I know, I can’t believe it either but yes, Thanksgiving is here again! The leaves are falling all around us, how about making good use of them? Let the planning begin and make sure to involve the kids. As a kid, Thanksgiving always seemed stressful for my parents; running around, cleaning, bringing up chairs form the basement and foreshadowing the negatives of how the day would go. “Would Zedi (grandfather in Yiddish) be in a good mood?" “Oh, and make sure he gets the turkey neck, that will make him happy for sure!” Isn't this season supposed to be about joy?
There always seemed to be a layer of tension being laid down with the table cloth as it was smoothed over the big table. Having people over to the house was more of an performance then a relaxing event about togetherness. Mom is a fabulous cook, she had nothing to worry about in that area. The kids were usually shooed out of the kitchen. As the clock got closer to afternoon, the adults could focus on preparing the meal “in peace.”
As a grown up I can respect that, but as a mother I want my child to be involved, to make the holiday as much theirs as ours. It can be done in a way that makes everyone feel involved.
I remember not being able to wait until we were dismissed from the table so we could go watch TV or play a game. I want my child’s memories to be filled with food, pride, and feeling like a valued part of the holiday preparation. What better holiday to start with than Thanksgiving. Here is a craft that will get the kids excited, it is a nice way to honor the guests too.
Make a point of taking a walk a few days before Thanksgiving and searching out beautiful fallen leaves for this project. Do the project in the days prior to the holiday and use that time to connect with your kids. Once the day comes and you get busy your kids will have a great feeling of being a part of preparation for the day. If you live in a place where there is no "Fall," you can get leaves at the craft store, they will work just as well.
Fall "Leafs" Me Feeling Happy Mobile
A great way to involve the kids is in a craft, get some air make it a fun walk to gather leaves. This particular one is a great way to honor your guests and let them know that you gave thought to who was coming, plus it adds some color and interest to your room.
Items you will need:
Leaves with beautiful fall colors a few more than the number of guests
A branch about 1 foot long
Clear contact paper
Permanent metallic marker
- Have the kids help gather beautiful large leaves, the leaves need to be supple not too crunchy,
- Wipe the leaves with a dry cloth
- Cut large squares of contact paper 1/2 inch larger than your leaf, peel off backing. Lay leaf on one half of the strip, and fold over covering leaf.
- Seal and pushing out air bubbles
- Cut around leaf leaving 1/4 inch of contact paper boarder
- Punch hole in the top of each leaf
- Write each guests name in large letters on each a leaf. I like to use small leaves for kids and large ones for adults
- Tie ribbon through hole and string up
- Tie leaves on to the branch and hang over your table
Tip: go one step further and use photos of your guests kids and hang them from the mobile too!