Kid’s Turkey Craft and Feather Hunt

This is a post I’ve wanted to write for almost a year – I wanted to blog about it last year after it happened, but realistically, who wants to read about a Thanksgiving craft in December? Exactly. So, here it is … apologies for jumping the gun before Halloween, but I need to get it up or there’s a good chance it won’t happen!

Let me start by saying this entire project was my mother’s doing. My mom is one of those special moms who really does holidays well – she always has, but as my sister and I have gotten older, and we’re not always all together for holidays, when we DO all get together, she tends to go all out. I have her to thank for my overwhelmingly romantic notions, and my OCD-perfectionist tendencies. My mother’s main goal in life has always been, and continues to be, to make other people feel happy, and welcome, and year after year she knocks it out of the park. Since she and my dad live about 5 hours away from us, we do holidays on an every other year rotation with the Husband’s family. Last year, we did Thanksgiving with my family, and Christmas with the Husband’s (this year, we’ll do the opposite), and because my mother couldn’t help herself, she came up with this amazing craft/feather hunt for the boys to do on Thanksgiving Day.

Kids Thanksgiving Thankful Turkey Craft

To start with, she bought a couple of styrofoam balls, covered them with cheap craft store feathers, and then added a beak, feet, and googly eyes – she also bought a big bag of long, brightly colored feathers for the tail feathers, but intentionally left those off. So, when we arrived, we arrived to Thom the (somewhat) naked turkey … sorry, I neglected to get a photo of said naked bird, but I mean, he deserved a little dignity, right?

Thanksgiving_Kids_Craft

On Thanksgiving morning, my dad took the bag of tail feathers out into the back yard and “hid” them. We then sent the boys out back to find all the feathers, rescuing Thom from his indignity. They marched his tail feathers inside, excited to see what grandma had in store for them.

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Kids_Thanksgiving_Feather_Hunt

My mom pulled Thom down, and told them that they needed to stick his feathers back in, but for every feather they found and returned to Thom, they needed to say something they were thankful for.

At first, they were thankful for the things you would expect 2.5 and 5.5 year olds to be thankful for – candy, Spiderman, cartoons, bugs, etc – but as the rest of the family added in our feathers, you could tell they were listening and starting to really think about things. Their answers became shifted to things like – daddy, shoes to keep my feet warm, my toothbrush, my teacher, my house. It was neat, as a parent, to watch that shift occur, to see them start thinking about the bigger picture.

Thankful_Turkey_Thanksgiving_Craft

We won’t be at “home” for Thanksgiving this year, but I still plan on doing some version of this game with the boys again. Between all the food and festivities, it’s always important for us all to remember how lucky we are for everything we have. We might not have a ton of money in the bank, but our family is rich in other ways, and I want my boys to be aware of that – always.

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Paper Plate Candy Corn Pennants!

With temperatures still ranging from the mid 70s to the mid 90s – it’s sometimes hard for this Texan (who was raised on the East Coast) to believe it’s almost Halloween (or even fall). But it is – and with my parents in this past weekend for a quick visit, we broke out a fun craft for the boys to help us with to decorate the house a little bit – paper plate candy corn pennants!

Paper Plate Candy Corn Pennant Banners from Froggyandthemouse.com!

These are really, really easy. So easy in fact, that even an OCD momma who hates PlayDoh with a fiery passion got through it without wanting to pull her (or her kids’) hair out. Also, it cost me less than $5.00 for the whole project by buying all the supplies at Walmart – easy peasy.

What you need:
Cheap-o paper plates
Paint (orange, yellow, white) – we used basic craft paint, but anything will do
Paintbrushes
Hole punch
Scissors
Ribbon (I chose black, but anything with work)

To begin, I would have swore on a stack of puppies that candy corn were colored in an orange-yellow-white pattern … but I would have been wrong. So when you start to paint, know that “legit” candy corns are in a yellow-orange-white pattern.

I painted first and the kiddos watched and copied – you’re looking for a bull’s-eye-like affect on the plates.

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easy_halloween_candy_banner

Paint as many as they want to – plates and paint are cheap and these are fun to hang everywhere! Also, don’t be too worried about perfect circles or splotching – having them all a little different looking gives them character. Once all your plates are painted (or your kiddos are over painting – whichever comes first), lay them out and let them dry.

Once dry, cut the plates into fourths, so you have triangle candies.

easy_candy_corn_pennant

Now, punch holes with your hole punch at the top – ours were about two inches apart so we would have enough of the black ribbon showing.

DIY_halloween_candy_corn

Now, all you have to do is string your candies through and voila – candy corn pennant strings!

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Make them as short or long as you’d like – overlapping strings can be fun! We’ve got them hanging above the fireplace, in the kitchen, and I’m even taking some to work for my office. I hope everyone enjoys making these as much as we did!

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Trip to Washington DC in Photos

It’s taken me a week to get this blog post up not because I had too many photos, or wasn’t sure what to write, but because I arrived home and was thrown into single-parenthood since the Husband left for a work trip the afternoon before I got home. It’s been a crazy week, but I’m so happy to get some of these photos up finally.

There will be another post (okay, probably several more posts) with travel tips, and specifics of what we saw/liked, but for the moment – these are all I wanted to post. We had such a fabulous time, and while not completely void of meltdowns and whining, we were both in pretty good spirits and it was really fun to have some one-on-one time with … and who am I kidding? Six years old is such a fun age, and it was really fun to spoil the crap out of him and take him back through all the fun things I loved doing as a kid in DC.

I did end up taking both my Canon DSLR, and don’t regret it. Even though it was large and heavier to carry around with us, I’m glad I have more than just iPhone photos to remember this trip with. Below is a mix of both:

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He was so excited to see Henry the elephant – although I remember him with little plastic telephones where you could listen to him trumpet and then an automated voice would tell you all about elephants. Now there are touch screen info stations. Times, they have changed.

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Mouse_Does_DC7

Holding a tarantula exoskeleton. He also held a caterpillar, touched a hissing cockroach, and got tickled by a butterfly at the Natural History Museum!

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The Air & Space Museum was definitely a hit, although while I thought for sure he would be more ‘in’ to the space side, in actuality he was way more interested in all the planes!

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The novelty of our hotel room (and the view) never wore off.

We had such an amazing time, and I’m really excited to get a photo book of all of them made! In the next week or so, look for a legit recap and also some tips and trips for anyone traveling to Washington DC, or just traveling with an elementary-age kiddo in general.

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