  • 04 of 09

    Burlap Leaves

    Burlap leaves
    Decorative Burlap leaves for us city dwellers. Evi Abeler

    If you happen to be spending Thanksgiving in the city, and fresh fall leaves are not an option, you can order some awesome maple and oak burlap leaves for scattering and still have your table look autumnally great.

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  • 05 of 09

    Pile on the Fruit

    Fruit Apples
    Autumn apples for the table. Evi Abeler

    Whether you use a simple collection of many different kinds of apples or mix in all kinds of fruits, from pomegranates to pears to oranges, a generous array of fruit makes the table look gorgeous and bountiful.  Also think about dried fruit, like apricots or dates or figs.  If you can find a cornucopia to pull everything together, that looks great.  Even the littlest kids can help with this!


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  • 06 of 09

    Add Candles

    Add candles
    The kids decorating a very festive table. Evi Abeler

    Nothing beats real candle light for creating a warm, celebratory mood. Let your kids pick out some sturdy candles in rich colors and work those onto the table. 

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  • 07 of 09

    Name Tags

    Name tags
    Writing up name tags. Evi Abeler

    Have the kids create pretty name tags for each person.  You can either have them plan the seating arrangement, or just place them all on a side table and let everyone pick their own name tag and decide where they want to sit. 

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  • 08 of 09

    Thanksgiving Crackers

    Thanksgiving Crackers
    Evi Abeler

    A final fun touch is finding some party crackers, just like the ones that are traditionally put out at Christmas in England. These are party favors to share; two people grab an end, and each partner pulls until the cracker "snaps". Inside each guest will find a joke, a crown, and a small surprise. 

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  • 09 of 09

    Take Photos!

    Thanksgiving photos
    Document the day with photos. Evi Abeler

    Let the kids document the day. Whether they use a disposable camera or borrow an adult’s phone, tell them to take turns playing photographer and capturing everything from the behind the scenes cooking to the turkey to the beautiful food to the guests.  You could also let them email a great photo of each person to all of the attendees ​afterward with a short note thanking them for coming.