Tuesday, November 14 , 2023
Can you believe that mid November is already here?
That, of course, means that TURKEY DAY is right around the corner!
Before we get started with today’s content though,
we wanted to thank you all for the well wishes extended to Laurie and family
on the recent arrival of Little P!
If you missed our post - A GRAND Arrival! - here’s a link to it!
Welcoming a new grandbaby into a family’s midst is always a joy
and we are happy to report that Little P and her big sister, Little D,
are adjusting well to their family’s new normal
Laurie, of course, is relishing her growing role as Grammy to two Littles!
This week also marks a BIG anniversary for Laurie and Laura!
It was one year ago this week that we published our first blog posts!
Which was quickly followed by
We have had SUCH FUN and LEARNED SO MUCH
during these past twelve months of blogging
about the activities, adventures and celebrations
shared with our families and loved ones -
most notably our precious Littles!
♥️ Look at how we’ve grown in the past year! ♥️
We are so grateful for our friendship and the adventures we've had together this past year
as we've learned to navigate technology, the blogging world,
photography, graphics and more!
And, of course, THE BIGGEST THANK YOU goes to ALL OF YOU!
THANK YOU for taking the time to stop by and to read our posts here
THANK YOU for your faithful support as we've taken on this journey!
AND NOW ON TO TODAY’S TOPIC!
The big day is getting closer and it’s time to start planning for all the fun to come!
Today we’re sharing ideas to amp up your holiday decor
with table decorations… Little style!
We all look forward to the Thanksgiving meal each November
and the opportunity it provides to gather loved ones around
the dining room table…
Sometimes there’s more than one table, right?
We see so many beautiful Pinterest-like thanksgiving tables this time of year!
However, in this post, we have set out to share a “Little created” table.
If you are planning on having your Littles help create this year’s dinner decor,
we might have a few ideas for you!
Today we are sharing some of our favorite ideas from the past,
ways we’ve included the Littles in our lives and their beautiful creations
Into this very special day!
Last year the Littles in Laurie’s life gathered for a fun evening of decorating!
Her great niece and nephews and her granddaughter, Little D,
came over at dinnertime the Friday night before Thanksgiving.
Laurie had sent the moms and dads out to dinner
(what a gift that was for her Middles)
and she, with her husbandI served up Happy Meals to the delighted Littles!
Then they all got busy painting wooden fall decorations from the local dollar store.
Laurie kept the painted projects to dry
and then used these beauties
to decorate her family’s Thanksgiving table the following week!
Definitely, a fun evening for everyone involved!
It is always fun to set the table and decide who will sit where,
especially if you have a gathering of people
who may not know each other well.
That’s half the fun of Thanksgiving celebrations
as you squeeze as many people around the table as possible!
In fact, Laurie notes that at her Thanksgiving dinners,
she always makes sure she and her husband are sitting together
on the tiny cramped piano bench at the end of the table!
Can anyone else relate?
Littles love helping with these handmade creations
and enjoy the oohs and aahs that follow as guests come to the table!
A Grand Tip!
As Laurie’s own children got older,
she allowed them to decide where everyone would sit!
What a fun way to get Littles truly invested in the day’s gathering!
Below you'll find a few simple ideas that will dress up your table, each created with your Little's special touches! We think the results turn out cuter than the most fancy, store-purchased ones! Don’t you agree?
🔶 An Old Classic… A Turkey Napkin Ring!
This may be an oldie but it’s definitely a goodie! For this project you will need craft feathers, colored paper and a toilet paper or a paper towel tube. If you don’t have craft feathers available, you could also cut ones from colored paper. Also, if you are stuck and don’t have the cardboard tubes, you could also roll up paper and tape the edges to form a tube! To finish this project you will also need a stapler and some glue.
1. Cut the tube so you have a smaller piece and a larger piece.
2. Staple or glue the smaller tube on top of the larger one.
3. Add your turkey face and feet.
4. Glue feathers on the back of the large tube.
(An original made by Laurie’s daughter A at age 6, circa 1997)
This project can work as a place card AND a napkin holder!
Write each person’s name on the front of the turkey
and roll a napkin into the larger tube!
(This is also a very nice way to dress up paper napkins!!)
🔶 Photo Place Cards!
If you have access to photos of everyone who is attending Thanksgiving dinner, your guests will especially love this personalized project!
While these are mostly made by an adult,
your Littles could definitely help put them together and decorate them.
1. Gather photos of your guests. Baby/young child photos are especially fun, but you can also use silly pictures..
2. Mount your photos on a folded piece of tagboard.
3. Do NOT label with names.
4. Place at the table settings and see if people can figure out who sits where!
This project can bring a lot of laughs
as well as provide a great keepsake to send home with guests after dinner!
