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5 ways to keep kids entertained at Thanksgiving

Avoid boredom meltdowns during dinner

Thanksgiving is a time for the family to get together and catch up on everything that happened the previous year. But to children, it could be a long, tedious day filled with vegetables and expectations of perfect manners.

It can be hard for kids to stay on their best behavior if they’re bored. The easiest solution is to make sure that there are plenty of activities for them to entertain themselves while the adults catch up.

Here are some tips to keep the kids entertained during Thanksgiving:

1. Pick out some games. Leave games out for the kids to play after they've managed to swallow their mandatory "5 bites." Include a mix of classic games like Connect 4, Tic-Tac-Toe, Puzzles and Candyland.

2. Set up a craft table. Have a craft table that the kids can visit throughout the day. Check out Pinterest for some Thanksgiving craft ideas and then hit up your local craft store for supplies! Some craft ideas include hand turkeys, tissue paper gratitude trees or beaded friendship bracelets.

READ MORE: Don't spend a fortune on your Thanksgiving feast

3. Coloring pages.  Print out some coloring and activity pages from the web or pick up some coloring books at the store. Leave them out with a box of crayons. When kids get bored, they can entertain themselves with one of the Thanksgiving-themed activity pages.

4. Get the kids involved. Let the kids help out with the festivities. You could have them help decorate by creating the centerpieces or making the place cards. You could even have them help cook. Younger kids can handle stirring and mixing some ingredients. Older kids could be given an easy dish that they are in charge of. Another idea is to let the kids plan and put on a show for the adults while you finish the last minute cooking details.

READ MORE: A round up of all the best places to find your perfect Christmas tree.

5. Set up a scavenger hunt. Create a scavenger hunt of things for the kids to find throughout the day. It could include things like food, decorations, television shows or stuff from outside. The kid who completes the scavenger hunt first gets first dibs on his or her favorite dessert!

Madison Beckman was an Editorial assistant at Hudson Valley Parent and a student at Mount Saint Mary College.