The Thanksgiving story bracelet project has been sitting around for few years now. I totally fogot about this cute and memorable storytime activity. As I was reorganising my autumn activity box I came across with this well-prepared but overlooked task. I was more than happy to introduced it to the girls before this year’s Thanksgiving.
We’ve had some fun Thanksgiving activities from the Internet in the last couple of years, but I wanted something new for E. that involves a little reading. I didn’t know she’ll be so excited about the cootie catchers that she’ll make her own. But let’s not run ahead.
Recently I’ve found this great blog: brendid.com where you can find a free printable section. There are many cootie catchers to make for several occasions, like Thanksgiving, Valentine’s day, St. Patrick’s day or Halloween to mention a few.
Bren even explains how to fold a cootie catcher if you happento be as ignorant as I was in the field of cootie catchers.
When I handed E. the cootie catcher I was taken aback how excited she became.
She was reading the questions and jokes by herself and running around the flat to ask everybody (even her 23 month old little sister.) I wish I had taken some photos.
So the following day we made our own cootie catchers, which was totally E.’s idea. So we took out some coloured paper and started to fold our own cootie catchers.
Then we numbered the outside and wrote on the inside. I decided to make a fortune-teller concerning the winter holiday season with Christmasy, snowy pictures,
E. was writing questions about her imaginary Waterland and drew fish, dolphins, whales and anglers on the inside of her cootie catcher.
Then we played with each other’s cootie catcher, then our native English nanny needed to answer the questions, after that Little L. too.
E. loved the idea of cootie catchers so much we definitely do it again and again and again.
(If you can’t read the questions in the pictures – she wrote them I didn’t help her at all!:
left pic: Why did the angler catch the shark?/Why did the whale get scared of the hypodoo? – hypodoo is an imaginary fish)
right pic: What kind of dish do anglers make? / Why is the sun gone in Waterland?
Your answers can be submitted in the comment section. And you can win whatever you ask for if you know the answer 😉 )
This year I wanted to make something special for the girls to make them feel grateful for all those people, experiences and fun they’ve had during the year. So I decided to make them a book of thanks.
I needed some coloured construction paper and some pictures of important people, places, happenings that I printed and glued on the half-cut A4 sheets. I also laminated the pages for durability. I punched the upper corners and used a scratch book clip to hold them together. I also added some notes for E. to read.
Both of them appreciated the booklet and we talked a lot about the pictures.
I hope in the future we can add some extra pages to collect all the amazing things in their lives.
The winter workshop took place in the middle of November, before Thanksgiving, so that we could cover some Thanksgiving crafts apart from Christmassy and winter activities.
The workshop aimed to help mums with winter fun ideas, whose kids are about 2-3 years old, but 4-5 year-old children would find them enjoyable too.
There were 4 major topics that we covered (and this time we managed to cover them all)
Santa/ St. Nicholas
I’m not writing about the details only the ideas I shared. if you have any questions about the activities please do not hesitate to contact me either in the comment section or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This time I got some photos from the mums taking part in the workshop. Thanks!
I made this free printable so just click and print it. Colour it with your child if you wish and glue a cotton ball on Santa’s beard every day until Christmas. As we celebrate on Christmas Eve there are only 23 places to stick the cotton balls on.
I prepared this colour matching activity that you can download on the link above. You just need some coloured buttons, pom poms or M&Ms to place on the printed buttons of the Gingerbread men. A simple colour matching task.
The last figure is left empty to draw coloured buttons of your child’s choice or use it as a play dough mat if you want to take further on this activity.
Other winter crafts
Cotton pad snowman
(We did mot finally make this activity but here is the link where you can see the details) UPDATE: We made the mittens (among other activities) after reading the lovely book The Mitten by Jan Brett
At this time of the year we have real difficulties preparing for all the festivals and celebrations we have:
Thanksgiving (26th Nov)
Daddy’s birthday (28th Nov)
the beginning of Advent (29th Nov)
St. Nicolas Day (or Santa Day – 5th Dec)
Not to mention that illnesses were on and off all month, three in a row. There haven’t been 3 consecutive days when everybody in the family was perfectly healthy.
Still, we managed to do a little bit of fun for Thanksgiving. Of course, it was mainly about turkeys 🙂
I made this home-made salt dough:
1 cup salt
1 cup hot water
2 cups flour
1 or 2 tbs cocoa powder (to make it brown)
Mix them all. I kneaded the dough with my hand but you can use a mixer. If you choose to knead it wait a little until the hot water cools down. Then I put it in a plastic container and next to the fridge for a short while (1-2 hours)
When ready, I prepared this for E.:
On the tray I prepared coloured feathers, orange foam triangles for the beak, googly eyes, red (water drop shaped) foam for the wattle (the red skin hanging down from the beak of the turkey along its neck – “bőrlebernyeg” in Hungarian). In the middle there was the brown salt dough.
We made balls out of the dough to make the body and the head. First, we kneaded the dough and then with rolling movement we formed them into balls. These movements are really useful to strengthen the muscles in a child’s hand.
Googly eyes: a girl and a boy
Placing the wattle
Then E. made two turkeys and me too. We fixed the beak and eyes as well as the wattle, after all this she stuck the tail feathers in.
We practised saying the colours, the different parts of the turkey, like feather, beak, head and body or this new word (even for me): wattle. We used expressions like roll the dough, knead the dough, stick it in etc. We also talked a little bit about why we celebrate Thanksgiving, why we have a feast at this time of the year.
I found another great turkey activity online. Turkey feather counting mats. You can use these either as play dough mats (so you can use coloured play dough to make the feathers) or with real feathers. E. was so into these colourful feathers we used them again.
Finally, we had a Thanksgiving feast (quite a moderate one). My Mum stayed for dinner too (also help with preparing some turkey breast roast and pumpkins) and we all said what we are thankful for in our lives.
And what is E. thankful for?
– I’m thankful for my parents, my Godparents and my toys and others… the good meats and my friends in the nursery.
I’m thankful for my wonderful daughter and my family.
If you wish to listen to some Thanksgiving videos on youtube, or prepare a tree of gratitude, just click on the pic below:
If you haven’t had enough of thanksgiving, here are some more crafts: