Thanksgiving Doodle Mats

My kids love dry erase activities and these mats were fast to make and they both enjoyed creating with them. They would be perfect for wiggly kids at the  Thanksgiving dinner table before pie is served or on the long road trip to Grandma’s .  With both the dinner plate and Mayflower scenes you can use different prompts and questions to extend the drawing. I have included suggestions below in the tutorial.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some inexpensive canvases or another hard board for a backing, some construction paper , double stick tape, scissors and contact paper. For the Thanksgiving dinner mat I used the plate and fork from Melissa & Doug’s Make-A-Meal Sticker Pad because it’s just so cute and we’d been playing with it earlier so it was fresh in my mind. 
  2. For the Mayflower mat start by cutting out a boat. I could have sworn I had brown paper but no, so I colored some white brown with a marker. Cut some sails, and land as well.
  3. Piece together and secure on a sheet of blue paper with double stick tape.
  4. Cover with contact paper.
  5. For the Thanksgiving dinner mat cut out the plate and fork and tape to a sheet of construction paper.
  6. Cover with contact paper.
  7. Time to create.  I handed my son the Mayflower one and asked a few questions . ” How do you think you would feel seeing land for the first time after such a long journey?” ” What would you pack if you were leaving your home forever?” ” How do you think the Native Americans felt when they saw the huge ship?”
  8. My daughter joined us and started creating her Thanksgiving dinner. I asked her ” What would you like for Thanksgiving?” I got a big old ” Candy!” as the response. She drew spaghetti and ice cream.  With older children you could divide the plate up and ask them to draw foods from each food group, draw a silly Thanksgiving with just their favorite foods or what they usually have at Thanksgiving and talk about traditions.
  9. They happily created and erased over and over. We use socks that can’t find their mates for erasers. 

 

I have had a hard time over them years finding Thanksgiving books that I felt were fun and educational. These books however fit the bill and are sure to work at your house too. Click through for full reviews of these books and a couple other Thanksgiving favorites.

Despicable Me 2 – Halloween Fun For Kids

One of the best parts of Halloween is getting a chance to dress up in costumes and dressing up shouldn’t just be for kids, it should be for minions too! When I was asked to help spread the word about Despicable Me 2 coming to theaters this summer I knew exactly what sort of activities I wanted to do. These activities are perfect for Halloween parties or to prepare your little ones for all the unusual costumes they might see. They can play with the minion and see that he’s the same under every single costume we made him and on Halloween night there is nothing to be afraid of it’s just a person under that scary costume too.  The simple memory game can be made in a snap and would be a cute quiet game for a Halloween party.

Dress Your Minion For Halloween!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some yellow , black and white construction paper, yellow, black , brown and metallic markers, double stick tape, contact paper, scissors, heavy card stock ( full page sheet) and dry erase markers in various colors.
  2. Start by drawing and cutting out a minion.
  3. Cut some black construction paper for it’s goggle band.
  4. Cut out a circle of white paper and outline it in the metallic silver. Add a brown eye with a black pupil. Add yellow at the bottom.
  5. Using the double stick tape tape the band and eye on. Color the boots and gloves black.
  6. Tape everything on to the card stock.
  7. Peel the backing off your contact paper and put the minion face down on the sticky side.
  8. Press, fold the sides and trim edges. Now you have a dry erase minion!
  9. Dress him up for Halloween using the dry erase markers.  We turned him into a princess, witch , butterfly, vampire and messy monster.
  10. Everything wipes clean beautifully!

You can also use him for talking about emotions and have your little ones draw his emotions, or dress him up for upcoming holidays too!

Easy Memory Game

I hear from a lot of parents how playing memory with their child is terrible and my first question is always ” Did you play with all the pieces?” When toddlers and young kids are learning games break them down a little and make them more accessible. This is why I love making my own memory games.

Using the Despicable Me 2 Halloween Temporary Tattoo Printables  I made this game in a snap!  *** Please email me for the printables and I will send them to you asap ***

  1. Gather your materials. You will need the printables  ( 2 copies)  from Despicable Me 2. Some orange card stock, black card stock , double stick tape and scissors.
  2. Cut all your images and card stock into squares. Remember that you want the squares progressively larger so the minion paper is the smallest, orange middle and the black paper is the largest.
  3. Tape the minion to the orange paper and then the orange to the black paper.  Make 4 pairs for toddlers, 6-8 for preschoolers and 10 + for school age kids. 
  4. Flip and play!

After you play and learn (kids are always learning) with these adorable Despicable Me Halloween activities don’t forget to mark your calendar because Despicable Me 2 hits the theaters this July!  Check out some other fun FREE Despicable Me Halloween printables including treat bag toppers and pumpkin carving stencils.

 

About the film

Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s worldwide blockbuster, Despicable Me, delighted audiences around the globe in 2010, grossing more than $540 million and becoming the 10th-biggest animated motion picture in U.S. history. In Summer 2013, get ready for more minion madness in Despicable Me 2. Chris Meledandri and his acclaimed film making team create an all-new comedy animated adventure featuring the return of Gru (Steve Carell), the girls, the unpredictably hilarious minions…and a host of new and outrageously funny characters.

Visit the official website

Watch the teaser trailer for Despicable Me 2

Like Despicable Me on Facebook

I was compensated for my participation in this campaign. The crafts are my own creations.