Thanksgiving Movies for Kids

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to remember why we have so much to be thankful for. This year get the family together and watch a few classics to remind us what this holiday is really about. Below we have the top Thanksgiving movies for the whole family to enjoy!

 

Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114148/

Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114148/

Pocahontas: This 90’s film is definitely on the list of Disney classics. We all know the story of Pocahontas and John Smith as a loving and good-hearted movie. As a great Thanksgiving movie, share this one with the kids and learn what compassion is really about!

The Blind Side: Life changes for the best for a young African American boy and a wealthy family living in Tennessee. This extraordinary movie tells the story of family, acceptance, and the importance of following your dreams. It’s definitely on the list of Thanksgiving movies for kids and the whole family.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: Charlie Brown is in many of our childhood memories. This Thanksgiving watch “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and share the laughter, humorous bickering, and a delicious Thanksgiving meal with Charlie Brown and the kids!

Mouse on the Mayflower: This film follows the smallest pilgrim on the Mayflower, a mouse! When the Mayflower falls into trouble due to a storm, Willum, the mouse must help save the day and the future of Thanksgiving!

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Steve Martin and John Candy are a hit in “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles!” As Martin’s character tries to get home in time for Thanksgiving dinner he runs into Del Griffith, John Candy’s character, who is an obnoxious and funny man who offers Martin a ride. Their journey home is nothing far from entertaining.

 

 

Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101635/

Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101635/

A Winnie the Pooh Thanksgiving: In a collection of memorable adventures, Winnie the Pooh and his friends try to find the right ingredients to help Rabbit make the best Thanksgiving dinner!

Dutch: Dutch is a classic 90’s film where Ed O’Neil plays Dutch, a guy who is trying to get to know his girlfriend’s son. He decides to pick to boy up from school in Atlanta and drive the two of them to Chicago for Thanksgiving dinner. Of course the boy is handful and their cross-country journey takes them through plenty of humorous and unplanned adventures. It’s a cute and heartwarming film that will teach your child about appreciation and caring.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Alvin’s Thanksgiving Celebration: Alvin and his gang sure know how to have a good time and ruffle a few feathers. In “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Alvin’s Thanksgiving Celebration,” Alvin invites the family over for Thanksgiving dinner to show off in a play he is trying out for. As things take a turn for the unexpected, Alvin gets himself in something we all know he will: trouble!

Curly Sue: An orphan and a drifter make the perfect pair to scam money out of random strangers. Both Bill Dancer (James Belushi) and Curly Sue (Alisan Porter) take on their biggest conquest yet, which is to scam a wealthy lawyer (Kelly Lynch). While Bill and Curley Sue think they are about to win the jackpot they come to realize money isn’t everything.

Miracle on 34th Street: While this might be a Christmas favorite, “Miracle of 34th Street” opens up with the Thanksgiving Day Parade where Kris Kringle takes over the position of the tipsy Santa Claus. A perfect kids movie, learn what the holidays should really be about: family.

 

 

Thanksgiving Snacks for Kids

We know Thanksgiving is all about being thankful and appreciative of your family and what you have. However, during big holidays we know people can become a little impatient after the long and anticipated Thanksgiving meal, especially the kids. You may begin to notice your thankfulness has turned a little indifferent after the 10th time you are asked, “When will dinner be ready? We’re hungry!” In order to keep your cool and not kick the kids out of the kitchen, we have some Thanksgiving snacks they will keep their bellies full and out of your hair!

 

Today in our blog we are sharing a few Thanksgiving snacks for kids that are healthy and a few that are more on the sweet side. Depending on your arrangement you can set them all out at once or keep the sweet treats for after dinner. Whatever you plan to do you can relax by knowing your children have snacks to keep them happy before dinner!

Healthy Thanksgiving Snacks:

Fruit Turkey: You can make this into a bunch of different and creative ways. If you want to do something simple all you need to do is chop up some fruit and lay them on a plate in the shape of a turkey. There are other ways you can do this, and that is by using a single piece of fruit, such as an apple or pear, and turning that fruit into a turkey. For example, if you want to use an apple you can grab a few tooth picks and cranberries to make the feathers and legs, and a banana slice to make the head.

