Hello! Can you believe Thanksgiving is in just a few days? I’m sure your refrigerator and pantry are stocked and ready to go, and the day will most likely involve quite a bit of cooking and meal prep … but have you given any thought to what your kiddos will do all day? My girls will probably help with some of the cooking, but they’ll inevitably get bored after a while. This is when there’s an increased temptation to turn to iPads or the TV. Don’t do it!
If you saw my post last week on our 10 Christmas Traditions, you know that one of the things we do is go for a morning walk on Thanksgiving. The girls usually always collect all sorts of nature treasures — leaves, acorns, rocks, etc. And one of our favorite Thanksgiving afternoon activities is to use some of those leaves to make leaf rubbings! It keeps the girls occupied for an hour, and it’s a nice quiet activity that they can do right in the kitchen while I continue our meal prep! It’s really simple, but I provided a few tips below to make it go more seamless.
- Choose leaves that are dry but still soft and pliable (too dry and they just crumble), and find ones that have large textured veins (so they show through the paper).
- I like to use a large paper roll (like the one I linked to below). It takes a little guesswork on your part for the proper leaf placement, but it’s worth it. Once you get the leaves in place, your babes will have several leaves to rub, and they won’t be bugging you every five minutes for a new leaf and paper. Place the leaves down with a few inches between each, then gently lay the paper over all of them. Tape the paper in place along the corners. If you don’t have a large paper roll, you can also use individual sheets, but I’d still advise you to tape several pieces down — in fact, go ahead and cover the whole table! The more they have, the longer they’ll be occupied. 🙂
- Now, use your hands to gently feel where the leaves are, and take a pencil and draw boxes around each leaf. The boxes will serve as guidance for where to color.
- Provide plenty of crayons in various colors (we used pearl crayons to give them a pretty sheen, linked below). Be sure to peel the paper off so your babes can lay the crayons flat on the paper to rub over the leaves.
- Instruct your babes to color each box you’ve drawn (which should have one leaf underneath) in a different color. Be sure to demonstrate how to color with the crayons lying flat — if you color using the tip, you’ll just make a scribbled mess without being able to see the leaves through!
- Have fun! If your kids are a bit older and they can stay in the lines you may even consider saving and framing their work!
Once your babes are set up, they should be good to go for a while, and you can continue your pumpkin pie prep … or enjoy a hot chocolate or glass of wine! From our family to yours … we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!