Thanksgiving Projects and Ideas

thanksgiving-activities

Are you new to The Idea Room?  Need some fun ideas for Thanksgiving?  Check out some of the pasThanksgiving Crafts:

Idea Room Thanksgiving Recipes and Craft Ideas.

You can click on the link or you can always find access to this list under the Projects tab on The Idea Room header.

Also…I have a fun little November Photo-A-Day Challenge going on right now.  If you haven’t heard about it or joined in, we would love to have you! Latecomers are always welcome.  You can find all the details for how to join in and play along with us by clicking on the link:

The Idea Room’s Grateful Gram Challenge

grateful gram

Thanksgiving Table Centerpiece

Can you believe that we are now counting down the days till Thanksgiving? So crazy! I have been looking forward to the holidays for a while now and I recently made this Thanksgiving Table Centerpiece…the perfect touch for your Thanksgiving Tables this year!

 thanksgiving-table-decor

And it just so happens that Thanksgiving Dinner, with all the relatives, might just end up at our house this year.  So…of course we needed to have a pretty centerpiece.  Pretty important right?!

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All I did was build a simple wood box.  This really is such a simple project that really anyone can do.  If you don’t want to make a box, you can use a plantar.  I will share how I built the box in a later post, so be sure to stop back later if you are interested in learning how I built it.

spanish moss

Then take some Spanish Moss or other filler and place in the bottom of your box.

*BE CAREFUL WHEN USING WITH CANDLES AS THE MOSS IS DRY AND FLAMMABLE.  NEVER LEAVE A BURNING CANDLE UNATTENDED.

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Then take some berry garlands and tuck them into the edges of the boxes and hide the wires under the moss.  I used a couple of different garlands for this.  A white one and a multi-colored autumn one.  I found the white one in the Christmas section of Hobby Lobby and the autumn has been part of my décor for a few years now.

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Throw in some fruit and/or vegetables and a couple of candles and you have a lovely centerpiece for the middle of your Thanksgiving Table.  I like that it is also low and doesn’t intrude on your table space and gives you plenty of room for that giant bowl of buttery garlic mashed potatoes!

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To learn how we built the wooden box, click here for the tutorial: Wooden Centerpiece Box

thanksgiving-table-decor

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub

Today I am sharing my newest…Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub!  I have grown quite fond of sugar scrubs lately.  I have shared a few here in the past…Lemon Sugar Scrub (one of my absolute favorites), Brown Sugar Scrub, and a Peppermint Foot Scrub.

They are so easy to make and can be made with ingredients you already most likely have on hand.  They make your hands and skin so soft and depending on the “flavors” you add, smell amazing!  But I love the combination of fall spices that are in this specific body scrub.  They smell so amazing and the scent lingers on your skin long after you have used the scrub.  So you get wafts of “Fall” all day long! Yum!

Sugar-Scrub

Since I am craving all things pumpkin and cinnamon right now I thought it would be great to come up with a Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub…boy does this smell amazing.

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Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup White Sugar (or Raw Sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup Almond Oil or Coconut Oil (add more if needed)

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl combine the sugars and spices.
  2. Mix together with a wooden spoon.
  3. Slowly pour in the Oil and stir until well blended.
  4. You may add more if your scrub is too dry.
  5. You don't want it to be runny, just a nice damp texture.
  6. Cover in a tight container.
  7. Store in the refrigerator up to 8 weeks.
http://www.theidearoom.net/2012/11/pumpkin-spice-sugar-scrub.html

Sugar-Scrub

This scrub can be a great way to pamper yourself during the hussle and bustle of the Holiday season.  Especially after you have been on your feel all day preparing this year’s Thanksgiving Feast.  Or whip up a batch and give it to the hostess of your Thanksgiving Dinner.

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And if you like Pumpkin Spice, you have got to make some Pumpkin Spice Play Dough!

Gratitude Gram—Photo-a-day Challenge

Happy Halloween!  Today I have a fun Picture to Instagram project.  I hope all of you have a great and safe Halloween Holiday.  With the passing of Halloween comes one of my favorite times of the year…Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving has to be one of my favorite holidays for a few simple reasons…

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and

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I feel like Thanksgiving tends to get the shaft, sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas.  And with the Christmas retail practically taking over my local stores since early fall, it seems like everyone forgets about poor Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a time for us to reflect on our many blessings, and to be thankful for all that we have.  We truly are blessed and I believe that the people who are the happiest are those who are grateful and thankful for the blessings they ALREADY enjoy.

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(my side of the family—Bear Lake 2012)

So I thought it would be fun to see if you guys were interested in participating in my Grateful Gram Challenge.  This is like the past Photo-A-Day Challenges that I shared with you this past summer.  You know the ones that I slowly fizzled out on? Ha Ha!

