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!

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

Create you own Shadow Puppet Theatre

Today I am bringing you a whole day, week, month worth of fun in the form of……..Shadow puppet theatre!

shadow pupper theatre

Create your own shadow puppet theatre and re-enact your favourite stories!

This is a great method to get the kids to practice their storytelling skills, their vocab and it is just super fun. There are so many steps involved in building your own shadow puppet theatre that it will keep you entertained for hours!

Why not create your own characters and make up your own show? Or use characters from different books and introduce them to each other? Introduce Mr Tickle from the Mr Men series to The Big Bad Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood and see what happens…
Let your imaginations run wild!

You will need
printer
white A4 paper
black card
scissors
wooden skewers or lollipop sticks
cereal box
cellotape
glue stick

  • Decide which book you would like to re-enact in your theatre. For this example they are using the Gruffalo. Google Gruffalo colouring sheets. Print (you may need to resize to 50% 25%) and stick on to the black card. It may be worth printing duplicates and saving them for future colouring, painting, sticking activities.
  • Cut out each picture and stick in onto your wooden skewer or lollipop stick
  • Carefully take apart the cereal box until it lies flat. On the biggest rectangles, measure about 1.5cm all the way around and the edges and cut out.
  • Tape the box back together but inside out. So the outside, colourful sides are on the inside.
  • Trim a piece of white paper to fit inside the box. This will be your background. If you would like to add scenery (trees for a forest scene, buildings for a city scene) cut these shapes from black card and stick on.
  • Cut a slit at the bottom of your box for your puppets to fit through. At this point you can jazz up the front of your cereal box to look more like a real theatre if you like.
  • Tip : Cellotape your cereal box theatre to the table to make it more stable
  • Set up a lamp behind the theatre on a stool at roughly the same height as the theatre (be careful of hot bulbs around the kids though!)
  • And there you go! You are set up and ready to act!

 

This is a personal favourite activity of mine and it is brought to you by http://domesticblissnz.blogspot.com (she cited seedling and tweetdesign in her original post for helping with ideas)