Thanksgiving with turkeys

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:

Happy Thanksgiving! – Crafts: Chapter 2.

Thanksgiving is a holiday that has nothing to do with us, Hungarian people. However, giving thanks to what we can cherish in our life does not depend on what nation you belong to.

Tree of Thanks – a great idea for Thanksgiving came from Jen, a blogger mum whose posts I’ve been reading on a daily basis nowadays.

The main idea is building an autumn tree with brown, yellow, and orange leaves on which we write (or draw) with the kids what we are grateful for.

We didn’t have much time to do this activity (I needed to prepare for Daddy’s birthday too), so it is not as elaborate as in the original idea.

What you need:

  • colour paper (red, brown, orange, green – or you can paint as Jen suggests)
  • scissors
  • a bigger sheet of sticky paper (contact paper or sticky book jacket)
  • markers

I quickly cut red, brown, yellow and green leaves out of colour paper and drew a tree on the sticky paper (on the non-sticky side). The latter I sellotaped (sticky side out) on the balcony window. (Unfortunately you can’t see much on the photos as it got dark, but tomorrow I’ll add some more pictures taken in daylight)

naming the different colours and counting how many leaves she has

When we arrived home, E. sat down and I told her that we should collect people and things we love and we feel thankful for. (Much to my surprise she understood and immediately said : – Daddy!) I came next: – I love Mommy so much. 😀

First, we tried to write the words together, but when she added snowman and chicken thigh I wrote them on the leaves myself.

When we’d finish with our collection (cheese, Grandmas, Santa, doggy, antibody hat, i.e. her thermo-hat against ear problems) we moved to the balcony door and E. stuck up the leaves on the tree.
She was really proud of herself and also, gave a kiss to Santa 🙂 (then to me)




——– Update: 03/12/2014———

Here is a photo taken of our Tree of Thanks in daylight… well, you can see a little (!!!) more.

Unfortunately we didn’t have time for the Turkey of Thanks wreath. Well, we need something for next year, too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you want some cute and funny Thanksgiving songs, here is a small collection:


Crafts for Thanksgiving – Chapter 1.

I’m not sure if E. understands the concept of being thankful, though one night when we talked to the Angels I wanted to say good night and she said:

– Wait, Mommy!
– Yes?
– I want to say thank you.
– What for?
– For the skeleton costume.

So I might be wrong. She can also say thank you whenever I give her some food or a toy. Sometimes she reminds Daddy to say thank you.

I told her the Thanksgiving story very basically though we focused more on being creative this time.

Colour your turkey – letter recognition

I mentioned to E. that American people celebrate Thanksgiving with turkeys, like we celebrate Martin-day with geese.

So we coloured a turkey. I printed an image of a turkey from the net, but before we started I added some letters to different parts of the turkey. With some of the dot markers I signed orange, yellow, red and purple next to the turkey. She immediately understood how to colour it. We have no brown dot markers so I used a crayon.

identifying the letters
staring with yellow
our colourful turkey

Bubble wrap paint turkey

I found this idea on . I’m not going into details as you find easy-to-follow instructions on the site.

It looked great, so we tried it. It’s a little too complicated with a 2 and a half year old. You need to wait a lot for the paint to dry. E. had no patience. But she enjoyed the painting. I had no dark brown coloured paper so we painted the body too. (The thermo-hat is due to an ear infection)

painting the body
adding the eyes on the stool – where else?
finished with the beak too, though there’s no snood
I cut the feathers – she did the sticking
Turkey without legs and snood

Autumn tree variations

The first tree idea came when E. enjoyed me punching leaf shapes with this.

So while she was asleep in the afternoon I punched some more leaves (yellow, red, orange, brown and creamy colours) and I put them together with some real dry leaves next to a drawn tree. With the help of some glue we put the leaves onto the tree’s branches. She wasn’t interested in the real ones.

Broken leaves had to go on the ground, under the tree

Our nanny arrived and they went on together

Have you noticed that some leaves are falling down 😉 ?

“Nice tree. Can I pee on it?”

The second tree is based on the same idea as the dot marker turkey. I drew a tree and on the branches I wrote the first letters of some colours. Dotting fun.

I’m planning to make some more Thanksgiving activities. So come back for the autumn tree and turkey of gratitude.