Trail Mix: Trail mix is pretty easy to make and it’s great to set out for people to snack on during any holiday or small get together. Your basic ingredients are pretzels, nuts of your choice, Chex mix, M&Ms, and Bugles. If you want to make it a little more festive you can add candy corn, caramel popcorn, and yogurt covered pretzels!

Cheese and Cracker Turkey: This is a simple appetizer that only takes a few minutes to make. All you need are cheeses and crackers of your choice, and then lay them out in the shape of a turkey. It’s a great grab-and-go dish, and the kids will love everything that’s shaped like a turkey!

Popcorn Turkey: Popcorn turkey is perfect for an easy snack for the kids! With little creativity, it’s effortless to make and will keep the kids happy with something yummy before dinner. All you need are two bags of popcorn and some construction paper. With the construction paper you will need to make two turkey legs, and after fill them with popcorn. Tape the legs onto the big bag of popcorn and you will have a turkey!

Pumpkin Pie Almonds: If your child doesn’t have a nut allergy this is a yummy dish you can set aside for those who are hungry. All you need are almonds, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice. Lightly dust the almonds with the seasoning and you can either serve warm or cold!

Pull-Apart Pepperoni Turkey Bread: Similar to monkey bread, you can make your own easy appetizer with biscuit dough, pepperoni, and cheese, and then lay the dough into a turkey form! If you’ve ever made your own pull-apart pizza bread before than you already know the basic components! The kids will get a kick out of this snack, and it tastes great!

Sweet Treats:

Oreo and Peanut Butter Cup Turkeys: Chocolate and Oreos always go hand in hand! This sweet treat is great for the kids and it’s delicious! For this snack you’ll need peanut butter cups, Oreos, candy corn, whoppers, and some frosting. It’s super cute and the kids will love it!

Pumpkin Pie Bites: While this treat might take some creativity and cooking skills, it’s definitely a mouthwatering snack you’ll love to have. To make pumpkin pie bites you’ll need a pumpkin cookie cutter, ready to roll refrigerated pie crust, a mini muffin pan, and pumpkin pie filling. When they are finished you have the option of leaving them how they are or drizzle with chocolate sauce!

Turkey Krispies: Turkey Krispies are just like rice Krispies but with extra yumminess! Roll your rice krispies into small balls and once hard stick one Oreo on the bottom and one Oreo on the back. Then you can use candy corn to make the feathers and the face.

Chocolate Coved Strawberry Turkey: We love chocolate covered strawberries, and we know the kids do too! Before everyone comes over coat your strawberries in milk chocolate and use candy corn to make the feathers and face. If you’re feeling creative you may use other items to be more precise. When you’re finished stick them in the freezer to cool for desert!

Pilgrim Hats: Pilgrim hats are really cute and work great as a little snack after dinner. All you need are chocolate wafer cookies, chocolate peanut butter cups, and frosting.

Caramel Corn Popcorn: This snack is so effortless you’ll love it! Pop a bag of popcorn and drizzle it with caramel and then let cool for an hour. When the kids are ready you can set out this sweet treat for then to enjoy before or after dinner!

 

 

How to Make the Kid’s Table Fun this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Kids Table

Thanksgiving will be here before we know it, and with all the running around and dinner planning it might be easy to forget about what you have planned for the kid’s table. While you’re organizing your decorations for the main table this year, try to do something a little fun for the kids this year. Planning a few games and setting up snacks will be just the thing to keep them busy and having a great time! Learn how to make the kid’s table fun this Thanksgiving with these simple ideas:

 

Change the Table Cloth to Construction Paper:

The kids will love this! Simply substitute the table cloth for a big sheet or construction paper and give each child their own cup full of crayons for them to draw with. If your kids are younger you can copy pictures onto the paper to make it easier for them. When it’s time for dinner you can substitute their coloring creation for a clean sheet of paper. This way they won’t make a mess on their drawings and you can cut them out at the end of the night and give them their pictures to take home!

