12 Creative Ways to Involve Grandkids in Thanksgiving Preparations

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Can you use a little help in the kitchen this Thanksgiving? Never fear – your grandchildren are here and are typically excited to help however they can! If you have your grandbabies visiting leading up to Thanksgiving – or even early on Thanksgiving day – there are plenty of ways that you can draft them into the day’s preparations, including: 

1. Decorate the place cards

Provide cardstock, markers, stickers, and other craft supplies for grandkids to create personalized place cards for each guest. Do you want to give them even more creative freedom? Why not ask them to decorate the placemats, too?

2. Create the Thanksgiving centerpiece

Invite your grandkids to make a centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table, which can be as simple as arranging autumn leaves and pine cones on a platter or creating a more elaborate floral arrangement. Can you imagine their pride when your guests compliment their hard work? I can, too!

3. Bake together

Is there anything better than baking with your grandbabies? I think not! Your grandkids can help mix pumpkin pie ingredients, assemble a fruit tart, or decorate cookies. Cooking with your grands is a sweet way to teach them basic cooking skills and the joy of baking.

4. Make homemade cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce is non-negotiable at our Thanksgiving table and doubles as a simple and safe cooking activity for kids. Your grands can help wash the cranberries and measure out the sugar. Need I mention that watching the cranberries pop can be quite entertaining and educational?

5. Craft handmade decor

Set aside time for crafting homemade decorations, which can include making paper turkeys, leaf garlands, or thankful trees where they write what they’re grateful for on paper leaves.

6. Plan the menu

Involve your grandkids in planning the menu by letting them suggest a dish or two they’d like to have. Including them this way gives your grands a sense of ownership and makes them feel their contributions are valued.

7. Prepare the vegetables

Older grandkids can help with washing and even simple cutting tasks, while younger ones can help with tasks like snapping green beans or peeling potatoes with kid-safe peelers.

8. Set the table

What better way to teach your grandkids how to set a table than by doing so together at Thanksgiving? Doing this together can be an excellent way to teach them about proper table-setting etiquette and the importance of presentation.

9. Assemble appetizers

Ask your grandkids to help with simple, no-cook appetizer platters, like arranging cheese, crackers, and fruits attractively.

10. Create a special playlist

Let your grandkids play DJ for the day! You can help them create a playlist of background music for dinner, which gives them a role in setting the evening’s mood.

11. Organize games and activities

Kids have the most creative ideas, so ask your grands to put their brainpower to use by organizing some post-dinner games for the family! What will it be: Board games or a football game in the backyard?

12. Document the day

Assign your grandkids the role of the official photographer or videographer to capture special moments of the day, which not only keeps them engaged but also gives them a way to contribute to preserving family memories.


Involving grandkids in Thanksgiving preparations not only helps lighten the workload but also provides a platform for teaching, sharing, and making the holiday more meaningful and enjoyable for them. Enjoy this special time, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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