It’s almost Thanksgiving, which means family time—as well as a little chaos. For most families, sharing a big Thanksgiving feast is the highlight of the festivities, and there is no better way to get kids involved than letting them try out a few age-appropriate recipes.
For babysitters, this is a chance to plan fun holiday-themed activities, and the kids will love you when they get to eat their handmade crafts. Clean up the mess before the parents get home (and leave them some snacks too), and you’ll be everyone’s favorite babysitter.
But it’s not just about the treats. Getting kids into the kitchen from an early age can have a marked effect on their development, enhancing motor abilities and teaching them comprehension and life skills. Consider using this holidays season to try out a few Thanksgiving recipes for kids!
Benefits of Teaching Kids Kitchen Skills
Cooking activities are more than an easy way to keep kids engaged and entertained; they can also have significant benefits to a child’s early development.
For example, time in the kitchen enhances their motor skills and control. Whether they are mixing cookie batter, using cookie cutters, or decorating cupcakes, kitchen tasks require careful, controlled movements. Of course, the amount of responsibility you give them will depend on their age. Older children can flip pancakes and form pasta shapes, while younger ones can stick to easier tasks, like placing decorations on cupcakes.
Likewise, the kitchen improves counting and reading skills. Cooking involves measuring, weighing, and counting, so kids get to practice addition, subtraction, and multiplication. Going through detailed instructions also boosts word comprehension.
Cooking frequently will also teach your kids to focus. If you skip a step in the recipe, your entire dish will most likely flop. This is a great way to teach children to focus and see things through to the end so they can enjoy a finished product.
Most importantly, however, cooking familiarizes kids with different foods and healthy eating options, and teaches them independence. They can pour their own drinks, make their own sandwiches, and eventually cook for the whole family!
Now let’s explore some our favorite Thanksgiving recipes for kids!
“Acorn” Treats: For Kids 4-8 Years Old
These cute acorn treats are incredibly quick and easy to make! They’re age-appropriate activities for kids who may not yet have the skills to do more complex kitchen tasks.
You will need:
- Mini Golden Oreos
- Hershey’s kisses
- Peanut butter (or Nutella or any nut butter)
- Milk or dark chocolate chips
Tip: Decide how many acorns you want to make and then ensure you have equal amounts of Hershey’s kisses, chocolate chips, and cookies.
- Unwrap the kisses.
- Spread some nut butter or Nutella on the flat side of the Hershey, to serve as the glue.
- Stick the kiss to the flat side of your Oreo cookie to create the acorn cap.
- Put a small amount of nut butter or Nutella on the flat side of a small chocolate chip. Stick it onto the other side of the cookie, to serve as the acorn’s stem.
Mini Cheesy Pumpkins: For Kids 8-12 Years Old
You will need:
- 8 oz cream cheese (refrigerated)
- 2 cups finely crushed cheese puffs
- Pretzel sticks
- Fresh parsley
Note: These cheeseballs are unflavored. Serve them with a sweet chili dip or mix spices, herbs, or stronger cheeses into the cream cheese before rolling it to create a more adventurous flavor profile.
- Cut the cream cheese into even blocks, and roll each piece into a ball.
- Place the balls on a lined baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator to firm up for 30 minutes.
- Pulse the cheese puffs roughly in a food processor for a few seconds.
- Roll each cream cheese ball in the cheese puff crumb mixture to coat completely.
- Stick a small pretzel stick in the top of the cheese puff-coated ball to form the pumpkin stalk, and tuck a sprig of parsley next to the stalk as the pumpkin leaf.
Wonder Biscuits: For 12 and Older Baker
These biscuits are ideal for aspiring bakers to make on their own. They only require two ingredients and from there you can be creative with Thanksgiving leftovers as toppings to make your own more elaborate original recipes. Once baked and cooled, they can also be frozen to prolong their shelf life.
- 2 cups self-raising flour
- 1.5 cups heavy whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 475˚ F.
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl to get rid of any lumps, and add the cream.
- Mix into a batter until there are no more visible bits of dry flour. But be careful not to over-mix the batter! Otherwise it will not rise successfully.
- Roll the dough out onto a floured surface to a half-inch thickness.
- Use a round biscuit cutter or special festive shapes to cut out your biscuits and lay them on the parchment-lined baking tray. Make sure there is at least an inch between biscuits to allow enough space to expand while baking.
- For a golden baked color, you can brush some butter or egg wash on top.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until cooked through, and serve with the toppings of your choice, gravy, or turkey dinner leftovers.
Celebrate the Holidays with Thanksgiving Recipes for Kids
Cooking together is an easy and fun way for families to bond over an activity that you already do, and it teaches your kids life lessons!
However, the holidays can be hectic, and with all the hustle and bustle you may not have time to step your kids through activities yourself. But never fear! If you’re feeling the holiday chaos, hire a sitter for a couple of hours to take care of your kids. On-demand babysitter services like Nanno make it possible to get it all done, and make sure your kids are attended to in the holiday rush.
Nanno knows that parents are busy, and that’s why the Nanno network of childcare professionals is ready to help. Every babysitter on the app undergoes an in-depth 4-step screening process including security, criminal, identity checks, and a skills test in safety procedures. Babysitters listed are continually rated and vetted in terms of behavioral aspects, trustworthiness, punctuality, and relevant experience, so you know your child is in good hands. Nanno also allows you to chat with your babysitter via the app at any time. This means you can get instant updates on how your children are doing during the session.
Book your trusted holiday babysitter now. Whether it’s for a long-term, regular engagement or just a few hours to get the holiday shopping done, with Nanno a trusted babysitter is just a few clicks away.