 

Make Name Cards:

Have the kids make decorative name cards for their seats! This is a great way to make them feel as if their kid’s table is important. After all it is! Set up a small craft station at their table before dinner. Have the name cards already cut out for the smaller children and give them each a cup full of crayons.

 

Crafts at the Table:

Make the kid’s table double as a craft station before dinner. There are a bunch of Thanksgiving crafts you can find on Pinterest or anywhere online. Just a few ideas are Pilgrim hats, Indian head bands, turkeys out of toilet paper rolls or pinecones, and even a paper chain that has what your children are thankful for written on the paper.

 

Coloring Books:

If you’re looking for less of a mess to clean up at the end of the night, set out coloring books at the kid’s table. It’s still a great way to get them engaged and enjoy themselves while you prepare dinner!

 

Snacks:

It’s always a good thing to have snacks sitting around for everyone to nibble on before dinner, especially for the kids! Make a small snack station at their table of simple treats. You can even make a center piece out of it!

 

Popcorn Turkey Center Piece:

This goes along with the snack idea. Popcorn turkeys are a big hit right now for Thanksgiving. Pop two bags of popcorn and make chicken legs out of construction paper. Fill the legs with popcorn and tape them to the other bag. Viola! A turkey and snacks for the kids!

 

Treat Bags:

At the end of the night when you’re family is dividing up the leftovers; make sure to have something the kids can take home as well. Stuff a few bags with anything you’d like. This can be candy, Thanksgiving pencils, crayons, and so on. The kids will love it and it will be a Thanksgiving to remember!

 

 

Thanksgiving Crafts and Activities

Get ready for turkey and stuffing! It’s that time of year again, and we are getting our kitchens ready for Thanksgiving dinner. While you might have your hands full with preparing a meal for the whole family you might want to think about activities to keep the kids busy and their fingers out of the mashed potatoes!

Check out these great Thanksgiving Crafts and Activities for both the kids and the whole family:

Pumpkin Carving: Halloween might be over, but that doesn’t mean we have to let all those pumpkins go to waste! While kids have so much fun carving pumpkins before trick-or-treating, why not do it again for Thanksgiving? This is such a great craft to keep the kids busy while you’re preparing dinner! Set up a station either in the house, in the garage, or outside. Make sure to lay down plenty of newspaper and have enough utensils for everyone. Once the carving is finished you can invite the whole family outside and light up their creations!

Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt: This is a great activity for the kids to do outside on Thanksgiving! Tiny pumpkins will work perfectly for this, or you can have the kids do some arts and crafts and make their own items for the scavenger hunt. The parents can set them up all around the yard and then the kids can find them!

Indian Corn Crafts: Indian Corn is definitely a fall accessory. The cob is covered with beautiful colors that instantly remind us of autumn. This Thanksgiving get the kids together and try crafts with the corn! Lay out some paint and paper and have the kids’ role the corn into the paint and make creative stamp and roll art! If this idea is too messy try using just the paint and the eraser end of a pencil to make the effect of the corn on the paper.

 Turkey Trot: Turkey Trots are becoming more popular. Look them up in your area and take the family along!

 Capture the Flag: This can be a game that includes everyone! Pick teams and set up your flags. The winners get an extra slice of pumpkin pie at dinner!

 Pumpkin Prints: This is another awesome craft you can use your pumpkins for. Cut up pieces of pumpkins and use the chunks to make stamps. You will need to help the younger ones because using a knife can be dangerous, but once they have their stamps they can make a colorful creation!

 Football: Who said football is just for boys? This Thanksgiving, rally up the family for some good old fashion touch football before dinner!

 Board Games: Board games are a great way to bring the whole family together to do something fun. Set up the living room with a bunch of board games for the kids to play. When you’re finished with the meal you can join them!

 Leaf Crafts: While there are a few leaves still in the trees find a few of your favorites to make crafts with. The kids can do leaf rubbings, make reefs, or even a center piece for Thanksgiving Dinner.

 Thank You Cards: It’s always important to remember what Thanksgiving is all about. It’s about giving thanks and remembering to cherish one another. This is something the whole family can do together. Write thank you cards to each other explaining what you are thankful for.