I think I can do this for ONE MONTH.  What about you?  You want to play along?

grateful-gram

How will it work?  Simply take a photo each day during the month of November, of the item listed for that day.  Then post it to your favorite Social Media Site.  I will be posting mine to Instagram (my name is theidearoom), Facebook and Twitter.  Post the picture and a small description that includes the daily topic and these two hashtags…#gratefulgram and #idearoom.

*By including the hashtags, people can follow along.  To see who is participating, simply click on either of the hashtags and it will pull up ALL the pictures.

If you are going to be playing along, and want me to follow you on Social Media, be sure to leave a comment with your Social Media information so I can follow along too.

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(husband’s side of the family—California 2010)

I can’t wait to see all the things you are grateful for.  And…if you have a hard time coming up with a photo for the idea listed by the day,  don’t sweat it…take a picture of something else you are grateful for.  The point is to just get us thinking and being aware of our many blessings.  And if you can’t get everyday, just do what you can.

Looking forward to seeing your posts starting tomorrow, November 1st!  And latecomers are always welcome to join us!

BE THANKFUL–utensil holders

Fall is my very favorite season and I have asked a few of my favorite bloggers to share some of their fall favorites here with you.  I am so excited to have Jamie, Jodie and Jen from Eighteen 25 sharing a fun idea for sprucing up your Thanksgiving table decor with some adorable utensil holders as part of The Idea Room Fall Festival!

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Hi there! Jennifer, Jamie and Jodie from eighteen25 here today and we are so excited!
We love the Idea Room and we are so happy to be able to call Amy our friend. :)
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We are so excited for fall to arrive! Here in Vegas the cooler weather can’t get here soon enough. There are so many things we love about fall. Some of our most favorite things are… pumpkin crunch bagels, yummy fall scents, focusing on gratitude and getting together for Thanksgiving dinner!
Today we want to share an idea that you can add to your Thanksgiving Dinner place settings…
BE thankful
u t e n s i l    h o l d e r s

SUPPLIES:
• kraft colored or white cardstock
• be thankful sheet
- download black & white version HERE 
download gold version HERE
- download blue version HERE
• colored pencils
• sewing machine or adhesive

TO MAKE:
• print out the be thankful sheet (we printed the black & white onto kraft paper)
• cut in half (you might need to trim some off the sides too to make it even)
• if you printed the black & white… get to coloring, or put the kids to work (they’ll love getting to help decorate for the big dinner)
• otherwise, score and fold where the pattern ends
• stitch the sides together or adhere with a strong adhesive

• add your silverware (or lovely plastic-ware) and a napkin and it’s all ready for your guests to admire before digging in to those fluffy mashed potatoes.
We’d love for you to come visit us over on eighteen25.
You can check out some of our other fall ideas like…

and Our Handprint Turkey Family

Thanks so much for having us Amy!!
_________________________________
Thanks so much for joining us.  I just LOVE the girls from Eighteen 25.  They have an amazing site filled with some great projects and ideas.  I was able to get to know Jen and Jamie in person this past summer and am so glad that I did.  They are just as amazing in person as they are online!  If you have not checked out their site, you are missing out!  –Amy
 

Teaching Our Children Gratitude



Gratitude doesn’t come naturally to our children. It is learned. So, as parents, “Teaching our Children Gratitude” should be at the top of our parental to-do list. 

Good research has found that adults who are grateful report having fewer health problems (like digestion and headaches), more energy, and a greater feeling of well-being than those who complain. Most studies show that the more gratitude we show, the healthier and happier we are.
Can’t we assume findings would be the same for children? Children who express gratitude are kinder, more appreciative, more empathetic, happier and more enthusiastic. Grateful children understand that other people have needs and they look outside themselves. They are more polite, usually better behaved and generally more pleasant to be around.
Kids who are not taught gratitude struggle with feelings of entitlement and are usually disappointed, feeling that nothing is good enough for them. 
In trying to teach our children gratitude, parents have been making the same mistakes for years. Avoid pointing out to our children that they are more blessed than others. That doesn’t teach them to be grateful. When it comes to meals, don’t tell them “you should be grateful for your food, and eat it, kids in other countries are starving”. This won’t work either.
Instead…
We need to model gratitude ourselves. We must live lives of gratitude if we want our children to really learn to be grateful. That means they need to see us serve others, including our spouse, write thank you notes, say “please” and “thank you” and show empathy. That means we need to criticize less, complain less, and point out the positives, not the negative, in people and in situations. This includes our children and spouses. We need to stop complaining about our children (and spouses), instead tell them how grateful we are for them. We need to show gratitude for adversity too. Remember, children will, for the most part, do what their parents do. That is why gratitude has to start with parents, in our homes.
Say “No”. It is important for us to be reasonable and say “No”. We also have to be careful rewarding our children for everything. We want them to do good because it is the right thing to do, and not because they get something, like a new toy or money.

