The Day After

For today’s friday flashback, I’m posting our day after thanksgiving tradition from a few years back.  I post it every year because it makes me laugh!  The last 30 seconds are always worth it to me.

Also, if you love some good instrumental Christmas music, you can find the music here. It’s perfect background music for holiday gatherings!

Thankful Kids? No? Try This…

Our Dog Tries to Find Ways to Sit At the Table. She Does This Every November.

Our kids have moments of thankfulness, just like us.  But around the big holiday, we want it to really sink in, right?

I’ve done the Thanksgiving blessings book, I’ve had everyone write 30 things they’re thankful for, and we’ve done thankfulness games at the table (Family Fun & Disney both have loads of these).

They all were lovely.  I especially liked the 30 things list.  But this holiday break we’ve had a few discouraging parenting moments.  You know the ones – you’ve planned a great time and then something happens or they realize what they DON’T have or CAN’T have and all the wonder and magic a few minutes ago seems to disappear.

I can relate. I’ve been known to say “This is Wonderful!” and “Oh No! This is Horrible!” within the space of a few minutes.

Yeah, I know – We’re a passionate family.

Nevertheless, I came across Dr. Paul’s exercise in perspective changes.  (His article on thankfulness is enlightening.)

So, here it is:

We took the kids in a room and told them to turn around and find as many BLUE things as they could.

Then I told them to look into my eyes and tell me all the GREEN things they saw.

Their little eyes narrowed.  But they tried to tell me.  And they missed a bunch.

“You know why you didn’t notice all the green things?”


“Yes, because you were focused on one color.  You missed out on all the rest.”

So many lessons can be gleaned from this game.  But this time, we focused on all the wonderful things they had to be thankful for that they were missing by focusing on one thing they didn’t have or couldn’t do.

And the recognition in their eyes, the self-realization they gained from this little game, was priceless.

And I’m so thankful.

Now if I could just teach the dog…

She won't be getting leftovers with THAT attitude!


DIY Origami Turkey for Kids (No need for Origami Paper!)

I came up with this craft as Art Mom this past week and discovered a bunch of kids also wanted to know how. It does make a rocking last minute Thanksgiving craft  – and you don’t necessarily need origami paper as I’m about to show you!  So here’s a step by step guide to Origami Turkeys for kids!

You will need squares of paper. I recommend cutting the paper into 6 or 7 inch squares. I used 6 inches.

Have kiddos color one paper all brown.  The other paper they can color however & whatever they want, as this will be the turkey feathers. I used fall colors.

Start with the white paper facing up, like a diamond and fold in half.

Don’t unfold after this step!

Got it?

Oh, good.  Moving on…

Totally the easiest step.

Kids start to guess what’s going to happen next about now.

Then they laugh because they usually guess right!

But then their laughs turn to surprise when we add the waddle!

We’re prepping the turkey so he (or she) will be able to stand up.

They might ask if they’re doing it right about here.  It is the trickiest step.

Reassure the turkey that we’re almost done.

Kid scissors work just as well… AND the kids in my art class just gave it a small rip without scissors. Up to you!

Some kids respond better when you say to fold it up like a fan!

Yeah, it is pretty cool.  A moment to play with it… Okay, enough! Moving on….

If they’ve colored both sides of the paper for the feathers, then it doesn’t matter how you insert it. Otherwise the colorful side should face the turkey’s head.

Hopefully you have some clear tape on hand…

I suggest adults do this step unless the child is extremely gifted with fine motor skills.

They have  a blast at this stage…

Sam had the stroke of genius regarding the eyes.

As you can see, we had origami paper on hand too. But it’s cuter with homemade origami paper in my opinion!

Oh, and the pumpkin in the background… just orange cloth wrapped around a roll of CLEAN toilet paper, with a stick shoved in the middle to hold it.  Add a strip of green cloth and some rafia and you have an awesome table ready for Thanksgiving!

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How to Decorate a Turkey

My children and I agree that putting up a picture of a turkey as a way of preparing for Thanksgiving is really like putting up a poster that says: Be thankful you aren’t a turkey.

So, we got creative with our turkey.

You have to look closely and read the sign to get it.

We love this decoration.