How to Teach Your Kid to Read

It’s always fun watching your child learn something new. Their face lights up and they are excited, and in return so are you! Reading is one of those things, and from a young age most children are fascinated by books and the big pictures, all the colors, and when mommy or daddy read to them before bedtime. While it’s completely normal for most kids to start reading around the age of 6, it’s never too early to introduce books to get their excitement roaring. Today we are sharing ways to make reading fun for your toddler!

 

  1. Begin Young: During infancy, your baby begins to recognize sounds and words. By reading to them, or singing lullabies you are expanding their brain development and language neurons. Studies show reading to your child at a young age exposes them to language and helps develop speech. Reading can also start the special bond between parents and their children, and furthermore it’s calming, and when made a routine it helps kids fall asleep more soundly. In addition when you start reading to your child at a young age you are promoting listening skills and imagination. If you’re thinking about reading to your baby we suggest starting off with singing lullabies before bed!
  2. Make Reading a Routine: Adding reading into your daily routine when your child is still young can be very beneficial. First of all it promotes mental stimulation and reduces stress because you child will be prepared and know exactly what is going to happen during their day. One of the biggest reasons to add reading into your routine is the vast vocabulary and knowledge your child will gain from it. Reading also promotes memory and concentration.
  3. Play with the Alphabet: Learning the alphabet isn’t just important for beginning school, but it will help children recognize words from practicing the alphabet. This is a great thing to sing along to in the beginning during infancy and throughout toddlerhood.
  4. Use Rhyming Words: Rhyming words are fun. It inhibits imagination, creativity, and the brain. Rhyming is not only a fun way to teach reading it also improves spelling, pronunciation, sounds, and vocabulary.
  5. Read Books with Lots of Colors and Big Pictures: Books with lots of colors and pictures helps visualization. Children, and most adults, learn better when they can visualize what is going on in a story. They become more captivated and interested in the material!
  6. Read Books with that Allow Your Child to Touch: There are lots of benefits to sensory play! When you involve material that encourages all of your child’s senses they will have a better engagement in what you are trying to teach them.
  7. Ask Questions While You Read: This is a great thing to do as your child grows into toddlerhood. Asking questions while you read to them will help them think and connect themselves to what they are reading. When you ask question your child will become more aware of what is going on in their book and they will begin evaluating what they have read afterwards.

 

How to Throw a Halloween Party

While you may have passed down the trick-or-treating to your children it doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time this Halloween! If you’re planning a Halloween block party this year that’s fun for everyone checkout these helpful tips on how to get ready for the big event:

 

Invitations: Whether you send out a Facebook invite or you make your own invitations it’s important to have something to let everyone know what’s going on. Don’t forget to put the date, the location, when the party starts and stops, and what kind of party it is. It’s important to keep in mind not everyone can make it on Halloween because they may be taking the kids out for trick-or-treating. Try planning your party the weekend before or after Halloween so all your guests are more likely available. Don’t forget to say on the invitation it is costume mandatory! It’s Halloween after all.

 

Decorations: Decorations are always fun at a Halloween party. Sometimes they can make or break the mood. Whether your party is being hosted at your house or another location, make sure to have the appropriate decorations. This is your party so have fun and decorate the way you want to, but make sure to keep the children in mind. Decorating for Halloween can be fun, but if you plan to get really gory you could scare the kids. Instead try decorating with simple props such as pumpkins, skeletons, cobwebs, etc. Also, your lighting and sound effects are definitely something to consider. Ask one of your neighbors if you can borrow their strobe light to set up in the front yard to make a spooky entrance. A fog machine is also something that will be a hit at the party. Set it up outside or even in the basement to be included in the fun dance party later on!

Tip: If you choose to have the location set somewhere else besides your home, make sure you have plenty of time to set everything up. Give yourself more than 24-48 hours to have everything ready for the big party.

 

Music: You can’t have a Halloween party without some spooky music! The hit Monster Mash is totally a must, but if you want to try something a little different put on a spooky movie to fill the background while people are hanging around. Pick a movie like the Headless Horseman or A Nightmare Before Christmas to keep it kid friendly.

