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With Thanksgiving around the corner, check out these great books and activities! They are perfect for both homeschooling families, and those just looking for themed activities.
Classic Handprint Turkey
If you grew up in the United States, you almost certainly have memories of doing handprint turkeys around Thanksgiving. The concept is simple; trace your hand, then add a beak and some legs. Voila! You have a turkey!
As a mommy blogger, of course I have to give my own take on the project!
The core concept remains the same, but I've added a few flairs of my own. Here is my take on the classic handprint turkey craft!
What you will need:
How to make your turkeys:
And that's it! Want to elaborate on this activity, or dress it up some? Try these great modifications:
No subscription needed for these great coloring pages!
Create a family gratitude list or journal! You can do this in several ways. One is to use a nice journal or notebook, and add entries each day with what each family member is grateful for. Younger children can add drawings to the book. Another option is to create a scrapbook of collages with what each family member is grateful for. An alternate form of this activity is to have your child create a gratitude collage by printing pictures of things that symbolize what they are grateful for, and gluing them on paper. Older children can also add captions or printed words to their collages. Finally, you can also use my gratitude journal printables and put them in a binder using page protectors or just a 3 hole punch.
If you are a newsletter subscriber, be sure to check out the Thanksgiving folder for some great new printables! Included are some velcro activities (I used them to make a Thanksgiving binder book game; you can get instructions on how to make one here), a counting worksheet, and gratitude journaling pages for the entire family!
Great Read: I am Thankful
I am Thankful is a new seasonal favorite in our home this year (both me and my child love it!). Featuring a diverse cast of characters, this relatable story discusses the many things children may experience as Thanksgiving traditions, and the many things (and people) they may be grateful for. The book also contains a variety of activities you can do.
Other Highly Rated Thanksgiving Books Your Child Might Like!
Create Your Own Parade Floats
Using materials of your choice (boxes, plastic bottles, paper, pom poms, sequins, toys, balloons, etc.), create parade floats and put on your own Thanksgiving Parade around the house!
Baking is one of my favorite activities to do as a family, and Thanksgiving baking is no different. Check out some of my favorite recipes, or use your own!
I'll be sharing even more soon!
Even More Ideas!
I love this turkey building activity from Beary Sweet Home. There are also tons of recommendations for other activities, books, and printables!
I also love this turkey weaving activity from The Growing Creatives (you can also find it pinned on my Pinterest).
You can also find a bunch of great activities on Amazon. Here are a few highly rated options your kids may love!
Want even more ideas? Be sure to check out my Pinterest account! I have tons of Thanksgiving and autumn ideas from other bloggers across a number of different boards. And stay tuned to my blog; I will be adding more activities soon!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support this blog. You can learn more about my participation in this program here.
For our homeschooling letter W theme, I picked the seasonally appropriate word 'witch'. And what better book to celebrate Halloween and discuss the concept of witches than 'Room on the Broom'. This adorable picture book discusses the themes of kindness and friendship, as a witch is helped by a series of new pals, who she (in return) allows to join her and her cat on their adventures. But that is just the start of how these new friends help one another on a particularly stormy autumn evening! I'll not give spoiler, but I will provide you access to some of the awesome activities I developed (or in some cases, collected) just for this book!
Room on the Broom Velcro Activity
As you read the book, you can use this velcro activity to help children track what is happening in the story. Have your child pick out the appropriate pieces, removing them or adding them to the velcro board. The activity is a great, hands on, visual aid for comprehension.
You can find this activity in my free subscriber's resource library.
Room on the Broom Videos
My little one has been enjoying watching this cute Room on the Broom cartoon on YouTube. It pairs imagery with the classic book text, read out loud.
A second fun version reads the book outloud as a song, with video graphics!
Witch Themed Coloring Pages; Letter W Coloring Page
I'm making a few of these pages available for immediate download. The rest are available in my subscriber's only resource library.
For immediate download:
And for those who have subscribed to the library, check out the newest addition to coloring pages! The letter W page is already uploaded there.
Witch Matching Velcro Activity
Another subscriber's resource library exclusive, I added this activity to my busy book for independent play and learning. Simple laminate two copies, cut out the shapes from one copy, and add velcro to make your own. You can also have your child color the pages prior to laminating (for extra fun).
Witch's Hat Craft
What you'll need:
This activity is super simple! Just cut out a witch's had shape (use the stencil below)- use one plate/piece of paper for the triangle shape, and one to make a flattened oval. Glue them into the shape of a hat, and then decorate!
If you want to make a band, simple place the hat on your child's forehead, use the paper or twine and measure the circumference, and then tie or glue to the hat! Make sure to leave room for your child to pull the hat on and off, though.
