Afternoon Toddler Activity Guide | Thanksgiving Week

It’s Thanksgiving week! And for us that means the kids are out of preschool ALL week. We have been wobbling around getting our turkey feathers ready. I wanted to share a few turkey ideas with you! I’m straying a little from the traditional daily activity categories, but we have extra time to fill around here so I thought an assortment of activities would be best this week! 

If you haven’t started your Thankful Turkey (thanks to Busy Toddler) yet, it’s not too late! Add a feather (or two or three) a day talking with your kiddos about all you have to be thankful for.

Thankful Turkey

Turkey Candy Dish

Cranberry Granola Bars

Homemade Cranberry Granola Bars (2)

After cutting out all of our thankful feathers to have a stock pile for the month of November we had a lot of scraps. We used those scraps to make the feathers on these pattern turkeys. I drew out the body, head, beak, legs, and feet. Chickadee cut hers out…Sprout just glued his together. They worked on their fine motor skills by accordion folding the legs. Then they sorted through the scraps to create a color pattern for the turkey’s feathers. They turned out pretty cute!

Pattern Turkeys

I love this idea of sticking feathers in a colander. Another great activity for fine motor skills from MamaOT

Go the the library and check out some books! Homeschool Preschool has some great suggestions.

And last,  let your little ones help with the Thanksgiving preparations. Make a banner, place cards on the table, prepare some of the side dishes or dessert. It’s all hands on deck this week! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

 

Chickadee’s 5th Birthday

Fifth Birthday

Last month our Chickadee turned FIVE. A whole hand (as she said all day!) The one that made me a mama is growing into an amazing young girl right before my very eyes. She is determined, kind hearted, level headed, smart, fun, inquisitive, fearless and a great big sister. We are so proud to call her ours and thankful God saw us fit to be her parents. It is such a privilege to see how God is working in her and through her to change the world.

For her 5th birthday she wanted to celebrate with pancakes, pajamas, and princesses! So we invited a bunch of little girls and had such a fun time! 

The menu included pancakes, donut holes, fruit, and chocolate milk! Simple. Delicious. 

Pajama Pancake Birthday

Pancake Breakfast

The the girls decorated pillowcases with fabric markers. I ordered these pillowcases and fabric markers from Amazon. They doubled as both a party craft and take home favor! Chickadee’s turned out great! We’ve washed it a few times too and the colors still look bright. I loved seeing all of the little girl’s personalities in the coloring. 

Pajama Party Activity

After the pillow decorating we made Fruit Loop necklaces and had a pancake relay using these felt pancakes and spatulas. 

Fruit Loop Necklaces

felt pancakes

And no birthday is truly complete without cake, right? The week of her birthday Chickadee requested a princess castle cake. I must admit I was a little worried about exactly how I would pull that off, but after grabbing some different sized & shaped cake pans and her clip on princess, we made it work! 

Homemade Princess Cake

The bottom is an 8×8 square, the middle a 7 inch circle, and the top a 4 inch circle. The turrets are made from upside down sugar cones covered in icing. Chickadee loved how it turned out and that is really all that matters!

Chickadee Birthday Cake

I bought most of our party supplies at the Dollar Tree…plates, napkins, banners, crepe paper, straws, pom poms, etc. The mini pancakes came from Trader Joes and the donuts are from Dunkin Donuts. Let me know if you have any other questions about where we bought what! 

We always have so much fun celebrating birthdays around here. Chickadee is the biggest celebrator of all! She loves a good party, and I think she had a blast at hers! Here is to being FIVE sweet girl! A. WHOLE. HAND.

Homemade Cranberry Granola Bars

Homemade Cranberry Granola Bars (2)

My kids are human garbage disposals. I thought this wasn’t suppose to happen until middle school? They are always hungry. Even on my best days when I make a full on breakfast of sausage, eggs, avocado, fruit, etc. the clock strikes 9:00 and they are starving again! I always like to have snacks on hand that I feel good about when handing them over to the kiddos.

