Nov 152016
 November 15, 2016  character building for kids, Literacy, Thanksgiving Comments Off on Easy Gratitude Game: Writing Activity

I was looking for an easy gratitude activity to do with my kids, but as always I had my hands full with the baby, so I knew it had to be something easy but also fun enough to keep their attention. This gratitude game requires no prep, but it is great writing practice and builds critical thinking skills. It helps kids focus on gratitude ahead of Thanksgiving, yet the end results are often hilarious.

Easy Gratitude Game: Writing Activity |

Easy Gratitude Game

This gratitude game only requires paper and pencil and takes just a few moments.

Each person writes a list of what they are grateful for, without letting anyone else see. For younger children, give a specific number of items they should write (we did 5). For older children, you could time it and see who can write the most number of items in a certain amount of time.

Once everyone has their list, have them try to write down what they think each other person’s list would be. (If possible, don’t tell them ahead of time about this step of the game, as otherwise they may purposely write a list that is difficult to guess). In our case, it was just the two boys, so they tried to guess each other’s lists, but with a larger group you could ask them to guess the list of the person sitting to their right.

When time is up, see how many you got right! We had a lot of fun with this part, as it was so funny to see what each thought the other had written down. It is harder to guess than you might think, even with hints! (My 6 year old’s list: PS4, basmati rice, life, the Earth, chicken).

Younger children can draw their answers if they can’t write yet, but I really recommend this for elementary age children. It was a good exercise for my preschooler to make his list, but it was so random that it was next to impossible for anyone to guess his answers. (“You’re grateful for a chicken bone?” “Yes! And flowers!”)

How do you practice gratitude with your children?

Nov 202015
History of Thanksgiving: Squanto |

This is Carrie from Crafty Moms Share. Leanna asked me to share with you about one of my favorite topics to learn about–Native Americans. With Thanksgiving coming up I thought I would share about a man who had a lot to do with the first Thanksgiving. You have probably heard of Squanto, the Native American who helped the Pilgrims survive. Did you ever wonder how he was able to help them?

Squanto or Tisqunatum was a Native American in the Patuxet tribe. The Patuxet tribe was a tributary of the Wampanoag Confederacy. Squanto is believed to be born between 1555 and 1592, but no one knows for sure in the Patuxet village that is in the area of present day Plymouth, Massachusetts. He grew up in this vibrant village learning how to plant the crops, catch the fish and hunt. There are a few versions of what happened in his life here is what seems to be in every version. Squanto was kidnapped along with others. He lived with Spanish friars and lived with Sir Ferdinando Gorges in England. He learned English and to read and write. He was brought back to his homeland by Captain John Smith. This all took place between 1604 and 1619. He may have been kidnapped twice, but the stories are different. In 1619 he managed to make his way back home only to find his entire tribe had died and his village empty. He went and lived with the neighboring tribe, the Wampanoags. The Wampanoags explained to Squanto that his tribe died of the white man’s disease, smallpox. 

Plymouth Rock


The Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620.  They were lucky enough to find land already cleared to build Plymouth Colony. The land of course was once the Patuxet village where Squanto grew up. Living in Massachusetts I have been lucky enough to visit Plymouth Rock, Plimouth Plantation and the Mayflower II several times. The pictures I share here are from one of those visits. In 1621 Squanto was brought to Plymouth Colony by Samoset, an Abenaki (from Maine) who learned English from traders. Chief Massasoit wanted Squanto to help interpret between himself and the English as well as to spy on the English since there was not a full level of trust. Imagine the Pilgrims surprise when Squanto walked into the colony speaking perfect English.

Long House or Nush Wetu
Squanto helped the Pilgrims survive by teaching them how to grow the three sister crops: corn, beans and squash and where to catch fish and hunt. He really saved them. He also helped negotiate a treaty between the Plymouth Colony and the Wampanoags. Chief Massasoit wanted peace and made promises to the Englishmen. His sons and he later regretted all that they did for them as the English took more and more land. Squanto died in 1622 in Chatham, Massachusetts (on Cape Cod) of a fever. He had been acting as a guide to Governor William Bradford. 

Wampanoags in Traditional Dress and Cooking Traditionally at the Wampanoag Homsite at Plimouth Plantation


For more on Squanto check out the many books on him. Here are some we found at our local library. We really enjoyed the Squanto & the First Thanksgiving DVD as it told the story in a way my 6-year-old could see and understand.

The Wampanoag region stretched from Southeastern Massachusetts to Rhode Island and included Martha’s Vineyard. Their language is a dialect of the Algonquian language family. The word Wampanoag literally translated to people of the dawn. The Patuxet was an extinct band of the Wampanoag. The Wampanoags had two types of houses, the long house or nush wetu and the wigwams or wetus. The long houses had three fires in them.

Wigwam or Wetu

So on Thanksgiving think about the former slave who helped save the second colony of the United States and perhaps say a prayer for all the Native Americans.