Give your children responsibility. We are always more grateful for things when we have to do them ourselves. The same applies to children. Give them appropriate responsibilities. They will realize the effort and energy it takes to accomplish them, and become more grateful for the people around them that do things for them. (Like their mom and dad.)

Teach your children to be grateful for adversity. When things are hard, or uncertain, or don’t go as planned, we need to teach our children to be grateful. To recognize the blessings that comes from hard things. We don’t want to teach, “we are luckier, or better than someone else”. Instead help children see what can be learned, and how we can take what we learn into other situations to help others and ourselves.
Role Play. Practice saying “please” and “thank you” with your children. Role play situations (grandma gives you a new toy, or someone pays you a compliment). During the role play, talk about how others feel when we show them gratitude. Remember, children aren’t thinking about everyone else. They are thinking about themselves, so we have to teach them.
Teach your children to write Thank you Notes.  Insist that this be done. Teach them that it is part of life. Organize a thank you note station in your home that is always stocked with papers, envelopes, stamps and crayons, etc. (Let your children see you sitting there often also). Start when they are very small by having them draw “thank you pictures” and then you write the words to go with it. Then move on to notes that have most of the words filled in. Have children write what it is they are thankful for and sign their name. By the age of 7 or 8, it shouldn’t be a problem for them to write the entire notes themselves. Don’t worry about perfection. Worry that they are remembering to do it. And doing it.
Point out the simple things. Teach children to be grateful for the creations around them, the seasons, the sunshine, the falling leaves and the rain. Children will quickly understand that there is beauty all around, and that it has come from something much bigger than we are. Celebrate creations. Jump in the leaves, splash in the puddles, and feel the sun on our skin. 

Provide your family opportunities to serve. Start by encouraging your children to serve other family members, and then help them find ways to actively serve others. Let them help as you serve others. They will learn by example. The goal is to give them “grateful eyes”, so they begin to for see the need before they have to be told.

With Thanksgiving on our minds, it is a great time to encourage gratitude in our children.
Here is a video full of great family activities that encourage gratitude. Use them this year, or in the years to come. 



Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I am thankful for so many things. One of them, the opportunity to post here on the The Idea Room, and get to know all of you better. Thank you for reading and adding your thoughts to each post. Have a wonderful Turkey Day. 





Have a question or just want to say hello.

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Thanksgiving Turkey Treats—Oreo Pops

Were you wondering why I hadn’t posted any Turkey Oreo Pops yet?  Ha!  Well, you’re in luck today!  Here is my latest version of my Oreo pop collection.  This version makes for some perfect Thanksgiving Turkey Treats to add to your feast.

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This time I switched it up ever so slightly…instead of using the Double Stuft Oreos, I used some Oreo Cakesters.  For those of you who have emailed me and are having trouble getting the sticks in between the two cookie layers without them breaking, this might be a great solution for you.  These have more frosting and are soft so the breaking risk is minimal.

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Here is how I made the Oreo Turkey Pops:

1.  Insert your popsicle stick or sucker stick into your Oreo Cakesters.

2.  Line a pan with parchment or wax paper.

3.  Melt your favorite chocolate in 20 second intervals in the microwave.

4.  “Dip” your Oreo’s into the melted chocolate.  In the past I have been saying to *DIP* your Oreos and several of you were having difficulty with them staying on the stick during the dipping process.  I realized that I was actually pouring the chocolate over the over with a spoon while holding the Oreo over the cup of melted chocolate.  Just turn the Oreo around as needed so that the chocolate is completely covering your entire Oreo and the stick.  Hopefully this will help some of you who were having difficulty.  Sorry for the confusion.

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5.  Place the Chocolate Covered Oreo onto the wax paper.

6.  Take 7 pieces of candy corn and stick it into the side of the Cakester.  The hardened chocolate will hold them in place permanently.

7.  Take a whopper and place it near the top middle of the Oreo.

8.  Quickly pop the tray of Oreos into the freezer just to set the chocolate.

9.  When the chocolate has hardened (should only need a few minutes) remove the tray from the freezer and put a dab of melted chocolate onto some Wilton Icing Eyes and set them onto the whopper heads.

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Aren’t they so cute?  You could even add some red fruit roll-ups or licorice to make him a wattle (that red thing that hangs from a turkey’s neck)!