🔶 Easy-Peasy Options for Older Babies & Toddlers!
THUMBPRINT TURKEYS & THANKSGIVING STICKERS!
For the thumbprint turkey idea, simply write your guests names on a folder piece of tagboard. Take your Little’s finger and press it into a washable ink pad or paint. Make 2 prints - a head and body for a turkey. When the prints dry, add a few turkey details. You could also have your Little “color” the turkey if they’d like. What a keepsake!
Our second idea is even easier to pull off! Buy some Thanksgiving stickers and let your Little apply them to the place cards - folded pieces of tagboard with each guests’ name written on them!
We told you these were simple! Yet, can you just imagine how proud your littlest Little(s) will be when they see their creations decorating the table set for this special meal? Better still, how fun would it be to pull out these mementos after a few years to show your Littles how they've grown from year to year? Priceless!
Our final share this week highlights 3 craft ideas that Laura has made with Littles over the years - either in kindergarten, with Girl Scout groups or in Sunday School classes!
💛 Brownie Turkeys!
If you are looking for a sweet treat to add to each person’s place setting at your Thanksgiving table, these turkeys would be the perfect addition! Your Little will love making them all (and probably enjoy nibbling on a few supplies while doing so)!
For each Brownie Turkey you’ll need a round brownie - Laura bought already-made ones. You could also bake brownies in small muffin tins or you could use a mini donut, as another alternative. You’ll also need some Froot Loop type cereal, some toothpicks, edible eyes and a few chocolate chips (or white frosting and a few mini chocolate chips for the eyes)
1. Stick 3-5 toothpicks into the back side of the brownie.
2. Thread Froot Loops onto each toothpick to make the turkey feathers. Your Little can put
Froot Loops that are the same color on one toothpick feather, make patterns or mix them up… any option works perfectly!
3. Use a few melted chocolate chips to place two edible eyes on the turkey. (Or add some white frosting followed by a mini chocolate chip to create your turkey eyes.
4. Cut a red and orange Froot Loop each in half. Turn each on their side and dip one of the cut ends of each into melted frosting and place below the turkey’s eyes for its beak and waddle.
💛 Turkey Lollipops!
Here's another blast from the past! These would be a fun craft to make with your Little(s) ahead of time. You can then place one at each table setting as a favor!
As you can see from the photo, you’ll need lollipops, burlap, twine or string, colored paper and googly eyes (optional). Begin by wrapping the burlap around the lollipop. Tie the twine or string around the base of the lollipop to secure the burlap in place. Glue on googly eyes (or paper ones) and a paper beak and waddle. Glue individual paper feathers to the back OR decorate one large feather with markers, as shown and glue that to the back of the lollipop! NOTE: We used a hot glue gun to make sure the paper additions adhered to the burlap!
A Grand Tip!
Turn these into place cards by adding
a slip of colored paper or cut out leaf with a person’s name written on each.
Simply push the lollipop stick through the paper
and pull the name card up as far as you like!
💛 Turkey Ornaments!
These little ornaments are a perfect craft project for older Littles (school age and older) and could be a keepsake favor for each Thanksgiving guest!
You’ll need clear and fillable ornaments to complete this project… The ones we purchased recently were small for little hands (about 2” round). Here’s another resource for you (3 ½ inch round), one we’d purchase in the future. We filled our ornament with Cheerios and a few autumn colored M&M’s. You could also fill with small candies, nuts, granola, chocolate cereal. We filled both sides of the ornament and then closed it carefully. (NOTE: Some ornaments open from the top so you'd need to use small items to fill them. If Laura is remembering correctly, she used brown rice back in the day, which, while cute, wasn't really an edible favor! You decide what works best for you! However, we do recommend using a hot glue gun to add the googly eyes, the paper beak and waddle and the paper feathers. You could also use craft feathers if you’d like! These could be placed at each place setting or your Little(s) could be invited to distribute one to each guest as dessert is being served!
It is always a GRAND celebration when everyone gets to help out at Thanksgiving!
Set the stage for warmth, laughter and memories as you share your day
with those you are thankful for!
We hope that you’ve found an idea or two in our post
that sparks your own creative juices!
With only a few needed supplies and a bit of planning ahead
you can provide a wonderful memory for your Littles
and even a special memento for your guests...
lovely reminders of your Thanksgiving celebration!
🧡 💛 🧡
Please let us know if YOU know of or have created any of your own
KID FRIENDLY THANKSGIVING DECOR IDEAS & CRAFTS!
That’s one of our favorite things about being retired teachers…
We love sharing ideas with others!
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We’ll be back, sooner than normal with one more Thanksgiving post…
Gobble, Gobble! Family Fun!
We’ll share some festive ways to spend time with loved ones
before, during or after your holiday feast!
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See you soon!
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