Resources for this post: Biography.comNative Languages, Wikipedia, and Plimouth Plantation

Crafty Moms ShareCarrie is a former high school math teacher with diversity training and helped advise many diversity clubs at the schools she taught. Now she is a stay-at-home mother of an almost five-year-old and very active with her church. She writes about her life with her daughter and the fun things they do at Crafty Moms Share. You can also find her on Pinterest and Google +.




Native American Heritage Month | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Welcome to our second annual celebration of Native American Heritage Month! All month long we’ll be sharing posts about sharing these rich cultures with kids. Find our full schedule of posts below, and don’t forget to link up your own as well! We’ll also be having a big giveaway (details coming soon!) You can find even more ideas on our Native/Indigenous Cultures Pinterest board:

Follow Multicultural Kid Blogs’s board Native/Indigenous Cultures on Pinterest.

November 6
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November 16
The Mommy Factor
November 30
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Native American Heritage Month Giveaway: Grand Prize | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Grand Prize Package

From Five Star Publications: Nanisé, a Navajo Herbal (US Shipping Only)
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Native American Heritage Month Giveaway: First Prize | Multicultural Kid Blogs

First Prize Package

$50 Gift Certificate to Zazzle
From Wisdom Tales Press: Red Cloud’s War (US Shipping Only)
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Second Prize Package

From Daria – World Music for Children: Handmade owl pottery from the Jemez Pueblo (US Shipping Only)
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Link up your own posts on sharing Native American heritage with kids!

Oct 072015
 October 7, 2015  crafts, Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving Comments Off on Balloon Print Pumpkin Garland

Thanks so much to Jaime of Frogs, Snails, and Puppy Dog Tails  and All Things Kids for sharing this wonderful fall craft for kids.  Be sure to stop by her blog for more great activities and crafts!

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love all the pumpkin decorations, pumpkin picking, pumpkin treats, and of course the pumpkin crafts. The kids and I love getting the craft supplies out and finding simple crafts to use as decorations. We had pumpkins on our minds so we made a fun balloon print pumpkin garland to hang up in the house. It was easy to make and fun for all of us as well.

balloon print pumpkin garland craft for kids

Balloon Print Pumpkin Garland



Supplies/what I used:


white cardstock

orange paint

paper plate

orange yarn

hole punch




To start we made our pumpkin craft. We took blown up balloons and dipped them in orange paint. The kids pressed the balloon down on the paper to make a “pumpkin”. The kids made several pumpkins with the balloon. We left them to dry overnight.




The next afternoon I grabbed the scissors, sharpies, yarn, and hole punch. I used the sharpies to draw a brown stem and green leaves. Now the prints started to look more like pumpkins.




The kids helped me cut out the pumpkins. We cut them to look like the pumpkin print was on an index sized card. Now for one of their favorite parts. Using the hole punch! This always gets my kids excited. They love to make holes with the hole punch. We put a hole in each corner on the “card”. We did this till we had them all finished.




Now take the orange yarn and cut a piece long enough to fit the size banner you want. We used 6 pumpkin cards to make our garland/banner. This was the perfect size to hang up on the cabinet. We threaded the yarn through the holes. Now we had a balloon print pumpkin garland to hang up. We used tape and taped each end down on top of the cabinet. The kids love telling anyone that comes over they made it.


balloon print pumpkin garland

Nov 052014
 November 5, 2014  All Things Kids, Fall, Thanksgiving Comments Off on Fantastic Thanksgiving and Fall Pinterest Boards from All Things Kids

Fantastic Thanksgiving and Fall Pinterest Boards from All Things KidsBoards Button

Getting excited about Thanksgiving??  I know we are!  Today you can find me over at All Things Kids, showcasing some amazing Pinterest boards for family fun this Thanksgiving and fall!  Click the link below to see this great collection!


Fantastic Thanksgiving and Fall Pinterest Boards from All Things Kids

Nov 242013
 November 24, 2013  crafts, food, Thanksgiving 7 Responses »

Classic Turkey Handprint Cards -

Last year about this time I was 20 months 8 months pregnant, so I was looking for a very simple craft to do to with Monkey for Thanksgiving.

Since we live so far away from both sides of our family, I decided to make these adorable hand print turkey cards to send to Monkey’s grandparents and some close friend.

They were easy enough to prepare and required only as much from my not-so-into-crafts child as he felt like doing.

First I traced his hand onto cardboard (from a cereal box) then used this as a template to trace it onto brown construction paper.

Then I cute out some cute little hats for the turkeys and pulled out the construction paper, glue, crayons, and our sticker collection.

We glued the turkeys and their hats onto the paper then I drew the outlines of the beaks and wattles and let him color them in.

As you can see, I also let him choose which stickers he wanted to use – which is why the turkeys are decorated with these beautiful spring flowers, lol!

Classic Turkey Handprint Cards -

Are you and your little turkeys ready for Thanksgiving?


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