Magical Mud Sensory Play
Making magical mud is easy. It is just ooblek! If you've not made it before, the recipe is easy, and uses ingredients you probably already have in house:
That's it! You'll need a 2:1 ratio, so 1 cup of cornstarch for 1/2 cup of water (or whatever sized batch you'd like)
Want to make it extra 'muddy'? Just add food dye; you'll want to add all the colors to make a nice, gunky, brown color.
Then, let your kids play! If you'd like, you can let them cover animals in the ooblek, too (just like the animals cover themselves in mud in the book).
The great thing about ooblek is it really does seem magical. Defying the boundary between solids and liquids, this amazing activity is bound to get your kids thinking.
Witch's Brew Sensory Play
This one isn't my activity, but head over to Tot School Resources for their Spooky Witch's Brew Science Experiment. It is a perfect complement to my Room on the Broom activities!
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Celebrate Halloween with free themed coloring pages, and help communicate with Trick or Treaters or party guests about important allergen information with easy to read alert cards.
If you love these, be sure to check out my subscriber's library for tons of other great (and free) printables!
Food Allergy Alert Cards
Let Trick or Treaters or guests know what goodie bags are safe for those with food allergies by pairing these cards with clear bags. Or, use them to display in front of trick or treat bowls.
Disclaimer: Always read individual labels before ingesting if you have a food allergy, or are giving food to someone with a food allergy.
And check out even more Halloween themed printables in the exclusive and completely free subscribers only resource library.
Just some of what you will find there! Teal Pumpkin Project inspired printables, 10 Little Pumpkins printables, more coloring pages, Halloween worksheets for elementary aged kids, binder book activities, and more!
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The winter holidays will be here before you know it, and if you are like me, you sometimes need a bit of inspiration to come up with great stocking stuffers for children who are a bit young for small trinkets (many small toys contain choking hazards for toddlers!). I remember googling, trying to find great lists of creative gift ideas for my toddler. This year, I am sharing my little one's favorite small toys, perfect for stocking stuffers or Hanukkah presents (if you do smaller gifts each evening), as well as ideas from friends, family, and based on high ratings!
You'll surely be able to find something your toddler will love on this list!
Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support this blog. You can read more about my participation in this program here.
From Our Home
We have another Eric Carle puzzle set by this same brand, and my little one loves it! I wasn't able to find the version we have, but these are quite similar!
These bath toys make tubby time fun and educational! My child absolutely loves the letters and numbers, and I found that Munchkin makes an animal shape version, too!
This puzzle has been a staple in my home for months. It is a great educational toy, and like all Melissa and Doug products, is of great quality.
This monkey is soft and adorable! One of my toddler's favorite stuffed toys, I'm sure your little one will love it as much as mine does!
Daniel Tiger is a TV favorite in our home, and this trolley keeps my child busy long after the TV is off. It has a pull back and go feature that your toddler is sure to love.
Want even more awesome Daniel Tiger characters? We also have O the Owl, though not any of the other friends. Here are some other sets:
Some Favorite Toddler Board Books from Our Home
My little one is a bookworm, so I'd have to do multiple posts to share his entire library. But here are a few great options my little one loves, and yours will, too!
Loved by Friends, Family, and My Classroom
These are toys and books I love, but that we don't have at our home. My friends' children and my students have loved them, and your children are sure to love them, too!
Highly Rated Toys on Amazon
The options above just not quite right? Here are some other great stocking stuffers that come from great brands and are highly rated on Amazon. I've found that bath toys are one of the best stocking stuffer options, and most are water play safe!
Highly Rated Holiday Board Books* on Amazon
*Mostly! There are a few that aren't board books, but looked too good not to share.
Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama by Selina Alko
Okay, so this one isn't a board book, but it looked too good not to share!
Be sure to share this with anyone shopping for a toddler this holiday season!
Many readers will already recognize the Teal Pumpkin for food allergies, but have you heard about the blue bucket for autism? If you have, there are a few things you should know to help you understand why requiring a blue bucket to have a child participate in Halloween is in bad taste, and why disclosing your child's diagnosis with a blue bucket is problematic.
If you are new to my blog and social media feeds, be sure to first take a look at the following resources to help you understand the issues associated with the blue bucket for autism initiative:
There are many, many reasons that Trick or Treaters may behave differently than your expectations. Obviously food allergies are one I discuss a lot, and autism is another. But there are even more reasons Trick or Treaters need and deserve kindness, and why you should be inclusive on Halloween; no matter who comes to your door. And ultimately, it is absolutely none of your business what those reasons are.
About "This Home is Inclusive"
Not all kids talk. It isn't your business.
Not all kids like costumes. It isn't your business.
