Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Homespun Thanksgiving for Children: Play!

If your children are like mine, they just eat up little games, crafting and things that are holiday related! I wanted to set up an art/play area with fun Thanksgiving themed games and ideas.

Print two of these pages (click to enlarge) and create a fun memory game! I glued mine to scrapbook paper, cut them all out and laminated the squares just for durability. But you could simply print these out, cut and play if you wanted a one-time-use game!

Print out some Fall and Thanksgiving themed coloring pages! I printed out four or five different ones in multiples so there wouldn't be any arguing over who had which one - trying to take these little frustrations out will help our children have more fun!

Pumpkin Pie Playdough! I saw this idea several years ago on Like Merchant Ships and it came to mind this year as a perfect accompaniment to our fun! I had a little trouble finding mini pie tins, but have since seen them a couple of places. These were 3/$1 at Wal-Mart including lids.

Making them look like actual pies just adds to the charm! Wrap them up with simple, yet - easy to remove ties. Again, trying our best to remove possible frustrations that we know are going to happen!

Provide vintage jello molds, an old muffin tin, cookie cutters, maybe some special things you don't usually let your children play with - yet we really know they cannot hurt these things and will have a great time enjoying them!

If you make these ahead like I did, just store in the fridge when not in use! This recipe makes a lot! I made one batch and divided into these four pans which will give each child plenty of their own play dough!


I've had these dolls a couple of years, but haven't ventured into letting my girls play with them. But, when I was looking at the Noble Rose Press blog and saw how they tied into Thanksgiving I thought this would be a perfect and special time to introduce them.

I laminated them - see a tutorial here though I used my laminator rather than Contact Paper. I also kept one of the tabs in place and folded it around the back so I knew which lady the dress fit! Peel and stick magnets instantly make this a simple and easy yet fun idea for your little girls!

These come with little biographies that I will plan to read or paraphrase to my girls and explain who these ladies were! Make sure to check back on Friday - because in the big wrap up post, the ladies at Noble Rose Press will be giving a set of these paper dolls away! (P.S. - they've just released three new collections of paper dolls and a charming coloring book! Plus, all their collections are on sale for $10 each - I just love these and know you will too!)

I intended to use my pretty and shiny nice stainless cookie sheets for this - but the magnets do not work on that, so it will have to be the well-used and loved cookie sheets!

Older children may enjoy bobbing for apples, sack races or three-legged races instead! If you have leaves in your yard, why not rake a big pile just for jumping in!

You may need a few supplies for the play dough and if you choose to do the paper dolls, I personally think that is a worthwhile investment! But, all the rest of these ideas are free and available to anyone regardless of cost.

One commenter mentioned being out for a few hours on Thanksgiving - these ideas can all be prepared in advance and in really only a few minutes.

What is your favorite game idea? Have any ideas to add?

15 comments:

Ami said...

These are such lovely ideas! We are having a little homeschool Thanksgiving party today, but we are taking a very laid-back approach to it. However, we try to have our own little family Thanksgiving every year and I look forward to using some of your ideas. I love how you made the paper dolls more durable! I bought a set for my niece, and maybe if I make the papers more durable my daughter can handle them, too!

Mom said...

These are all cute ideas, but I especially like the pumpkin pie playdough in the pie tins (glad you found some!) -- adorable! Love you, Mom

No Ordinary Me said...

Once again, Brilliant fun!

Katie said...

Oh, Monica, how very fun! I'm sure your children will be giving thanks for all of your efforts!! Everything is just filled with..."specialness"! :-)

One thing we did a couple of years ago was make some pilgrim hats and feather headbands and some very simple outfits and then had fun pretending like we were living back then!

Elise said...

I LOVE these ideas, Monica!! One year I had pinecones, pompoms, feathers, googly eyes, and all the kids made turkeys-they were so cute!! Oh, there is another idea that I am doing at Jackson's school tomorrow. Here is the link...
http://sara-mincy.blogspot.com/2010/11/happy-turkey.html
I am going to try to do that memory game-my children love to play that game!!

Elise

Agnes said...

I love the idea of the dolls, I just order them, my DD is too old but my little boy will like them.
For thanksgiving, we have games with cards, I have questions, or things to make out of dough or nuts, or things to act out based on thanksgiving. wonderful ideas!

Alycia M said...

Your Homespun Thanksgiving series has truly gotten me excited!

I was starting to feel overwhelmed by my to do list but you've reminded me that the days are fleeting and I need to focus on my family! Thank you for the reminder!

I'm going to try to put together some of your ideas this weekend so that we can enjoy them all next week. Thanks again, Alycia

A Simple Life... said...

Wonderful ideas for having fun in the ThAnKsGiViNg spirit ♥ We made some really cute scripture memory verse cards for our childrens craft last week at church ~ just simple patterned cardstock paper in fall colors with a verse printed in a neat font and decorated with pilgrim stickers and flowers. They turned out so nice I want to make some for place cards by each plate for Thanksgiving Dinner. Really fun craft for the kids to help with and meaningful too ~ you can see the picture in this post...http://simplyapplesnspice.blogspot.com/2010/11/so-thankful.html

*carrie* said...

Monica,

That pumpkin pie playdough is darling! I don't remember that idea from LMS. Sure miss her blog . . .

Melissa said...

Great ideas, Monica! The playdough looks soooooo real!!! I had to give it a second look. What a memorable Thanksgiving this will be.

Farmchick said...

Out bloghopping and found my way here. Cute ideas...I have made the pumpkin pie playdough in the past.

Hope you can stop by and say hi! :)

Wendi said...

Love the pumpkin pie playdough. The way you presented it is just darling!!

angie said...

As I read this post, I was thinking that you must be planning for company on Thanksgiving. Because you had spent so much time in preparing, I assumed that there would be more than just your three children. Then I realized--we shouldn't save our best for company. Thank you for reminding me that my family deserves my best effort.

Anonymous said...

The pumpkin pie play dough is the perfect way to keep hands busy at the kiddie table at Thanksgiving. What a great idea..love it! thanks for sharing!

angie said...

Looking back through your Homespun Thanksgiving posts for some ideas. I've always noticed that you use many round tags with metal trim. Do you have a source for getting them in large quantities and/or reasonably priced? I've only seen them in small packs with scrapbooking supplies.