Parenting is challenging at any time, but especially around the holiday season. Are your children more of a hindrance than a help at Thanksgiving? Do they tend to get a little greedy and entitled around Christmas? Good parents put kids to work helping and don't let them lounge in front of the TV and get waited on. The perks are that children learn unselfishness, community spirit, and job satisfaction. Here are some holiday jobs for kids from 2-6. Each task has a job title (kids love titles--they make children feel like valued contributors.

Thanksgiving decorations kids can make

The baby is the Artist in Residence. Print off placemats and tell her to work at her desk (aka highchair), coloring a placemat for each guest. Give toddlers and preschoolers simple free printable, holiday crafts and coloring pages. Provide tape, crayons or finger paints, preschool scissors, stickers, bows and glue stick. Let her create with recycled wrapping paper and recycle bin goodies. Ask her to make centerpieces, namecards, holiday greeting and a paper tablecloth using recycled scrap materials.

Little ones in the holiday kitchen

Assign a Pie Crust Maker. Give him his own little blob of dough and a pot pie tin to make his pie. He can cut the fruit and create his own recipe.

Potato masher: give this job to your mini wrecking ball (every family has one). She can pound away at the potatoes and they will only get smoother and creamier. Montessori education has even toddlers peeling carrots, potatoes and other veggies for holiday recipes and your kids can too. Just be sure to teach proper kitchen safety.

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Engage kids in Thanksgiving prep

Give the Chief Dishwasher an apron, dish soap, water and the less breakable dishes (not grandma's gravy boat). Soon she'll have your dishes (and probably the floor) clean and sparkling. The Greeter welcomes guests, takes coats and belongings, ferries food to the kitchen, and seats people. The Chair Washer wipes down chairs before the company comes.

The Table Setter counts out forks, knives, spoons, plates, cups and napkins for all guests (this is a great math lesson on counting, sorting and sets). Toddlers and preschool kids love these tasks.

Kids can provide pet care at the holidays

The Bird Feeder collects vegetable and potato scraps from floor and gives them pet rodents or squirrels and birds outside. He might make a little bird feeder from an old milk jug to hang in the tree. Elect a Pet supervisor. Animals get nervous at Holidays so the child might like to make a soft spot for Mr. Whiskers or Fido. Little ones can pet and reassure animals and help them feel safe. They can also make sure to let pets out and bring them in.