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3 Thanksgiving Family Activities

We love Thanksgiving because it is a time to get together with family and friends.  For those of you that are young at heart, or have young ones to entertain, it is always fun to incorporate games or activities.  We have learned that the holidays run a bit more smoothly if the kids are happy and entertained, so we have compiled a list of three fun kid-friendly activities for your family to enjoy this Thanksgiving!

Turkey Hunt

This is a fun game that your kids (and maybe even the adults!) will love to play!  I have a feeling that we will be playing this game more than once at our Thanksgiving celebration!

1 – Before your guests arrive, CLICK HERE to print the cards for the game.  Then, cut on the lines.  Keep in mind, it is easier for your little ones to find the turkeys if you use bright colored paper!

2 – Pick one person to be the leader of the game.  This could be either an adult, or an older child.  The leader of the game is responsible for hiding the turkeys for the other players to find, and for keeping score.

3 – You can either have the children look for the turkeys on their own, or put them in pairs.  I prefer to put them in pairs so the older child can help the younger one during their hunt.

4 – Each time a player finds a turkey, they must run their card back to the leader before hunting for more cards.  The leader will be keeping tally of how many turkeys each person (or pair) finds.

5 –  Once all the cards are found, have the leader declare a winner!

 

Turkey Hats

These hats are fun to make, and ADORABLE photo ops!  Did we mention they keep the kiddos busy?  Hallelujah for quiet time when you are trying to prepare for your guests – or just enjoy some adult conversation!  We have included templates for the turkey’s body that you can print, as well as instructions on how to make these cute little hats.

Materials:

-party hat, 1 per person (I got mine at the Dollar Tree.  They did not have solid colors, but since most of the hat will be covered, I didn’t mind!)

-feathers (you could also make your own feathers out of paper, but I picked these feathers up at Wal Mart)

-large wiggly eyes, 2 per person (if the wiggly eyes are a choking hazard for your child, you can draw the eyes)

-orange card stock, 1 sheet will make the beaks and legs for 2 turkeys

-brown card stock, 1 sheet will make the bodies for 2 turkeys

-plain white paper, 1 sheet per person

-crayons

-scissors

-glue

Instructions:

1 – CLICK HERE to download the file for the legs and beaks.  Print this file on orange card stock.  If you do not have orange card stock, you could print on plain white paper and have the children color the legs and beak orange – and let’s be honest, this is one more step to keep them busy!!  Cut out legs and beaks.  Fold the legs accordion style, and fold the beak in half.

2 – CLICK HERE to download the file for the turkey’s body.  Print onto brown card stock.  If you do not have brown card stock, you could print on plain white paper and have them color their turkey’s body.  Older children may have more fun coloring it themselves, so they can give their turkey a more unique look!  Cut out the bodies.

3 – Glue wiggly eyes and beak onto the turkey’s face.

3 – On the plain sheet of white paper, make the turkey’s wings by tracing their hands.  An older child or adult can assist with this step.  After the wings have been colored, cut them out.

4 –  Now that you have all of different pieces of the turkey’s body cut out, glue them onto the turkey.

  • Start by gluing on the body in the middle of the hat.
  • Glue the wings on either side of the turkey’s body.  It works best if you glue the palms onto the hat, but bend the fingers out so that they stick out on either side of the body.
  • Glue the feathers on the back of the turkey, so that the tail feathers stick up behind the turkey’s head.
  • Glue the legs on either side of the turkey’s body, they should frame the person’s face when the hat is being worn.

5 – Once dry, wear your turkey hat and get some super cute photo ops!

**If you have younger children, it is much easier to have everything cut out before they begin the project, then you can help them assemble the pieces.

Thanksgiving Tree

We decided to create a Thanksgiving Tree to remind us of the many good things in our lives!  I have loved watching our tree fill with blessings!  There are two different ways you can use a Thanksgiving Tree this season:

1 – We have gradually been adding leaves to ours leading up to Thanksgiving day.  Each person has been pinning a blessing to the tree at breakfast and at dinner.  On Thanksgiving morning, we will read our slips of paper aloud over breakfast, and kick off our day appreciative of the good things in our lives!

2 –  If you choose to include this in your Thanksgiving celebration, you can have each guest fill out one or more slips upon arrival and pin them on the tree.   Later, you can read these slips aloud (if you fill them out anonymously, you can even turn it into a game and try to guess which person contributed the blessing being read!)

Materials:

– vase

– branches (how many will depend on how full you want your tree to be – I took my vase with me into the yard as I collected branches)

– mini clothes pins

– material for leaves – I chose to use a fabric that had plastic lining

– hot glue gun and glue sticks

– scissors

– white piece of paper

– ribbon to tie around vase (optional)

Instructions:

1 – Arrange the branches in your vase.  I chose to tie a ribbon around my vase for a little extra decoration.

2 – Cut out leaves and hot glue them onto the clothespins.  CLICK HERE  to print a template for the maple leaves that go on the tree.

3 – Cut small slips of paper.  I used long narrow slips, because these would not show behind the leaves once they were pinned on the tree.

4 – Write your blessing onto a slip of paper, fold the slip, and pin it onto the tree.

5 – Watch your tree fill with blessings!

**Another option would be to cut the leaves out of paper and write the blessings directly onto the leaves.  Then you can tie them onto the tree with string.  I chose to use fabric and clothespins so that I can reuse them every year!

