Thanksgiving is fun and delicious… once it’s actually happening right in front of you. Admit it, getting to that amazing moment when you finally get to sit at your picture-perfect dining room table surrounded by your favorite foods and your closest family and friends can be a bit overwhelming.
Thankful tree
Don’t tell anyone, but I have been privileged to be a guest and not a host (yet), but to only to be in charge of keeping the kids entertained and out of the kitchen. Since the majority are mine! This can be quite the job on its own! As you know, I’m a lover of fun finger foods and do-it-yourself crafts, so there couldn’t be a more perfect person for the job.

I do have to say, the comical Thanksgiving Mad-Libs I stumbled upon on Pinterest were quite a hit last year. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, Mad-Libs are a template word game where one player will ask another or a group for an “adjective” or “plural noun” for the blanks in a story. My oldest had the family rolling (literally, from too much turkey) in laughter. “I smell the hairy turkey cooking in the oven, as I sit here, talking about toenails with my cousin. All this lumpy food is calling my name, but I’m stuck playing this lame word game.”

Not only is Thanksgiving a time for turkey and pumpkin pie, it’s also a time to be grateful for what we have. It’s essential that the kids realize it’s more than a HUGE meal, a playdate with cousins and lots of desserts. A thankful tree has been a creative way of capturing their mindset each year and to get them thinking about the things for which they are most thankful.
First, send the kids outside on a scavenger hunt to collect a few long tree branches and some beautiful fall leaves. Things will get messy, so I suggest setting up a craft table outside if the weather allows. Welcome them to jazz up their branches with glitter and paint. Once they are dry, place them into a vase.

Next, have them use their leaves to trace onto colorful construction paper or cardstock, then cut them out. With a hole punch and some yarn, make your leaves “hangable,’ so they can be placed onto the branches. Your kids will love and appreciate this meaningful responsibility each Thanksgiving. Place a uniquely-designed leaf at each place setting for your guest to see and use. Hang and enjoy reading what others are most thankful for too!
I wish you and your family a November full of new and old traditions!
Happy Thanksgiving! @popex3

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