Do your kids participate in a Thanksgiving feast with friends at school or at home before Thanksgiving Day? We’re excited to be hosting a small Thanksgiving play date with our preschool co-op buddies this year. I thought I’d share the details with you in case your planning something for your kids, too. Our get together will be a combination of baking, play, crafts, and of course, eating.
Our Thanksgiving Play Date
In addition to having a lot of fun, my goal for this play date is that it is easy for the parents to prepare for, enjoy during, and clean up after. We’ll be utilizing some of the activities we’ve made throughout the month, and our menu includes basic foods that are easy to prepare.
Throughout the house I’ll have a couple of activity stations set up. These stations will be free for the kids to visit and explore as they wish. Parents will supervise and help as needed.
- Making Thanksgiving Cards-One station will include card stock, writing materials, and basic shapes to make turkeys or other creations. The idea is that the kids can decorate the front of a couple Thanksgiving cards. Later parents can help them write a special message and give the cards to family members and friends they see on Thanksgiving Day.
- Friendship Bracelets-Another station will include beads in fall colors and string to allow the kids to make friendship bracelets to remember between the Native Americans and the Pilgrims during the first Thanksgiving
- Turkey play dough-We’ll have our turkey play dough invitation set up for the kids to explore. You could also swap this idea out for our pumpkin pie play dough invitation, or do both!
- Turkey Fine Motor Activity-The kids can create their own turkeys with this fine motor activity.
- Indian Corn Squish Bag-We’ll have our Indian corn squish bag out for the babies and toddlers who join us.
We love baking together, so all the kids will get the chance to bake some sugar cookies. We’ll be using a basic sugar cookie dough. The kids will be able to take charge rolling out the dough and making their own cookie shapes using Thanksgiving and fall cookie cutters. After the cookies cool slightly, we’ll have some icing, candy corn, and fall M&Ms for them to decorate the cookies.
You could also go with a more traditional route and make some mini apple or pumpkin pies. I think our kids will enjoy making cookies best at this point.
If the kids are up for it, a couple times throughout the play date we’ll gather for activities as a group. These are some of the things we have planned.
We’ll also be singing our favorite Thanksgiving songs.
Our bin of Thanksgiving books will be out during the play date, and we’ll be reading some stories together. If you’re looking for some great book suggestions, I love this collection from of Thanksgiving picture books from No Time for Flashcards.
The ideas in our Thanksgiving games collection would also be a lot of fun to include in the play date. We’ll see which ones we end up trying, and which ones we save for Thanksgiving Day.
We’ll be including items that can be prepared ahead of time or are very easy to cook while the kids are playing. Our menu so far is:
- Turkey rolls
- Corn on the cob
- Baked bread-You can try cooking the bread with kids using this fall bread recipe.
- Fresh fruit
- Juice or milk
- Cookies that the kids baked and decorated during the play date
If you’re looking for some more festive menu items, you might like these ideas from our Thanksgiving Pinterest Board.
Turkey Pizza from Growing Up Bilingual
Turkey Snack from Meet the Dubiens
Turkey Sandwich from Little Nummies
Teach Preschool also has a terrific post about planning a Thanksgiving Feast with preschoolers. I love the steps they take to prepare for Thanksgiving in their classroom. Many of the ideas would work great at home, too.
For another fun idea Toddler Approved has a cute pretend play Thanksgiving Feast for kids.
Less stress, more connecting this holiday season? Yes, PLEASE!
From the arrival of fall to Halloween to Thanksgiving and Christmas, the last four months of the year can be a wonderful opportunity for making family memories and spending time together, but they can also be stressful as we try to collect ideas, recipes, and activities to try together.
Stephanie Morgan, founder of Modern Parents Messy Kids, a site that’s been voted Best Craft Blog in Parents Magazine and one of babble.com’s Top 50 Craft Mom Blogs, recently released a new eBook to help us have a little less stress and more time to connect with family this year, and I’m so glad to be an affiliate for such a great resource.
Stephanie’s goal is to make it easier on all of us to enjoy the holidays with our kids. Hands-On Holidays is 100 pages full of her family’s very favorite ways to connect as a family over the holiday season. I love the convenience of having so many ideas in one place, and most of them are simple enough for even my toddler to participate in.
The book includes picture book suggestions, DIY decor, activities, and treats. Bonus sections also offer even more ideas to enjoy. Click here to view more details.
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