 

Snacks: Pizza is great, but if you’re trying to spruce things up a bit, try looking at Pinterest for some Halloween snack ideas. You’ll find anything from puking pumpkins to amazing finger snacks. People will go crazy over anything that is a little different from the norm. Plus the kids will find your spider lady fingers really fun and delicious!

Tip: If you’re on a budget it’s okay to put on the invitation to bring a side to pass around.

 

Games: Do you have any special games in mind? Depending on the weather you can do a lot of things both inside and outside. These are our favorite outside games: pumpkin corn hole, pumpkin carving, and ghost in the graveyard. Here are our favorite inside games: murder mystery, Pictionary, charades, diving for apples, and best costume reveal!

 

The biggest thing to remember is to have fun! It’s your party so whatever you decide goes. Make sure everyone gets involved with the games, both the kids and the adults, so everyone can have a good time laughing and playing around!

 

 

Girl’s Night In

Why worry about trying to fit in a girl’s night out around different work schedules, kid’s sporting events, baby sitter availability, or your husband’s game night when you can enjoy just as much fun with the girls in the comfort of your own home!

Some of the best memories come from not planning and just going with the flow. Instead of stressing yourself out about where to go or what to do, plan something simple. As a mom it can be difficult to plan time to be with your girls when you have a million and one other things to get done at home. Forget about all the planning and invite your friends over for a great evening of enjoying each other’s company.

 

Cooking, Painting, Pottery, Wine

Have you ever taken a cooking class before? Or what about one of those new up and coming painting classes where you can drink wine while you paint? Instead of spending a bunch of money on a class try it out at home with your friends! You won’t have to follow an instructor, but instead have some fun with the girls messing around in the kitchen or showing off your beautiful artwork you made together. The best part about this is you can wear whatever you want! Yes, comfy clothes are optional, and you can drink wine.

 Fondue Night

Come on, who doesn’t love cheese? Fondue parties are the best way to invite the girls over, eat delicious foods, and have a great time! Pick out your favorite cheeses and your sides, and get to melting and dipping!

 Movie Night in the Living Room

Have a movie night! Snuggle up in the comfy clothes, grab your favorite margarita mix, call the girls over, and put on one of your favorite movies. This is a great way to kick back and relax while laughing and having a good time with friends.

 At-Home Spa

Pamper yourself and your friends with an at-home spa! Although this may seem like something you would do when you were younger, an at-home spa with your girls can still be a blast. What’s better than having the chance to spoil yourself and have a laugh or two with some friends? Paint your toes, take turns giving each other massages, indulge in a fancy facial mask, and of course, don’t forget the wine!

 Sleepover with the Kids

When was the last time you had a sleepover with your friends? High school? Middle School? It’s never too late to reclaim your inner child and plan a sleepover with the girls! If you want to have a little more fun, bring the kids along! While the kids play you’ll have your time with the girls. When the night is over, pull out the sleeping bags and watch a fun movie with the kids. Then in the morning let the fun continue by making breakfast!

 

 

Labor Day 2015: Family Activities

Every year, the first Monday of September is often celebrated with family get togethers, barbeques, laughter, great food, and every so often, fireworks! With all the excitement, and gratitude given to those who work in our country, there is also the headache that comes from all the running around: Labor Day Sales, crowded grocery stores, traffic, etc. If you’re looking for a change this Labor Day, checkout some of the fun ideas we’ve come up with you and the kids will love!

Picnic at the Park

Skip the big parties this year, and enjoy some time with the family at the park! Grab your picnic basket, a blanket, and the kids and appreciate a day of family fun. Bring along a Frisbee, a baseball and some gloves, and a kite is the weather permits, and play catch with the whole family. A picnic at the park is a great option if you’re in the need for a fun and relaxing day.

Backyard Fun

Turn your backyard into a waterpark and campground! If the weather is nice pull out the Slip’N Slide and sprinkler and splash around with the kids. When the days over, set up a tent and make a fire to roast hot dogs and s’mores. If you want to bring it up a level, set up a projector and watch a movie under the stars.

