Toddler Made Place Settings for Your Thanksgiving Feast

For the last 2 years I’ve done the same thing, a handprint of my son turned into a turkey. It’s cute, it shows the size of his hand at the time, I liked it…and so did the family! However, this year I felt I should mix it up a little or atleast up my game.

great for babies first Thanksgiving!
I definitely wanted something my 2 year old could make because I know for a fact that no one wants a craft my son “made” aka he destroyed his attempt and I sat at his little table and did children’s crafts! So it was important for me to find something that my son can and will actually make!! I also like the idea of incorporating a handprint or footprint so we can look back over the years and see how much he grew each year.

I also think it’s important to include your toddler in holidays and this is a great way to do it. When they look at the table set, they see something they know they made and contributed. Everyone can comment on them and make your child feel proud of their work.

I found quite a few ideas and my son, being the trooper that he can be, helped me make them all! I think this year we will have a different themed place card for each person!
We did a turkey adoring again but this year livened it up with rainbow feathers! turkey with rainbow feathers

A turkey footprint with actual feathers glued on!turkey with actual feathers glued on

An acorn handprint! place in an acorn or cork to add a personal touch to your Thanksgiving Dinner!

An owl handprint on a branch!
place in an acorn or cork to add a personal touch to your Thanksgiving Dinner!

A corn on the cob footprint!

A fall coloured leaf! (You can do a variety of these in different fall colours) you can do these in any fall colour!

You can use a handprint or a footprint to make a cornucopia…but unless you use stickers for your child to place for food, you’re going to have to attempt some drawing! 

Put the place cards in a pine cone or a cork with a slit in the top and you’ve got a cute and personal touch to your Thanksgiving Dinner!

Toddler Lessons…Making the Most of their “Spongy Period”: the farm

My son’s first word was tractor, he loves them. We’re fortunate to live in the country and be surrounded by them and my son loves to watch them working in the fields and wave as they go by.

It started that everything was a tractor and it gradually expanded to more specific types such as a digger, grater, bulldozer. With them all working in the fields haying, we decided to expand it even further.


When we drive into town my son now points out the Canola fields and the farmer’s fields. We’ve been talking about bailers and how they cut the grass and take hay bails out of it for the horses to eat.

As well as the tractor side of farming, we’ve also been talking about animals. My son already know his farm animals and the sounds they make but we went to a little farm last week and I had to drag him away from watching the animals. He was fascinated with the turkey and whether it would jump down because we were talking about how they can’t fly…it never got down. We watched the chickens eat seeds and the pig mainly lie around and sleep. I had wanted to take him to a petting zoo which I know he will love but our week was too busy to fit it it, we will definitely be going in the next few weeks though.

We’ve read books about farm animals, baby farm animals and life on a farm. We’ve played with his Farm Animal Finger Puppets, singing Old MacDonald and making all their noises. We’ve played with his toy tractors, digging dirt, taking the animals for rides and cutting the grass. He has a farm animal shape sorter which isn’t good as a shape sorter because you can fit the animals in most holes if you turn them but it’s still lots of fun to have a barn and all the animals.

Like most Toddler Lesson Plans and Activities, I kept these very informal by having a theme to our activities for the week and always being mindful of bringing it up when the opportunity presented itself.

Here are some great activities you can do with your child, depending on their interests.

  • Print off the Farm Animal Colouring Sheets of the Farm Animal Finger Puppets sold in my Etsy Shop located at the bottom of this post.
  • Drive out in the country past fields and talk about what’s growing in them or read a book about it.
  • Visit a farm…there are some great farms open to the public, try to find a petting zoo!
  • Sing Old MacDonald had a Farm.
  • Read books about farms, tractors and farm animals, your local library will have a great variety!
  • Play with stuffed animals, Finger Puppets or any farm like toys your child has.
  • Watch a video, such as Baby Einstein – A Day on the Farm
  • Do a craft for a Farm Animal…there are lots of ideas on Pinterest.

Have fun! Take advantage of your child’s eagerness to learn while spending quality time with them too!

Free Printable

Free Printable

Free Printable

Free Printable

Green Eggs & Ham

I used to steam and purée kale and mix it with scrambled eggs when my son only ate soft foods and remember saying to my baby, as I spoon fed him, “You’re eating green eggs like in Dr. Seuss!” I can only assume that he understood and appreciated the connections!!! But I kept the meal idea in mind and now that my son is older I made him real green eggs and ham, only I didn’t go as far as to serve green ham!

I got a few leaves of fresh kale from my garden, grocery store works just as well.


I pulled it off the stem, put it in a bit of water and steamed it.

 When it was cooked I drained it and puréed it. I used to use the Baby Bullet but that’s put away and I didn’t feel like messing my big blender for such a small amount so I used my handheld blender and it worked perfectly!