Granola Bars Mix

These homemade cranberry granola bars are simple, quick & taste better than any of the store bought options. Plus they are made with REAL ingredients! For the kiddos and myself they are a go to snack (along with these oatmeal balls). I promise your kids will love them (and if they don’t, swap the cranberries for chocolate chips…haha!).

Homemade Cranberry Granola Bars (1)

Homemade Cranberry Granola Bars
Yields 16
Simple. Quick. Delicious. granola bar recipe that your kids will love
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups of instant oats
  2. 1/2 cup granola (I used the pumpkin & flax seed one from Costco)
  3. 1/2 cup cranberries
  4. 1/3 cup honey
  5. 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  6. 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  7. 1/4 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)
  8. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  9. 1/4 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. 1. Place parchment paper in an 8x8 baking dish (see parchment tip below!)
  2. 2. In a large bowl combine oats, granola and dried cranberries
  3. 3. In a sauce pan over medium-low heat combine honey, butter, brown sugar, almond butter, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer until you see it thickening. Allow to cool for five minutes.
  4. 4. Combine the mixture with the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined.
  5. 5. Pour into baking dish and press down to fill evenly.
  6. 6. Allow to cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  7. 7. EASILY remove from parchment paper and cut into pieces.
  8. 8. Store in an airtight container (I keep mine in the fridge) for up to 1 week
Notes
  1. Fee free to choose different add-ins in place of the cranberries. Some ideas are dark chocolate chips, raisins, coconut, or almonds.
Adapted from Wine and Glue
Adapted from Wine and Glue
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/
Parchment Trick

First, I LOVE parchment paper and silicone baking mats/sheets etc. They make clean up sooooo easy and nothing ever sticks to either of them. Jump on the bandwagon friends! Okay, so my parchment paper trick….I do this with casseroles too! Place inside the baking dish and you will notice it will pop back up making it hard to pour your ingredients in. So, I always use chip clips or clothespins to hold the parchment down while I pour. After everything is in place, simply remove the clips & Voila!

Homemade Cranberry Granola Bars

Afternoon Toddler Activity Guide | Week 6

Activity Guide Week 6

Y’all that Halloween hangover is real. The night itself was so much fun and the kids were the cutest all dressed up (I’ll share pictures soon!) We made the most of their costumes with Halloween parties at dance, preschool, and Daddy’s work. We also went to Trunk or Treat at the church and then our neighborhood party before Trick or Treating! These events spanned over the course of a week and I’m exhausted. It will be nice to get back into a normal routine next week!

If you would like a copy of the daily afternoon survival activities you can check it out here

Daily Afternoon Survival Guide (1)

Make It MondayPumpkin Muffins

I can’t believe we haven’t made this yet, but on tap for Monday is 100 Days of Real Food’s pumpkin bread. It is amazing & my littles eat it up! Check out the recipe here (I turned them into muffins!). 

Teach It TuesdayThanksgiving Books

Teach your kiddos about the first Thanksgiving. How Thanksgiving is about being grateful for friends, gathering around the table, and remembering all of the other blessings the Lord has placed in your life. Here are a few books that we are reading.  

Wander There Wednesday

Scavenger Hunt List

Scavenger hunts are one of our favorite ways to spice up a walk, especially in this beautiful FALL weather! Ours are never fancy. “Nature” is our theme, so I had the kids brainstorm things we might find or see in nature as we walked around the neighborhood. Some of the things they came up with are leaves, bird, pumpkin, rocks, trees, bugs, ants, and pine cones. Then I created a list by drawing a quick picture and writing the word. This way they could “read” the items. To lengthen the activity instead of just finding each item we talked about tally marks and they counted how many of each item they found.  

Thoughtful Thursday

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A Thankful Turkey. The concept is simple. Cut out a turkey body from a grocery paper bag. Pre-cut a bunch of paper feathers. Each day take turns or decide as a unit something we are thankful for. Write it on a feather and add to the turkey. By Thanksgiving you will have quite a fluffy feather & hopefully your kids will have BIG thankful hearts! Yesterday, they said they were thankful for good food that helps them grow. I’m sure today it will be for their magna-tiles, but this mama will take what she can get!

