It may not FEEL like it, but Thanksgiving is next week! For those of us with young kids, it may feel like we do not get to share in the excitement or the activities like our older kiddos do. If you need some fun activities that will get your children engaged and thinking about thankfulness, check out some of our ideas below, straight from the Acorn Team!
“Thankful” Paper Bag Book:
To do this awesome craft, all you need are TWO paper bags, glue, eyes, markers, colored paper. Fold each paper bag in half, together, so that it opens into a small “book”, with a front and back cover and then two pages inside. On the outside of the bag, have your toddler glue or color eyes and a beak for the Turkey. Set your bag aside and grab your colored paper! Now is when you as the parent need to help cut out feathers to be glued to the back of the book. Have your child choose the colors. I usually pick 4-5. Once you have them cut out in the shape of feathers, glue them to the back cover of the paper bag book, so that your face is on the cover. Inside the book, you can ask your toddler about things he/she is thankful for! If they say “Mommy”, help them draw you and them together on one of the pages. if they say macaroni and cheese (like mine did), you can draw macaroni and cheese and let your little one color it in. This is one of our favorite activities that doesn’t cost a thing, but you can do year after year to see what your kids were thankful for!
—Sasha R., Office Assistant
“The Turkey Hand”:
The Turkey Hand is a very traditional but fun activity to do with your toddler! All you need for this activity is a piece of paper (colored, preferably), some markers, crayons, or colored pencils, and your hand! You will want to place your hand on top of the paper with fingers spread out. Help your toddler trace their hand and fingers. There are two ways to fill in your turkey. My favorite is coloring your traced thumb as the turkey’s face, and then coloring each of the remaining four fingers as a feather. In the feathers, ask your toddler what they are thankful for and write it in! You can also use the palm of your hand as the turkey’s face, and then use all five fingers as the feathers. It is whatever you or your toddler prefers!
—Sara I., Reception
Rice Krispy Turkeys:
One of my favorite Thanksgiving activities is, of course, also something sweet! The first thing you want to have on hand is Rice Krispies, marshmallow fluff, Oreos, and Candy Corn. Mix the Rice Krispies and Marshmallow Fluff together until you can form small, 1-inch balls with the Rice Krispies. These will form the turkey’s “body”. Set aside. Then, take some Oreos and split them in half. Use the half without the frosting as a base and stick the half with the frosting together perpendicular to the base. This will serve as the “fan” for the turkey’s feathers. Take the Rice Krispy balls that you have set aside and place one onto each Oreo base (you may need extra marshmallow to make them stick). The turkey’s body should now be easy to see. Finally, take 3-4 candy corn and place them pointy side down into the frosting of the Oreo, until they stick and fan out like feathers. If you want, you can use M&Ms or chocolate sprinkles to make eyes on the body of the turkey. These delicious treats are fun, easy, and a great Thanksgiving dessert for the kids!
—Dr. Idzerda, Acorn Pediatrics
A fun activity that will also get the kids outside is a Fall Leaf Garland! All you need for this activity are some freshly fallen leaves, a hole punch, and yarn! Have your kids go outside and gather (gently) a pile of leaves (try to help them pick ones that are still mostly intact). With a hole punch, gently punch holes in the tops of the leaves and weave yarn through them. After each leaf, tie a knot in the yarn. This will help to keep the leaves separated. You can make your leaf garland as big or as small as you want! Once finished, hang your garland outside or inside for a fun and festive decoration!
—Dr. Handlin, Acorn Pediatrics
Fruit Kabob Turkey
If you are looking for a healthier alternative but one that is still TONS of fun, I recommend making a Fruit Kabob Turkey! All you need to have is a Butternut Squash, an assortment of your favorite fruit, at least one red pepper, and skewers! This is definitely an activity that needs supervision, but you and your kiddos will love the result. Start with your butternut squash on a platter. Wash and cut your fruit into pieces big enough for the skewer and alternate types (example: strawberry, apple, pear, pineapple, strawberry, etc.) After you make about 10 (more or less depending on the size of your squash), you will want to stick the skewers into the butternut squash so they make a fan for the feathers. Make it colorful! For the Turkey head and wattle (beard), we use a toothpick to attach a pear to the front of the butternut squash (opposite the fruit skewers) and attach a long piece of red pepper to the pear for the wattle. It’s a colorful and healthy alternative for your Thanksgiving feasts!
—Jen W., Registered Nurse
When All Else Fails:
If your kids are still bored after all of these fun activities (which we can’t imagine why that would happen), take them outside and play freeze tag! Whoever is “it” has to gobble as they chase the others around the yard. When all else fails … BE A TURKEY!
—Netzi L., Business Manager
From ALL of us at Acorn Pediatrics, we are SO thankful for all of our patients and their families. We hope you have a fabulous and safe Thanksgiving! *Gobble Gobble*