After draining any excess water, I added some eggs and a bit of pepper for taste and blended it all together. The blender made it a bit frothy, you can mix it with a fork if you prefer.


Cook the eggs like you normally make scrambled egg! So easy!

While I was making lunch, I thought it would be fun to show my son the YouTube video for Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs & Ham because I wasn’t organized enough to get the book out of the library. It worked perfectly because the video was just over 8 minutes so it kept my kiddo happy and entertained while I was in the kitchen.


I had roasted a big ham a while ago and had frozen slices to fry up with meals as well as small pieces for my homemade pizzas (stay tuned!) so I defrosed a couple of pieces and fried them up with the eggs.

There you have it, a fun and easy meal for you kids that sneaks some vegetables into their diet! You can also do this with spinach.


My son preferred the ham over the eggs (he’s his father’s son when it comes to meat!) but still ate nearly all the eggs!

Toddler-made Mother’s Day Cards

For special occasions such as Mother’s Day, I like to make a homemade, sentimental card for all those extra special people in my son’s life…Grandma, Ouma, GG, Great Ouma and his Godmother. None of these amazing women want a “handmade” card that I actually put together for them (and quite frankly I don’t feel the need to play with paint and glue), they want to see my kiddo’s talents, especially because these cards get sent to Manitoba, UK, South Africa and here in Calgary.

I was searching on Pinterest for a cute handmade card involving a handprint that wasn’t too difficult for my toddler to make on his own and I found a cute one with flowers in a pot.

 
Obviously, I didn’t hand my kid some paints and leave him to it…probably to come back to paint everywhere except the paper. No, I sat next to him, with wipes at arm’s length and I supervised. First, I helped him make the handprints and he chose the colours for the fingerprint flower petals, as you can see, some I helped with and others he was a little more independent.

Because my son is blessed with so many wonderful ladies in his life, I knew he might get tired of painting what I tell him to, so I was prepared with another piece of paper for “free painting” in between the Mother’s Day Cards and we did 3 in one sitting and 2 in the next…my toddler has limits!!

After he had made his beautiful flowers, I gave him some flower pot shaped paper which he painted with his fingers, paint brush and sponges. He chose to draw lines, or “hills” as he called them on the first three pots…a little weird but creative!

To mix it up a little, we did a cupcake for his sweet Godmother which I’m glad we did last because once I introduced him to sparkles, he didn’t want anything to do with paint!

I think they turned out pretty good and I could tell my kiddo was proud of his work! They’re no Hallmarks but I think they’re cute!

Dump Truck Photo Booth

Last week, with your help, I planned out the design for the Photo Booth for my son’s Construction themed birthday party. So I decided to get to it. The box we had wasn’t as big as I had in mind and Costco’s selection was lacking on the day I went to scout it out. So I made do with the box we had.

First, I got my supplies:

  • Picture of a dumptruck
  • Box
  • Exacto knife
  • pencil
  • Yellow, black, white & grey paint
  • Sharpies
  • Paint brushes
  • Strong Glue (I used Gorilla Glue)
  • Circlular things to trace because I’m no good at freehand!

I started by roughly drawing the window, front grill, lights and tires. Unfortunately, I forgot to draw the steering wheel! Ugh! So I made that seperately and have glued it on with super glue, hoping it will withstand a bunch of toddlers trying to turn it and drive the dump truck. Learn from my mistakes, leave the steering wheel on from the beginning!

   

 After drawing my dump truck and cutting it out with an Exacto knife, I was starting to see it all take form! The easiest way to cup cardboard it to lightly trace your outlines with the knife, but don’t cut all the way through. Then hold the cardboard up vertically and the knife will cut easily in the pre cut grooves.

I started to paint the truck. I use acrylic paints from the Dollar Store, nothing fancy because it’s not art, it’s a cardboard box, but use whatever kind of paint you have around the house or like to work with.

 Once the first paint is dry, move on to the next colour and so forth, colouring in all the parts of the truck.

When I was finished, I stepped back and my dump truck didn’t look like a dump truck!!! I thought it looked like a semi, my son called it a bus. Epic fail in the cardboard vehicle world.

  So after asking for your help yet again (THANK YOU!), I made some alterations and I’m starting to see a dump truck. WOOHOO!

I did some finishing touches with Sharpies and made it a bit sturdier by super glueing cardboard around frame and on tires. I also made a stand by glueing 2 cardboard triangles at the bottom. At first I was just going to leave it as an open box but to make alterations work and to make it more versatile for people of all heights, I decided to make it just a stand/frame. I am confident that the stands will not withstand toddler “gentleness”.

   

So here’s the final product. I don’t think it’s obvious that it’s a dump truck, but it looks more constructiony and dump truck like than it did before. I’m happy with it and I think it will make some fun pictures that capture the fun at my son’s 2nd birthday party. Now to hide it so my son doesn’t destroy it before his birthday!!!