Thanksgiving - The American tradition and since many people may be taking next week off or having family in town, we'll combine this week and next week together for a Thanksgiving celebration with fun turkey crafts, snacks, sign language and how to say "thank you." And of course, don't forget to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving - such a treat!
We've included a little more than normal to help you have activities for both this week and next week. The link above is a kid-friendly (but still pretty advanced) history of Thanksgiving for you to read and then explain to your toddler, if appropriate. If nothing else, you just teach him or her how to say thank you in English, Spanish, sign language and how to say "namaste" which is how you honor the divine in others from the divine in yourself. There's almost nothing sweeter than to see a small person bowing with folded prayer hands saying "namaste."
Letter of the Week: T - for Thanksgiving and turkey - point out things that start with "T" - turkey, television, tomato, toilet. Show your toddler a picture of both a capital T and a lower case t. Draw a T on paper, or use your child's finger to draw it in the sandbox or dirt. Use bath tub or refrigerator letters to show him/her this letter as well. I've been showing my toddler letters in the bathtub - while he isn't identify them correctly, he does make "sounds" when he sees them because he knows that's what I do. You can even use flashcards a little at a time.
Number of the Week: 1 - When you show your child anything say "1 turkey" (or whatever you are counting). Count to 1. Write the number 1 on paper or show your toddler a flash card. Show your child 1 thing at a time and count them - "one" - so your child gets used to the pattern. When I have been counting to my son, he now points to things and makes sounds like he's trying to count. My son knows he's one and can make the gesture when you ask him, so it can be done at this age even.
Songs of the Week: Who could forget Over the River and Through the Woods. This YouTube link is a quick little video with a bouncy tune. According to the Tabernacle Choir website, this "was originally published in 1844 as a poem written by Lydia Maria Child. The poem was published in Child’s book of poems Flowers for Children, Volume 2, and was originally titled 'The New-England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day.'" Story of the Week: Thanks and Giving All Year Long - This is a great book from Marlo Thomas. It's a compilation of many stories, songs, poems, etc from famous people like Tiger Woods, Shel Silverstein, Sheryl Crow and many others. There's a dvd you can also get of the stories and songs as well. We still listen to it in the car for my older kids who are in 2nd and 3rd grade! We also found this cute board book of Over the River and Through the Woods in case you can find this at the library. Snack of the Week: Turkey Toast - You can get creative in how you put this together and you also don't need a turkey cookie cutter; just make the outline of a handprint and cut the toast with a sharp knife. But this is a cute idea I had never seen before.
Spanish Words of the Week: Gracias = thanks, el día de Acción de Gracias = Thanksgiving, el pavo = turkey, oración = prayer
Activity of the Week: Pinecone Turkey - This is a cute idea from Momtastic - you may have to adjust for what's going to work for your little one. You can use construction paper for the feathers if you don't want to go get craft feathers. If nothing else, your toddler can pick out the pinecone bodies and you could put together the bird. Also, don't forget the always-popular handprint turkey. You can either make a print on paper of your child's hand or trace an outline of his/her hand on paper (that's what I'd recommend) and cut it out. Have your child color the feathers and add an eye and a waddle. I also saw a good idea - make one of these every year to track your toddler's growth! Yoga Pose: Namaste- This is how to say you honor to divine in others and honor the divine in you. It's the way many yoga teachers begin and end their classes. PS - Our kids always liked the Yoga Kids series if you'd like more ideas for doing yoga with your toddler. Sign Language Sign of the Week: Thank You and Turkey and Pilgrim and Corn. If your toddler is still learning how to talk, sign language can be a great way for them to communicate. And as they get older, they'll pick up signs faster and it can be more of a fun thing versus a way to communicate. Happy Thanksgiving - have a safe and fun holiday!