Free For All Friday

Just let them play! It’s Friday….the weekend is coming. We are watching Cinderella this Friday and eating pizza and maybe even letting them eat TWO pieces of Halloween candy. 

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I hope you are able to implement some of these activities with your little one next week! I’d love to see pictures of your kiddos enjoying and you surviving your afternoons. Tag @astepinthejourney or use the hashtag #astepinthejourney if you share on instagram or Facebook! 

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Week ONE | Week TWO | Week THREE | Week FOUR | Week FIVE

**This post does contain affliate links, they cost you nothing but help me with my side hustle :)

Afternoon Toddler Activity Guide | Week FIVE

All of the Halloween festivities are in FULL swing over here! So far Chickadee has gone in costume to ballet class, we all ventured out to Trunk or Treat at church & we just got back from a HUGE Halloween event put on by III’s company. And there is still almost a week until Halloween! So much fun has been had. Have your kids decided what they want to be for Halloween?? I’ll be sharing our pictures next week!

Next week we will keep up some of the fall/Halloween fun with our daily activities!

If you would like a copy of the daily afternoon survival activities you can check it out here

Daily Afternoon Survival Guide (1)

Make It Monday

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On Monday we are going to either paint or carve pumpkins! I haven’t decided which one yet, but we’ve had pumpkins sitting on the front porch since the beginning of October just begging us to add our personal touch. I’ve carved pumpkins with the littles before and it is important to remember, safety first! They LOVE the sensory activity of scooping out all of the seeds. They use both their hands and plastic spoons. I then have them use a sharpie to “sketch” their pumpkin face before I cut it out.

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Teach It Tuesdayhalloween-books-clipart

Teach It Tuesday this week is a Hallo-read-a-thon! Pull out ALL of those Halloween books or swing by the library and then read, read, read. The kids love both being read to and reading on their own. It takes time to build up reading stamina. If your little one isn’t the biggest fan of “reading” or looking at books independently yet, I suggest using a timer and starting with a small amount of time, 3-5 minutes. Have them look at the pictures and/or words and read until the timer goes off. Build this time up over time. We worked on building stamina for a while and no my kids could look at books for hours! 

Wander There Wednesday

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Happy Halloween!! Our neighborhood has a HUGE Halloween party with bounce houses, face painting, costume contests, pizza and a toddler corn table. It is so much fun for the kids. And then trick or treating…oh, the trick or treating!! We gave away between 400-500 pieces of candy last year. And I think the kids like passing out the candy more than actually going trick or treating. We are making the sweetest memories! So our Wander there Wednesday is going trick or treating! However, if you need a little something earlier in the day, check out this Halloween scavenger hunt! We are going to walk around the neighborhood to look at decorations (again!) and see what all we can find! 

Thoughtful Thursday

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Make dinner for a friend! We were sooo blessed after each of our babies by friends who brought dinner those first few months. So whenever we have a friend with a new baby we always sign up to take them a meal! And the kids are a part of it. I want to instill loving your neighbor in the heart of my children and this is one tangible way in which I can do this. Sometimes it’s not a new baby, but a family who has a little extra on their plate. We are part of a foster care family support group and this Thursday we are making dinner for a foster mom so that she has one less thing to worry about when everyone gets home for dinner! So whether it’s dinner or whipping up some cookies and passing them out to friends, get in the kitchen and brighten someone’s day with a culinary gift. 

Free For All Friday

I am heading out of town this weekend for a GIRL’S weekend. Wahoo! So as of 3:00 Mama is off duty until Sunday afternoon (if you can ever really be off duty as a parent???). III will be wrangling all three solo for pizza and a movie night, and I have no doubt they will have a blast. He’s a rock star dad!

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I hope you are able to implement some of these activities with your little one next week! I’d love to see pictures of your kiddos enjoying and you surviving your afternoons. Tag @astepinthejourney or use the hashtag #astepinthejourney if you share on instagram or Facebook! 

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Week ONE | Week TWO | Week THREE | Week FOUR

**This post does contain affliate links, they cost you nothing but help me with my side hustle :)