Home
>
Blog
>
Inspiration & Ideas

4 moms offer their tips on how to host a Happy Kidsgiving

Photos of the four moms who offered their Kidsgiving tips.

Have some little ones celebrating Thanksgiving with you? If so, you may be wondering how to keep them entertained, happy with their dinner if they’re a little (or a lot) picky and how to make the day easier for you. Wonder no longer—we asked four moms to give us their tips, tricks and insights into how they make Thanksgiving fun for the whole family. Here’s what they said:

Barrett Prendergast from Valleybrink Road


What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?

Growing up, the holidays were always a time where we cooked together as a family…all the kids in the kitchen would contribute in some way to the meal we would be sharing. This is a tradition I love sharing with our boys. And, as they get older and older, there is more and more they can do and are excited about when it comes to cooking.

Any tips on what to serve picky little eaters?
Luckily, a traditional Thanksgiving meal is filled with lots of kid-friendly options. Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, biscuits, turkey and a simple veggie side—these are all things that lots of kids will eat and be excited about. Just wait to garnish the dishes, or set out smaller bowls of the “kid-friendly” items before you jazz them up for the adults with things like herbs, gravy, etc. Here’s our recipe for mashed potatoes.

Any “mom hacks” on how to make Thanksgiving dinners less laborious?
Prep as much as you can ahead of time. Things like chopping veggies, making gravy, cranberry sauce or preparing the dough for biscuits are all things you can do a day or two in advance that will save you so much time on Thanksgiving. Also, if you are making a homemade pie or baked dessert, you can often get these things prepped a few days before as well.

How do you incorporate your kids into Thanksgiving meal prep?
Baking is always a great way to get kids involved. Mine love to use an electric mixer, roll out dough with a rolling pin, and use the round biscuit/cookie cutters. Just measure out everything you need for the recipe beforehand, so you won’t be stressed out while they are “helping”. Then, call them into the kitchen to be your sous chef!

Erica Domesek from P.S.—I Made This

What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?
Well, the first thing I think about is, of course, all of the yummy food. However…when I moved to L.A., I bought these silly turkey headbands because we hosted Thanksgiving, and now they have made an appearance every single year for the past six years.

Any new traditions that you’re starting this Thanksgiving?
Now that my son is almost 3, he can actually understand the holidays and the meanings behind them, which is super fun. I want to start to do fun art projects with him (like this cute DIY Thanksgiving placemat), both in the kitchen and in ways to help him understand gratitude.

Any tips on what to serve picky little eaters?
Create food that tells a cute and edible Thanksgiving story. Spread out your veggies in the shape of a colorful turkey or pumpkin. When we allow our kids to play with food a little or be playful with the presentation it’s a win! I’m a big fan of having art projects for kids to have access to right in front of them at the dinner table as well.

What’s your family’s favorite go-to dish?
I am a stuffing and mashed potatoes girl through and through! I use fresh celery, onion and tons of fresh parsley and dill in my stuffing. For creamy mashed potatoes, I add a sneaky bit of cream cheese…shhhh don’t tell!

Joy Cho from Oh Joy!

What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?
My husband and I are both from Philly but live in LA. Since it’s a short holiday break, we rarely go home for it (we save the trip for Christmas instead). So we love having friends over who are also East Coast transplants, and we can celebrate all together.

What do your kids typically love to do on Thanksgiving?
They love to help set the table. Kids love feeling that they are part of the team, so give them tasks that feel age-appropriate.

Any tips on how to keep young kids seated at the table?
Coloring activities are always fun! Make placemats for them out of printed sheets with fun fall themes!

Any “mom hacks” on how to make Thanksgiving dinners less laborious?
Don’t make everything yourself. Be in charge of a few things and have guests bring some dishes too. Share the workload, and it will be so much and it will be so much more fun!

Kaitlyn Kirby, Founder + Editor-in-Chief of Mini Magazine

What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?
For as long as I can remember, we’ve always made breakfast and watched the parade! I can’t think of a year where the famous line the night before wasn’t, “What time does the parade start?” I love to make something fun that morning like cinnamon rolls and point out each float to my daughter, who’s now four and can recognize some of the characters like Sesame Street and Charlie Brown.

Any “mom hacks” on how to make Thanksgiving dinners less laborious?
I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving the last few years, and let me tell you, I don’t think I make anything the day of anymore. I make everything the day before (or even two days before!) Thanksgiving and then keep it all in the fridge to pop in the oven that day. We actually don’t eat meat in our house, so I don’t even have a bird to cook! I do buy all of the ingredients for our cheeseboard early and then assemble the spread (items still in their packages) on the board so I can visualize where everything will go. Then the day of, I just have to arrange it!

What’s your family’s favorite go-to dish?
Just about all of my recipes are my grandma’s, and I cannot have a Thanksgiving dinner without her corn casserole and cinnamon Jello. They’re both so easy to make, but they are what stand out in my mind as THE Thanksgiving staples since I was little.

How do you incorporate your kids into Thanksgiving meal prep?
My daughter Penelope is four, and I can hold her attention to help with the super easy dishes, like the cinnamon Jello I mentioned! I let her pour packages into bowls and mix or give her napkins to set the table. My youngest is 18 months and will likely undo all of the pretty table settings before dinner is ready. Ha!


