You know those sweet images of kids helping their moms in the kitchen on Thanksgiving? Flour dusting on a little one's sweet nose, mom sweetly standing behind her as they roll out the dough for a pumpkin pie? They make for great commercials and might even entice you to pick up a child-sized apron during your next Target run because, d*mn mit, you're going to make some memories and keep your kids busy while you cook all at the same time.
And then you actually try to have them sprinkle the fried onions on the green bean casserole and you immediately regret watching those TV ads in the first place. But setting them down on the floor to do their own thing doesn't seem to help either. You're constantly tripping over one, refereeing fights when you should be peeling sweet potatoes, and yelling "Don't touch that! It's hot!" every time someone comes within ten yards of the oven. Look, I get it. You're busy and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade can only hold their attention for so long. If little cousins haven't arrived to take the burden off of you or everyone's too involved with football, then I've got seven ways to keep those children busy while you prepare your feast. Oh, and I promise they don't require strait jackets. (Although, that's always a viable option.)