The Kids Table

November 7, 2011



Hello, Friends! I’m working with T-Mobile on a series of budget conscious posts (find post #1 here). Today’s topic: The Thanksgiving Kids Table. Yes, the ingredients for a full-on Turkey dinner can wipe out a budget, but there’s no need to spend a bundle to keep the kiddos entertained while you concentrate on the stuffing. So I scoured the web and spotted the 3 most adorable activities your kids (and wallet) will love.

Corn Necklaces & Garlands
First up, a simple idea I spotted on Paisley and Lace. String dried corn kernels to make a necklace or garland! Dried corn kernels are hard. So prep them for stringing by using a drill. If you prefer, you can also soak them and then poke a hole through the softened kernels with a big needle.

Once they’re prepped, older kids can use embroidery floss and a needle to string them. For younger kids, avoid the needles by using a stiff waxed kitchen twine or stiffen the ends of embroidery floss by soaking it in glue and letting it dry. Your little ones can make bracelets for the honored guests, or a garland to hang from the chandelier.

Walnut Boats
The next idea was spotted on Cultivated Lives. Your kids can make tiny versions of the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria with walnuts, playdough, toothpicks and paper. So cute! I’m picturing boat races in the bathtub or an outdoor puddle. This one is especially good for my kids because we had a huge walnut harvest this year.

Click here for the tutorial (plus an easy recipe for homemade playdough).

Paper Pilgrim Hats
The third project comes from Martha Stewart. With a few folds, your kids will be all dressed up as Mr. or Mrs. Pilgrim. I’m such a fan of this project! It’s super easy and makes for memorable photos. Tip: If you don’t have a stock of oversize paper, you can use newsprint instead.

What about you? How do you keep the kids entertained on Thanksgiving day? Any other great ideas I should know about?

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 The Artful Parent November 7, 2011 at 6:34 am

Love the little walnut boats! We have a couple of walnut trees in our yard, so we should definitely try that one. Thanks.

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2 Design Mom November 7, 2011 at 7:41 am

Oh good! I hope you try it. It’s such a sweet, simple project.

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3 barchbo November 7, 2011 at 8:04 am

We are not an especially craft-talented family, so we keep the kids busy with taking drink orders and making place cards for everyone. The kids are often charged with making lists of things they are thankful for and for “interviewing” everyone else for theirs. Of course, setting the table, clearing the table and making sure all condiments are accounted for are also key tasks!

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4 Design Mom November 7, 2011 at 8:07 am

Having them take orders and interview everyone is genius! I bet they love that, Barchbo.

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5 Greta November 7, 2011 at 9:46 am

My kids (7,5,3) are going to recite a poem for our guests. We are learning ti together and they’ll recite it after dinner on Thanksgiving.
Maybe they’ll wear some Pilgrim hats while they do it!
Great ideas.
Love from,
Greta

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6 Michelle November 7, 2011 at 10:10 am

love the poem idea!

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7 Hannah Q. November 7, 2011 at 10:04 am

A few years ago we celebrated Thanksgiving with several families with young children. We unrolled a huge sheet of paper along one wall and everyone (including adults) drew on it with crayons to create a fun mural!

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8 Design Mom November 7, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Such a great idea, Hannah.

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9 Alana November 7, 2011 at 10:12 am

I will not be “drilling corn” pre-Thankgiving, LOL.

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10 Design Mom November 7, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Hah! I will not be drilling corn either, but it’s the perfect sort of job for my older kids to do on a random evening when they’re watching TV.

If we do it this weekend, we’ll have a bowl of corn beads ready for the little ones on Thanksgiving. But if I didn’t have helpers, this idea might not have caught my eye. : )

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11 CMN November 7, 2011 at 11:12 am

Love the walnut boats! Putting those on my list… And Hannah’s suggestion of a mural? Brilliant!

But I have to say, the thought of drilling corn so for necklaces has my fingers twitching — and not in a good way! The photos look great, but it sounds like a lot of prep work for a simple craft. Now, how about a garland of popcorn, cranberries, et al? Much easier to prep, and it can go right over to holiday decorating!

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12 Barb @ A Life in Balance November 7, 2011 at 11:52 am

We’ve been writing down what we’re thankful for from November 1st to Thanksgiving. I’d like to read these aloud with the grandparents who will be joining us for dinner. I was also hoping to do the activity with the grandparents and save it in some way.

My fil would get a kick out of the walnut boats!

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13 Design Mom November 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Such a great way to feel thankful all month long!

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14 Aimee Giese | Greeblemonkey November 7, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday – yay! Love these.

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15 carole November 8, 2011 at 7:28 am

I have the grandkids write the prayer each year, and then recite it together. I keep the prayers and one day will put them together in a collection and present them to the grandkids. They also usually make some kind of table decorations: pinecone turkeys, place cards, placemats, etc.

We try to read Abraham Lincoln’s amazing Thanksgiving Day proclamation. (You can read it here: http://holydays.tripod.com/linc.htm )

A new tradition I hope to start this year is to have “Thanksgiving Blessings” snack ingredients for the grandkids to mix and bag and give away to friends. The ingredients are Bugles snack crackers, mini pretzel twists, M&Ms, dried fruits of some kind (cranberries for us); dried seeds or nuts (pumpkins seeds are our choice) and a Hershey’s kiss. Mix it up and bag and staple the following on the bag:

THANKSGIVING BLESSINGS!
BUGLES: Reminds us of the cornucopia (horn of plenty), a symbol of our nation’s abundance.
PRETZELS: Reminds us of arms folded in prayer and the religious freedom sought by those who founded our country.
CANDY CORN: Reminds us of the friendship of the Native Americans who greeted the Pilgrims and shared with them their knowledge of growing crops, hunting game and surviving in a new land.
NUTS OR PUMPKIN SEEDS: Reminds us of our future. Seeds planted today are tomorrow’s harvest if we are diligent and attentive.
DRIED FRUIT: Reminds of God’s provision through our bountiful land!
M&Ms: Represent the sweetness of friends and community.
HERSHEY’S KISS: Represents the love of family.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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16 Heidi Jungwirth November 8, 2011 at 8:02 am

I’d love to email you a photo of our Thanksgiving “Tree of Thanks” that we did for our Thanksgiving this year. (we celebrate earlier in Canada) but I don’t know how to send a photo.

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17 liv's mom November 24, 2011 at 8:51 am

Cute projects but I dont think the nina pinta etc is related to Thanksgiving! Those boats were more than 100 years earlier werent they? Nonetheless, we are boat making today.

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