This week, I re-discovered and had nearly forgotten about “Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers.”
Sean Patrick is only 3 1/2 but we watched “The Mayflower Voyagers” and discussed the entire movie while it was on. This movie is perfect and appropriate for young kids, but it is meaningful for all ages.
By pointing out all of the details, he stayed engaged and interested.
I said things like “OOhhh look! A map! Do you see the land and the water?” (I paused the movie for a second to point these out).
And then, “Oooh a ship! That ship has a special name called the Mayflower. It is going to take the Pilgrims to America. Would you want to ride on that ship?”
You get the point.
I talk to him a lot during the movie and he really enjoys the commentary, though I know most of you would go NUTS if someone talked the whole way through a movie haha; I understand.
But, for little ones… the dialogue helps them to process what is going on and helps them to put all the pieces together.
Discussing the details also helps children store the information for better memory recall, and helps children to get a better grasp on story elements like setting, plot, characters, major events, and all the underlying details that build comprehension.
This specific movie is currently on Netflix, which is great because (unless you check this out at your local library or find it at a grocery store) it is not too affordable online.
I notice that “coloring pages” are still all the rage, and I actually think so much great conversation and bonding can take place coloring with your kids so I am probably in that mix. My kids and I love to color together.
But, I also like to make templates that I can use for multiple uses.
So, I made a simple but useful and freePilgrim Hat Activity that I am posting for ALL my TMT followers.
You can use this to talk about whoattended the First Thanksgiving.
You can use this to talk about food that we typically eat at Thanksgiving.
Or you can use this to talk about thankfulness of course!
We decided to break out the puff paint and glitter for this one. We ended up finger-painting the globs of puff paint. We had fun, and we talked about the Pilgrims. I reminded him of his school’s Thanksgiving Feast and the Pilgrims costume to make an association. At one point I had to hide the “sugar,” my one year old’s name for glitter, but other than that it was a winner!
Simple, but timely right?
Sean Patrick’s “finished” product…. Oh 3 year olds! 😉
Today, I am sharing a template with you so that your little one can make a personalized headdress.
I always loved doing holiday crafts as a kid, so I am trying to keep that tradition going!
I got this craft idea when I went to my son’s Thanksgiving Feast.
The kids wore headdresses and one class had Native American nicknames written on their headbands, but I thought it would be cute to try it on the feathers.
I thought, I could do that. And as you may know, I like reproducible activities.
So, I made this template for you.
The feathers have upper case letters, lower case letters, and numbers so there are lots of directions you can take this craft.
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When I did this at home:
My goal today was simply to get Sean Patrick to put the letters of his name in order after I scrambled them up, and give him a fun accessory to wear to go with all of his little Indian songs he has learned.
So, I scrambled them up and asked him to find the letters in his name. He found S, then ‘e,’ then ‘a,’ then ‘n,’ etc., colored them, and then I taped them onto his headband that I cut from a brown paper bag..
1) Use this as a number order activity or assessment by teaching your little one to put the feathers in order from 0-9 and then mix the feathers up and see if your little one can put them in order himself.
2) Let your kiddos come up with names for their stuffed animals, put small feather headbands on stuffed animals heads (use a print setting that prints multiple pages at onto one sheet of paper to print small feathers).
3) Place paper feathers on the inside of construction paper to give it a pop of color if you don’t print them onto colored paper or if you children don’t color them in much.
I was itching to do some q-tip painting with the kids but I didn’t feel like googling to find a good turkey art template.
I made three turkey art templates –
1) I made a plain template that you can color, decorate with feathers, glue and glitter, etc. Or, just use any other material you have in your house that you don’t have to shop for.
2) The next template is a turkey that is easy to fill with larger circular materials like pom poms (cotton balls), dot paint, big circle stickers, etc.
3. And, my inspiration for making these… the turkey with feathers perfect for painting with q-tips. Small incentive stickers also fit in these circles if you want to use it more that once!
