Getting ready for thanksgiving with kids

Thanksgiving is such a fun time to celebrate, be together and appreciate each other! Celebrating holidays with kids is extra special, in my opinion, because so much about the holidays is brand new to them. This year I’m really trying to establish some simple traditions with our family that’ll create sweet memories. I made a list of festive activities for our family to get us in the holiday spirit https://withkidsblog.com/starting-new-festive-traditions-with-kids/

In the past, I haven’t done a great job of getting ready for Thanksgiving. I realized that I’m missing the opportunity to get my kids excited for Thanksgiving. It’s also the perfect opportunity to teach my kids the value of loving what they have. 

To prepare for Thanksgiving this year, I decided to do a craft, have a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving picnic and practice a recipe that will hopefully make the cut for Thanksgiving dinner! 

Thankful tree

There are so many beautiful Thanksgiving crafts of Pinterest! I was searching for ideas for a craft that I could do with Cruz, and I realized that he would enjoy the chance to be really independent with the project. He likes crafts and always has good, creative ideas. I got the basic idea from here  https://wunder-mom.com/thankful-treesadorable-craft-for-the-little-ones/ 

I didn’t help him with his tree at all besides talking him through the steps. He used watercolor paint for the tree trunk and branches, then cut leaves out of red, yellow and orange paper. Cruz wrote something he’s thankful for on each leaf. I told Cruz that he could write a person, a place, food or something he has on the leaves. It made me so happy to watch him write God on one leaf and family member’s names on all of the other leaves. 

Charlie Brown Thanksgiving picnic 

The Charlie Brown holiday movies were already holiday staples for us! On A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Snoopy makes a Thanksgiving dinner made up of toast, jelly beans, popcorn and pretzel sticks. So we had a picnic in the living room that would make Snoopy proud! We skipped the pretzels, because none of us are big fans of pretzel sticks. While we ate our snacks, we watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, of course. 

Thanksgiving worthy Mac & cheese

Mac & cheese is a must for our Thanksgiving dinner. It’s probably the only thing my kids will eat on Thanksgiving, because they’re such picky eaters! Unfortunately, my kids don’t appreciate amazing homemade Mac & cheese. They prefer the kind of Mac & cheese that comes with a cheese packet in the box. So I wanted to find a Mac & cheese recipe that would be flavorful enough for the adults but simple enough for the kids. I found this recipe on Pinterest but I didn’t follow it exactly https://www.browneyedbaker.com/stovetop-macaroni-cheese/

This is how I made it- 

Cook 1 lb of elbow pasta in very salty water. Place cooked pasta in a bowl. In the same pot that the pasta cooked in, melt 1/2 cup of unsalted butter. Add 1/4 cup of flour and cook over medium heat. Whisk for a few minutes then slowly add 4 cups of whole milk while still whisking. Grate 16 oz of sharp cheddar cheese and 8 oz of mild cheddar cheese. Slowly add the cheese and keep whisking to be sure that it is completly melting. Mix the cooked pasta and cheese together and you’re done! 

This recipe made a huge amount of yummy Mac & cheese! Both of my kids ate it and my husband and I liked it so I think it made the cut for Thanksgiving dinner.  

The most important thing for me in all of this Thanksgiving prep is that we had fun and we spent time together! 

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