Not all kids can eat, or even like candy. It isn't your business.
Kids may take a long time to make a choice for any number of reasons. It isn't your business.
Someone's diagnosis is none of your business. Parents/Trick or Treaters shouldn't have to disclose a diagnosis to have their child participate in Trick or Treat. Not all disabilities are visible. Someone's neurotype definitely isn't. Please be inclusive on Halloween, and everyday. No child should feel left out because of adults' expectations. Don't make children put on a show for free candy. It is just plain mean.
Now that you have some background on why inclusivity matters, perhaps consider putting up a sign saying your home is inclusive to everyone on Halloween (food allergy patients, autistics, etc.). The idea for blue pumpkins to show a Trick or Treater is autistic was developed for a reason. Parents of autistics felt that there was a need to disclose a diagnosis for their child to be accepted. How awful is that?! You don't want to be one of those people, right? Of course not.
You can use the sign below to share that your home is inclusive for everyone. Also feel free to share the poem below (with appropriate crediting, of course!).
Free Printables Available for Immediate Download
There are even more food allergy awareness signs in the subscriber's resource library!
"This Home is Inclusive" (Poem Text)
By the Mindfully Scientific Mama
We won't make you ask for a trick or a treat.
No blue buckets required to get a sweet.
No one is too old or too young to join in.
And you don't need a costume to give us a grin.
It isn't our business if you can talk or cannot.
Or why you want a trinket put into your pot.
Halloween is for everyone,
No if, ands, or buts.
Our home is inclusive, we won't keep our door shut!
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Did you catch my recent collaboration with YumEarth and FARE on Instagram? If you are like me and love candy, but need something allergy friendly, check out these amazing YumEarth Goodies available for purchase online!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support this blog. You can learn more about my participation in this program here. Additionally, I have previously collaborated with FARE for a YumEarth campaign. This post is not affiliated nor endorsed by either FARE or YumEarth, and all opinions are my own. I simply love YumEarth products and am happy to endorse them as a consumer!
YumEarth everyday goodies are Top 8 free, and their facilities are currently sesame free. Their candy corn is not Top 8 free (it contains egg). If you are managing allergies, always remember to read labels every time, and be sure to check the allergy policy to confirm specific items are safe for your family. Luckily, YumEarth's website is quite comprehensive and user friendly.
Here are some of my favorite YumEarth products!!!
Looking for the YumEarth allergy policy? You can find that here!
You can find even more YumEarth products here, or directly on their website.
Or, check out these other delicious options (I love these, too!!)
The Teal Pumpkin Project initiative by FARE is literally a lifesaver for food allergy families like mine. With so many ways for Halloween to go from scary fun to plain scary, seeing more and more homes giving out trinkets instead of treats makes this mama feel safer letting my child Trick or Treat. While Trick or Treat may look different this year, for those still participating in a modified version, nonfood treats are just as important as any other year (or perhaps more, since an emergency room visit could now result in exposure to the very virus that is forcing these changes in the first place!).
If you've yet to buy your Teal Pumpkin worthy goodies, fear not! The Mindfully Scientific Mama has you covered with a list of excellent options, plus a list of other stores you can check if you don't like the ones on this roundup!
The Teal Pumpkin Trinket Roundup
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no additional cost to you, and helps support this blog. You can learn more here. The Mindfully Scientific Mama has not tested the products being recommended, but has researched them and only provided recommendations for highly rated products.
I scoured Amazon so you don't have to! Check out these highly rated options! I've also included some Prime Day Deals for Prime Members looking to save extra.
PRIME DAY DEAL! Glow Sticks - 20% Off On Prime Day
15pcs Halloween Felt Masks - 17% Off on Prime Day
Halloween Crafts - 24PCS Magic Rainbow Scratch Art Masks Kits Bulk - Prime Day Deal
Squishy Super Soft Squeeze Squishes - 23% Off on Prime Day
These are a bit pricier, and therefore may be better for switch witch gifts. But, they are absolutely adorable, and a great sensory toy for kids who need to destress or fidget!
Other Great Stops for Nonfood Goodies for Halloween
If you prefer brick and mortar shopping, here are some stores that often have goodies that would be perfect for trick or treat candy alternatives!
And don't forget to put a Teal Pumpkin on your doorstep to show you are a safer stop for kids with food allergies! You can paint a real pumpkin, or buy a reusable teal pumpkin from many of the stores listed above!
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May 2020 (Prior to 5/31)
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Disclaimer: Content on this website is meant for informational and educational purposes. Nothing found on The Mindfully Scientific Mama constitutes medical or psychological advice. Always consult a profession in the respect field for advice specific to your situation. Read more about this site's terms and conditions here.