[Click HERE to become a member to get unlimited access to ALL The Mommy Teacher Printables including this one!
OR CLICK HERE to purchase these Turkey Templates individually from my TeachersPayTeachers Store.]
And here is what some of our time looked/sounded like:
First, I asked Sean Patrick which turkey he wanted to paint first. He told me that he wanted to paint with dot paint first.
So, we put the template with the large circles in front of us first. He picked “blue” paint and I encouraged him to fill in the circles on each tail feather, one at a time. I demonstrated how he could do this on my template in front of me quickly.
(Notice we have already discussed colors, shapes, parts of a turkey, and one-to-one correspondence; your children are learning even when you don’t realize it).
Then, I asked him questions like “How many more do you have left to fill your whole turkey?” “Can you find any feathers that have three circles?” “Which feather has the most circles?” And “What do you think this turkey would say about his new blue tail feathers?” (That last question was just for fun but it gets him thinking outside the box.”
Before moving on to the next template, I encouraged him to color in the other parts of the turkey so he learned/reinforced (beak, wattle, feet, feathers, wings, and I had to google “snood” – the part on top of the head – because I had no clue what it was called).
For the q-tip painting we worked on patterns. I always treat patterns as if I have never taught him about what they are by saying something like, “Oooooooh let’s make a pattern. A pattern is something that repeats itself over and over and over and over and over again.”
“If mommy makes a red and orange pattern I would sing my song red-orange-red-orange-red-orange the whole way through so that I don’t forget my pattern or what comes next.”
If he doesn’t want to do a pattern I don’t stress about it…. this is his time to express himself. I’m just close enough to build on what he is learning.
Finally we did some finger painting to experience the sensory exploration of smearing paint all over, and the science exploration of seeing colors mix together.
Most importantly, we had fun! Isn’t that what it is really about after all?
Y’all, I love Pinterest; I do, but I have to say – I do NOT like activities that I can not do with my kids almost immediately after I browse.
If I browse during nap time, I want to do the activities that I find that same afternoon. I like to get my inspiration from pinterest but then I want to actually DO the activities. Why use a pinboard if I don’t turn the ideas into experiences?
I think I have finally figured out what to do with my not-so-parent-friendly pins… Lately, if I see an activity that I can’t do right away, I find out a way to make a printable for it. That way, other moms can simply pin it, print it, and make it happen that day if they want to.
I also like sharing my experiences so that you feel that much more prepared to make the most of the activity… which is why I added an “ideas” page to my printable:
1) I made the November Corn Printable during nap time, but I only printed one page. I printed a page of corn that had the numbers on the husks.
2) I put a small handful of candy corn in a cup.
**The order of teaching something is always I DO (I will talk about it and show my child an example), WE DO (we will do it together), YOU DO (encourage my child to try it on his own).
So, I DO first:
3) I talked to my three year old “Today we are going to use candy corn to fill the ears of corn, but we will stop counting the candy corn when we get to the number that is on the corn. Watch mommy…. See this is the number ONE, so mommy is going to count out candy corn until I get to ONE. (I place one candy corn on the corn with the number one and say “One!”) “Okay I am going to stop right there because I counted to the number on the corn.”
“What do you think this number is (pointing to two)?” (Two).
“Yes and two comes after one. Can we put the candy corn on that ear of corn while we count to two?” (one, two).
“Wow you are so good at this! Do you know what number this is if this is one, that is two, then this might be….” (Three!)
“Yes, your turn, can you put three candy corns on top of the corn?”
4) We did this page again and then we ate the candy corn, but if your little one doesn’t like the taste of candy corn, it’s okay… I included little candy corn cut-outs so you can glue them on your candy corn. 🙂
**** If you want to download this activity, sign up to be a member for just $5 and get Access to ALL of my printables! – November Corn Printable
So, PIN this printable if you like it, and follow me if you’d like to see all the things I plan to do with my kids each month!