No items found.

No items found.

No items found.

No items found.

No items found.

No items found.

No items found.

All of the products we feature are hand-selected by our editors! You see only what we love and what we think you'll love too. If you buy something through links on our site, Evite may earn a commission. Prices are subject to change.

No items found.

No items found.

What is a signup sheet?

Signup sheets are the perfect way to streamline scheduling, volunteer recruitment, class parties, snack duty, potluck organization, parent-teacher conferences and more! You can think of them as your digital assistant for coordinating events and tasks and ensuring that your event is a success.

Evite SignUp Sheets offers parents, teachers and event planners customizable online forms that organizers and volunteers can access and update effortlessly. Volunteers can choose their preferred time slots, sign up for tasks or indicate what they'll bring to the event. It only takes organizers a few minutes to create a signup sheet and send it out with a shareable link, so they can get the word out via text, email or social media—whichever way they prefer! 

Long story short, signup sheets save everyone involved tons of time, avoid scheduling headaches and ensure everything runs smoothly before and during the event.

How do I create a signup sheet?

Creating a signup sheet has never been easier than with Evite! Here’s how to create a sheet that’s sure to make your event an absolute success:

  1. Go to Evite SignUp Sheets and choose the template that best fits your needs. Evite offers multiple signup sheet templates perfect for every occasion, including:some text
    • Signup sheets for standalone events (without different time slots), perfect for when you’re organizing a class party, potluck or end-of-season party.
    • Signup sheets for recurring or multi-day events (without different time slots), perfect for when you’re organizing a meal train, post-game snack duty or during appreciation week.
    • Signup sheets for single or multiple day events (with time slots), perfect for when you’re organizing concession stand volunteers, fundraisers and parent-teacher conferences.
  1. After selecting your sheet template, create a title for your signup sheet and add the date, the location, the time (if applicable), who the organizer is, the organizer’s phone number or email and an optional note describing the event to your volunteers. You can also change your signup sheet background and title image if you wish!
  1. Next, create slots for your signup sheet. If you aren’t logged into your account, you will need to do so at this point, but luckily, you can use your existing Evite account (no need to create yet another login!). What you’ll include here will depend on what your event needs, but you can include a list of what’s needed (along with optional descriptions), how many volunteers are needed, and dates and times.
  1. After creating your slots, you can then add a wish list from any retailer or include supply suggestions from Evite’s retailer partners. These are to help your volunteers find and purchase supplies quickly and easily.
  1. Finally, review your sheet, copy your shareable link and send it out to everyone on your list! Every time a volunteer signs up for a slot on your signup sheet, Evite will email you. We will also send reminders to you and your volunteers before your event so no one will forget about it, and we’ll even let volunteers know if you remove their slot or cancel your event sheet so you don’t have to!

What information should be included on a signup sheet?

When it comes to signup sheet information, there are some essentials to include regardless of what you’re organizing:

  1. A title for your signup sheet. Tip: Aim to keep your signup sheet title concise but clear. You want volunteers to read it and have a general understanding of what your event is about, and also make it easy for them to look for later if they need to reference your sheet again. You have the option to include a more descriptive note in a different field about your event, so save the more in-depth details for that!
  1. When and where the event is taking place. 
  1. The organizer’s name and phone number.
  1. Slots for volunteers to choose from. Once you choose the SignUp Sheets template that fits the occasion, the slots you’ll need for your sheet will be right there and ready for you to add the relevant info, such as dates, times, items to bring and tasks to complete. 

When adding your slot information, clearly define what people are signing up for, especially for a what-to-bring list or role assignments. If you want someone to bring healthy snacks for kids to enjoy after a game, specify that. You want your volunteers to feel confident in what they’re bringing and to make it easy for them to know what’s expected of them. It will save them time and stress (and you, too!). That being said, if you make your ask too specific (for example, asking for a hard-to-source item or something expensive), you may not end up with a volunteer for it. So be clear about what you expect, but also be reasonable!

Aside from providing the basic signup information, you can also add optional descriptions to both your entire signup sheet and individual slots. While not required, they can help guide your volunteers further and provide more information. You can add information about allergies, preferences and general info about the event. You can also add a wish list to make it easier for your volunteers to bring exactly what you need!

What are the benefits of using a signup sheet template?

Signup sheet templates offer a ton of advantages for both organizers and volunteers and with Evite SignUp Sheets, you'll enjoy even more benefits than other digital and paper signup sheets! Some benefits our signup sheet templates offer include:

  • A 100% free experience (no subscriptions required!).
  • Shareable links for quick and easy sharing.
  • No need to create another login—you can use your existing Evite account.
  • The option to add a wish list to help your volunteers out.
  • Automatic reminders—we’ll remind everyone on your behalf.
  • An easy-to-use experience with eye-catching guided templates.
  • Clean, modern designs with no pop-up ads.

With Evite SignUp Sheets, you can enjoy organizing and coordinating all your events with ease. Signup sheets streamline the signup process for everyone involved, ensuring that everything will go to plan on the day of your event while saving you precious time in the process.

View More Articles

View All