Hiking

Put on your comfy shoes and head over to your local park or nature reserve for a fun hike with the family! Bring along a nature book and teach the kids about the different plants and wildlife you see. A hiking trip has endless possibilities.

Volunteering

If you want to celebrate your Labor Day Weekend doing something different, think about volunteering in your community. Checkout local soup kitchens, food banks, animal shelters, or religious organizations that need your help. Volunteering is a great way to teach your kids the importance of giving back!

End of the Summer Family Vacation/Staycation

End of the Summer Family Vacation/StaycationThe end of the summer is the perfect time to plan a short family vacation before the kids head back to school. Before the hustle and bustle of homework and scheduling dinner around sports practices and clarinet recitals, make a plan to get in some much needed family time. While traveling long distances might not be in your budget, try searching for short distance destinations your family will enjoy. Local beaches, lakes, cities, and even your own backyard can offer an endless amount of family fun you’ve never even thought possible!

Today we have four ideas that will be fun for the whole family, and easy on your wallet:

 

City Trips

If you live by a major city you are right next to countless opportunities your whole family can enjoy. Urban life can be full of awesome places to take the kids, such as Art and History museums, parks, lakes, and amazing restaurants. If you’re able to take a whole weekend trip find fun things to do for free in your city. There are always fun things to do when you’re on a budget. Some other ideas to do are spend the day shopping around downtown, checkout local bakeries and tea shops, take a walk around the park playing catch or throwing a Frisbee, or take a history lesson at a museum. If you’re looking for something for you and your partner to enjoy, and your children are old enough to stay by themselves for a few hours, checkout your hotel to see if they have a spa! A city is a great place for everyone to have fun and enjoy themselves. A perfect idea, to get the kids feel involved, is to have them pick out where they want to go. Have them pick out their favorite shops and restaurants and plan to go there. A fun idea is to create a scavenger hunt! Make a list of things you want to see or find while in the city. The whole family will have a hoot, and it will be something you’ll remember for a long time!

 

Camping Trips

A camping trip is a great idea to spend some quality time with your family. It’s also fairly cheap! If you’re looking into local campsites or even destinations a little further from your home, most places only charge $30 or less for a lot. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, and live close to a national park, you can always go off on your own, but be careful to make sure there aren’t any fees or restrictions before you set up camp. Spending time outdoors with the family is a great opportunity to bond with your kids, and get a little more in touch with nature and away from all electronics! Camping can involve many activities depending on where you set up camp. If you’re in a national park you can enjoy hiking, rock climbing, learning about different rocks and plants, and a number of other fun things! If you’re near a lake you have the option of swimming and laying out in the sun. A camping trip is the best excuse to lay back and relax while teaching your kids how to make the best s’mores around the campfire.

 

Lake/Ocean Trips

If you’re lucky enough to live by the ocean or even by a major lake, your family weekend trip is as simple as when! Take your kids to the beach and relax before school starts and indulge in the nice weather, great food, and amazing atmosphere these two options have to offer. There are numerous fun things to do with the kids when you live close to water. Take them fishing, have a cookout on the beach with a fire, swim, parasailing is available everywhere by the ocean, and it’s always fun to do a little shopping at the endless beachy shops near the boardwalks. You can stay in a hotel, rent out an RV, camp, or simply do a day trip. Whatever you choose you and your family will have a blast!

 

Staycation at Home

If you don’t have time to get out of the house for the weekend, and you want to save your money for a longer vacation, there are plenty of fun things to do with the kids at home. Instead of going camping make your backyard a campground! Set up a tent, build a fire, cook hot dogs and pizzas, roast s’mores, and have a good time with the kids! They will have a blast staying up late with you and laying under the stars. If you want to do something a little more special, look up how to build a teepee and a movie projector on Pinterest. You will find hundreds of easy step by step instructions on how to do this, and it will be something you can pack away and bring out again! If you’re looking to do a little swimming and splashing around turn your yard into a water park. Grab yourself some water balloons, squirt guns, and a tarp and you will find yourself and the kids having the best time while cooling off in the summer sun.