We hope you enjoy these suggestions for your Thanksgiving celebration!  We would love to see your pictures if you choose to include these ideas when you get together with family or friends.  Just use the hashtag #2styleavenuethanksgiving on instagram so we can find you!  Wishing everyone an amazing holiday filled with love and laughter!

 

25 Things to do This Fall

The fall season is officially here!  Fall is always extremely busy with our families.  The kids are getting into the swing of the school year, sports teams are starting up, and we are starting to prep for the holidays. Which means it can be hard to fit in quality time with each other.  We have compiled a list of fun, family-friendly activities to help us enjoy the season TOGETHER!  Even if you don’t have any kiddos yet, many of the items on this list can still be fun with friends or a significant other.  We can’t wait to check everything off this list, and share it with you as we go on Instagram!  We challenge you to try to fit in as many of these fun activities too – just click here to print a copy of this fun fall bucket list.

  • Visit a pumpkin patch – This might be our all-time favorite fall activity! Live in the Charlotte area?  Below are some pumpkin patches that have great reviews! 
    • Bush-N-Vine – We have raved about Bush-N-Vine’s fresh produce and berry picking on our blog before, but we also have to brag about their fall festivities!  This is your perfect spot for a fall day excursion!  Enjoy hay rides, pick-your-own pumpkin patches, fresh seasonal produce, food trucks, and a bouncy house!  Check out their calendar here for these festivities!   
    • Hall Family Farm
    • Wise Acres Organic Farm
    • Hodges Family Farm
  • Apple picking – We eat a lot of apples – especially during this time of year when we are making  yummy baked goods!  There is no better way to enjoy the apple season than to go and pick your own!  Check out these two orchards that are close to Charlotte – you will not be disappointed!

  • Fall themed scavenger hunt – Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt?  This is a great way to get the kids up and moving outside.  If you’re up to making the hunt educational, include a science lesson about the changing seasons and why the leaves fall!  We have included a PDF that you can download and print, then just attach it to a brown paper bag and see if they can find everything on the list!  After they fill their bags, have them create a craft with their fall items!  Click here to download your own scavenger hunt document!
  • Paint a pumpkin 
  • Carve a pumpkin – Carving a pumpkin can sometimes be a little intimidating, but we found this amazing site that takes all of the scare out of this activity!  The Pumpkin Lady has over a hundred different carving templates as well as videos teaching you everything you need to know about pumpkin carving. She picks up from the beginning with how to pick the perfect pumpkin!

  • Drink apple cider – If you live in the Charlotte area, our favorite place to indulge in some cider is Windy Hill Cider and Orchards.  During the fall, they always have fun weekend activities ranging from riding in a tractor-pulled wagon, live music, and apple picking!  Not to mention their fresh apple donuts!  Yummm!  Check out their calendar of events here, and pick a fun weekend to visit!
  • Movie night – It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! – This can be done with any fall movie, but Charlie Brown is always a favorite!  We cannot wait for cooler weather so we can host a movie night for our families and friends!  We are going put up a screen and projector in the yard, spread out some blankets, grab some snacks, and welcome in the season!
  • Make smore’s
  • Have a weenie roast
  • Make a pine cone bird feeder – We have been seeing a lot of cardinals around the house in the past two weeks and Emma loves to watch them! So much so, that we decided to make these adorable (and easy to make!) bird feeders and tie them in a tree outside the window in the hopes that they will stick around!  The adorable blog, Happiness is Homemade, offers an easy to follow tutorial.  Click here to get instructions on how to make your own!
  • Hay ride/corn maze – Ok, so we know that nothing can compete with Stars Hollow’s hay maze (Gilmore Girl fans, you get me!), but who doesn’t love a good hay ride or corn maze?  If you are in the Charlotte area, check out this list of places close by that offer one of these fun fall activities!
  • Go on a hike – What better way to get outside, get some exercise, and enjoy the amazing scenery and weather?  We came across the blog, Primally Inspired, that has a recipe for natural tick repellant!  We haven’t tried it yet, but we are definitely going use this on our families when we go for a hike!  Get the recipe here.
  • Tailgate for a football game

  • Make your home smell like fall – There is something that is so homey about the smell of cloves and cinnamon!  Try this easy recipe on your stovetop to fill your home with the scent of fall.
    • one orange, sliced
    • one apple, sliced
    • one lemon, sliced
    • 2 Tbs of whole cloves
    • 4 cinnamon sticks
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 2 cups of water
    • Combine ingredients in a pot, and bring to a boil.  Once the liquid reaches a boil, adjust the temperature to simmer.  You can simmer this for several hours, just make sure you check the liquid level (I usually check in every 30 minutes) and add another cup of water when needed.
  • Make a pot of chili
  • Create a wreath for front door (with the kids!) – Raise your hand if your grandparents told you to go pick up sticks out of the yard when you were a kid?  (Ok, just curious, if this was you, did you actually raise your hand?!)  Ours definitely did, and we aren’t sure if it was that they actually wanted the sticks out of the yard, or if it was because they wanted to keep us busy!  Well, for this craft, you can keep your kids busy picking up sticks AND come away with a really cute door wreath!  We came across an adorable wreath on the blog Yellow Mums, and knew instantly that we had to try to make one!  Click here for the tutorial.  Check back with us on Instagram to see how our own version of this wreath turns out!
  • Tell ghost stories
  • Go on a picnic

Wishing everyone a very happy fall season!