Thanksgiving

Today I would like to talk about Thanksgiving.

In France we don’t tend to celebrate this holiday which, I think, is a crying shame!

Thanksgiving is celebrated in the US and Canada in October or November of each year.
The origin of this holiday is to give thanks for harvest each year.
Nowadays, many families get together for Thanksgiving and use this time to show appreciation for what they have in their lives…
Food on the table
A loving family
A warm home

I believe it is important that children learn to appreciate the comforts we have rather than growing up and taking things for granted.

So, I am going to give you some ideas of crafts, activities and recipes that you could do with the kids to introduce the idea of giving thanks and being grateful in general.

First up, there are TONS of books designed for kids to teach them about the history of thanksgiving, fun traditions and the importance of being thankful for what we have.
Here is a list of 22 books, with short descriptions of each, from 123HomeSchool4Me (They’ve also got some great themed printables, so be sure to check them out!)

For the little ones you could recreate one of these fun turkey designs using their hand and foot prints!
Or go outside on a leaf hunt and create the tail feathers with the brightly coloured autumn leaves you find.
Honestly, head on over to Pinterest. You will find thousands of fun turkey themed crafts so it will be easy enough to find something that is suitable for each age range!

thanksgiving turkey craft

These next activities are really great to do as a family either as a discussion over dinner or they could
easily be made into a little project.
You could make a cute little booklet with a different thing you are grateful for on each page or create a gratitude poster.
Include drawings, photos and any relevant memories you have.
For example : I am grateful for my teddy bear because he is warm and I like to cuddle him at bed time (draw teddy bear)
I am grateful for my friends because we play lots of games together.
thanksgiving gratitude game  gratitude game

 

 

 

I particularly like this idea of making a big turkey and writing the things we are grateful on his tail feathers.
It’s cute, fun and everyone in the family can join in and take part!
Turn it into a challenge to see how big you can make his tail by thinking of all the things you are grateful for!

 

 

 

 

A big part of Thanksgiving is the food. Typically, families will gather together and feast on all sorts of delicious foods.
The most traditional foods to have at Thanksgiving are turkey, potatoes, stuffing, veggies and pumpkin or pecan pie for dessert!
I’m sure most of you have your own favourite ways of preparing these foods so I will give you a scrummy dessert recipe to try out with the children.
You could also take a look at our recent Halloween post for some delicious pumpkin recipes. (My personal faves were the pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting)

Turkey Rice Krispie Treats by ShugarySweets.com
rice krispie recipe
For the Krispie treats
1/4 cup unsalted butter
5 cups of rice krispie cereal
1 bag of marshmellow

For the Turkeys
1/4 cup melted chocolate pieces
12 chocolate buttons
candy corns
candy eyes
orange m&ms

Instructions
1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, add marshmallows and stir continuously until melted. Remove from heat and quickly mix in the cereal, ensure it is all covered.
2. Press mixture onto baking sheet, try to make the mixture an even thickness. Allow to set, about 30 minutes.
3. Using a round cookie cutter cut circles into the krispie treat.
4. Eat the discards immediately. Yum!
5. Using the melted chocolate, attach about 5 candy corn for feathers, one chocolate button for the face, two eyes and half of an orange m&m for the beak.

 

And finally, I will leave you with this Thanksgiving song!

Dare to be Different – Recommended Reading

dare to be different recommended reading children                          dare to be different recommended reading children

These books should be recommended reading for everyone, not just children!
They tell the stories of extraordinary men and women from the past and present.
Each biography is a page long and is accompanied by a beautiful illustration.
The short length makes them perfect for reading before bed.

The stories featured span many centuries, nations and religions.
They cover artists, inventors, writers, athletes, actors, explorers, scientists, politicians and more!
Children will surely be inspired by the fun, accessible way in which the stories are told.

I particularly liked that it was very easy to find a story that piqued each child’s interest, we would then create a sort of project around it.
First I would ask the children to read the biography (outloud or in their heads). We would have a discussion about what we read, this worked both as a test of comprehension and also to see their reaction to the biography and the facts mentioned.
Naturally, questions arose so we would research extra information and see if we could find a related TV show or documentary for example.

dare to be different children                        dare to be different children

Stories for boys who dare to be different is a compilation of 76 stories of famous and not so well known men from history.
The aim of this book is to challenge the typical idea of gender roles by showing that masculinity can mean many things.
Every one of the men in this book were strong, successful and achieved amazing things in their life time.

dare to be different children                    dare to be different children

Stories for rebel girls is an empowering book that tells the stories of 100 amazing women.
It is on our recommended reading list as it promotes equality for women and encourages young girls to see that women are a force to be reckoned with!
Each woman’s story is written in the form of a fairy tale but these girls definitely don’t need rescuing.
They are heroines in their own right.

Get creative and do an activity to encourage the kids to delve a little deeper into the life of the people in the books.

– Create a timeline of the person’s life
– Create a picture collage of their life and accomplishments
– Role play and film your very own talk show starring that person
– Write a short story and use puppets to act it out
– Design a comic strip about their life or achievements

Or plan an activity based on what you read.
For example if you read about an astronaught, do a space themed craft.
If you read about an artist, try to create your own work in their style.
A scientist? Find a related experiment to do at home.
A politician…create your own ‘running for president’ speech

 

Find Stories for boys and rebel girls on Amazon by following these links or at most major book retailers.

Want to see what other great books we recommend?
Check out our Reading Corner!

Halloween – Pumpkin carving

Pumpkin carving is something all kids should give a go. It’s super fun and can allow them to get creative!

I particularly like the fun designs on this website but a quick Google or Pinterest search will bring up hundreds of ideas.

Pumpkin carving halloween

Did you know that Truffaut (the local garden centre) offer Halloween themed workshops for the kids?

During the 1 hour long workshop, the kids pick their pumpkin then carve it into a spooky lantern.

Pumpkin carving halloween

They run almost every day until the 31st October and the cost is 10 euros per child.
Registration is at the reception of the shop.
Children must be accompanied by an adult.

At Truffaut Quai de la Gare on Wednesday 30th you can decorate a pumpkin or cactus pot and get your face painted too!

There are also several other Halloween themed games and activities that are running at other Truffaut stores around the city.

Check out the Truffaut website for more information about times and locations.

https://www.truffaut.com/jardineries/paris/Pages/actualite-ateliers-halloween.aspx

Just want to try it at home?
Pick up a pumpkin at the supermarket or florist and follow this step by step tutorial!

Find a pumpkin carving kit for kids on amazon.

Be sure not to waste the inside of those pumpkins!
Here are some wonderful recipe ideas from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Don’t want the mess? Think the kids are too young for carving? Or you’re worried the kids will get bored whilst you carve out the design.
Why not get some smaller pumpkins and have them decorate them with paint or googly eyes!

halloween decorations halloween decorations halloween decorations