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These are a fun and festive treat to bring to your Thanksgiving Hostess or to share with the little kidlets as part of your Thanksgiving festivities.  Another fun twist for these would be to use them as a place setting at your table.  Simple hang the name tag on the stick and use a piece of fruit to stand them in place by each table setting.  Then your guests have a little treat to take home or eat for dessert.

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Thanksgiving Game—Turkey Feathers

Entertaining the kids on Thanksgiving morning while preparing for your feast can be challenging.  Why not let them entertain themselves with this fun Thanksgiving Game? 

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The premise of the game is fairly simple.  Simple enough that even the youngest kids can play.  Each player takes a turkey card and gets 6 clothes pins or…Turkey Feathers.  Each player takes turns rolling once dice.   Then you simply put a feather on the number that you rolled.  If you roll a number you already have a feather on, then your turn is over.  First person to get all the feathers on their turkey wins.  Pretty simple right?  As I am typing this, I realized it might be fun to actually write some of the things you are thankful for on the turkey feathers themselves to help your little ones to be thinking of them while they are playing the game.  It would add a little more meaning to the game as well.

Thanksgiving Game c wm

As far as making the game all you will need to do is paint some clothes pins in some fun colors.  Each player will need 6 clothes pins, so depending on how many players you have (this game can have lots so it is perfect for big family get togethers).  Then since I had some fun Martha Stewart Glitter Paint (which is sold exclusively at Michael’s), I painted a layer of glitter over the regular paint colors to give the Turkey Feathers some pizazz!

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You will also need to print a card for each player.  You can find the free download for the game board here:

Thanksgiving Game Turkey Feathers Printable

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Then to make them sturdy, I glued them onto some thin cardboard (or you could use some chipboard) with some Mod Podge on the front and back.  This will help them to last through multiple games with little hands and allow them to be strong enough to hold up the turkey feathers.

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Hope you enjoy them.  I would love to hear from you if you download the games and plan on using them for Thanksgiving this year.  This helps me to gage the kind of projects I share with you and the things that you would maybe like to see more of!

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Thanksgiving Craft–Soap Bottles

I have made a couple of other versions with the Monogrammed Hand Sanitizer and the Happy Hands version. These are so simple and inexpensive to make…who doesn’t love a that combination?

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You will need the following supplies:

A Bottle of Hand Soap or Hand Sanitizer (I buy mine from the Dollar Store)

A sheet of Transparency Film

Goo Gone (to remove sticky label)

Copier or Laser Printer

Tweezers

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Instructions:

1. Remove the label(s) from your bottle.

2. If there is any sticky residue left, you can easily remove it using some Goo Gone.

(I picked mine up from Home Depot)

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3. If your bottle has an insert inside you can remove it with some tweezers.

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4. Print out the Thanksgiving Soap Insert here.

5. Print it using a laser printer onto your transparency film.

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If you do not have a laser printer you will need to print it out and then copy it onto your transparency film. If you do not do this your ink will end up running and falling off into the soap or the hand sanitizer. You can take it and have it printed at your local copy store as well.

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6. Measure your bottle and cut your transparency so that it will fit into the bottle. Be sure to measure it on the top and bottom so that it sits where you would like it to…INSIDE THE BOTTLE!

7. Roll your transparency backwards and slide it into the top of the bottle. Push it into place so that it sits right against the front wall of the bottle. You can use the soap dispenser pump to push it into place.

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That’s it! Pretty easy right?

These are great for a quick and easy gift or to use in your own home to help remind you of the reason for the season!

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Thanksgiving Finger Puppet Patterns for sale

I finally finished up these fun Thanksgiving Finger Puppets.  I have had these planned for a while now and was just able to find the time to get them all finished up.  These are the perfect Thanksgiving craft to do for and with some of your kids.  Need some distractions for the kids while you are prepping for Thanksgiving Dinner and preparing for the relatives to come over?  Traveling to be with family this holiday?  These finger puppets will be great for entertaining.

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To Purchase the patterns for these puppets click here:

Thanksgiving Finger Puppet Patterns

The Thanksgiving Finger Puppet Patterns and Tutorial are now for sale in The Idea Room Store for $2.50.

They will be delivered via email from amyhuntley (at) comcast (dot) net.

Please expect 24-48 hours for delivery as I am a busy momma, but most often they will be sent out sooner.

The patterns includes colored pictures and color coded pattern pieces so that they can be saved and used again.

*Please remember that these patterns are for your personal use only.  They are not meant to be reproduced for sale, or reselling the pattern.

Please use these for your immediate family members or gifts only.  Please do not forward the patterns to your friends or family.

You can send them back here to purchase one for themselves.

I try to price my patterns at a reasonable price.

Thank you so much for your support with this!

To purchase the patterns you can go here.

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