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Host a Christmas Craft Party

Host a Christmas Craft Party

Hosting a Christmas Craft Party can be a fun way to celebrate the season with a small group of friends, build community and relationships and allow your kids a way to create fun crafts that are gift worthy. 

Making it Happen

  • Set a Date and time. Early afternoon works well. Plan on 2-3 hours for crafting and visiting.
  • Decide on an age range and crowd; teens only, or grades 5 and up, Mother/Daughter etc. This will allow people to choose appropriate crafts.
  • Ask everyone you invite to each bring a craft with enough supplies for a specific number of kids, plus a few extras for mistakes and tagalongs. Also, ask them to bring clearly written instructions and an example of the craft. This will be helpful to the kids. 
  • For parents who aren’t naturally “crafty”, you can direct them to some fun and simple craft sites or offer ideas for “Christmas Crafts”.  You may want to ask a couple of parents to bring snacks, drinks etc. if you know they will not want to be in charge of a craft.
  • Send the invites and include an R.S.V.P. so you can plan to have enough supplies and treats.

The Day of the Crafting Party

  • You might want to provide holiday music, lights, and decorations – but remember, simple can be just as fun! 
  • Provide festive snacks, a self-serve hot chocolate, tea and coffee bar, Let others know to bring treats, too, if you are open to that. An open snack/ drink buffet works well as parents/ kids move about crafting and visiting. 
  • Set  up various workstations – card tables and chairs, areas at the peninsula and dining room table, etc. so that as people arrive, they can set up their craft at a station. Additionally, they should set up printed instructions, as well as an example of the craft  already made.
  • If their craft requires hot glue guns, the stove, microwave or other more difficult items, ask parents (or teens) to stay at the station to supervise. 

Now the Fun begins!

Parents and kids move from workstation to workstation, creating crafts. It’s helpful for the hostess to have a place for crafts to sit or dry while people visit and move about. You could have a specific spot set aside with paper plates and kids names on them to gather their crafts between stations.  Additionally, have large paper bags or boxes available for people to collect their crafts in or let people know to bring their own. 

Be sure to take plenty of pictures that you share after the day of the party! 

Pro Tips 

Crafts don’t have to be super complex to be a lot of fun and something the kids really enjoy. 

Kids love making items that they can give to family as Christmas gifts, or hang on the tree. 

Expect a mess but let people know how much mess you’ll put up with. Glitter might be a no-go at your house, and that’s o.k. as long as people know ahead of time.

Popular Crafts

  • Ornaments
  • Pourable soap
  • Soup and beverage mixes
  • Gift tags
  • Peg dolls
  • Nature crafts
  • Shrink art
  • Shadow box ornaments
  • Chip Clips
  • Jewelry

You could use this as an opportunity for your tweens and teens to gain some life skills by coordinating the party with you. This makes a great homeschool group or co-op party idea too.

You may decide to do it every year. It’s a great way to share the season with others and will provide many happy memories of crafting and visiting!

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25 Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving!

25 Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving!

Celebrate Thanksgiving

We love to celebrate Thanksgiving. At our house it means dedicated days to enjoy each other’s company, visiting, cooking and eating. While there are certain recipes that we always make and certain things we often do, we are always on the look-out for new ways to celebrate together! Traditions are important because they give us a sense of belonging and community. Holidays help us remember our values as well as personal and collected history. Here we’ve gathered 25 things to do to ensure that your Thanksgiving Holiday is a delightful day of gathering with friends and family!

25 Ideas for Celebrating Together

  1. Breakfast: Set out a simple continental breakfast, a lovely quiche or pumpkin muffins, orange juice, and coffee to fuel the troops till the feasting begins.
  2. Board Games: Are de rigor when we get some time together- especially when we get together to celebrate Thanksgiving and other holidays! Some of our favorites are; Bananagrams, Codenames, Trails and Rails, Eclipse, Risk, Agricola and, of course, Settlers of Catan!
  3. Books: When our kids were younger, we’d set out a Thanksgiving Day basket full of books, including; Eating Plates, Sarah Morton’s Day, Samuel Eaton’s Day, On Plymouth Plantation, Tapenum’s Day, The Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving, Squanto’s Journey and If you Sailed on the Mayflower – to name a few!
  4. Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: You’re never too old for Charlie Brown and friends! You’ll get a brief overview of the first Thanksgiving in 1621. Snoopy then serves up a holiday feast which includes buttered toast, pretzel sticks, popcorn, jelly beans, and ice cream sundae.
  5. Comedy:  We are always on the look-out for good comedy and love to share with others! One of our favorites is John Branyon’s 3 Little Pigs
  6. Corn Kernels: Put five kernels of corn (candy corn, works too if you don’t have access to real kernels!) by each place setting, in honor of the first Thanksgiving, and have everyone go around the table and name five blessings they experienced this year.
  7. Create a Cornucopia: Create a cornucopia for your Thanksgiving centerpiece or buffet table. My mom used to have a simple cornucopia basket that we’d decorate each year with leaves, pinecones, and flowers!  The meaning of cornucopia comes from the Latin words “cornu” meaning horn and “copia” meaning plenty. The cornucopia is a common harvest symbol associated with plenty. If you can’t find a basket one, bake an edible one out of bread! A quick internet search will help you find a plethora of ways to create a beautiful and edible centerpiece!
  8. Cyber Monday: Along with other on-line companies, True North Homeschool Academy has some amazing specials coming up that you are not going to want to miss!
  9. Food:  We love good food, are all busy and have some dietary restrictions to work around.  Sometimes our Thanksgiving table looks traditional and sometimes not so much! Each year we tweak, plan and prep for a few days before the big day so that there are plenty of left-overs to feed the masses over the weekend and we can spend more time visiting.
  10. Give a Toast: Before the meal begins, raise your glasses and honor the occasion. Giving a toast lends a festive air and is a lovely way to celebrate Thanksgiving and all that you are thankful for!
  11. Gratitude Garland: Have a basket of pre-cut, fall-colored construction paper chains and pens near-by so people can write down what they are thankful for. Start linking up and create your décor as you go- add to the chain over the holidays!
  12. Hostess Gift: Take along some Tupperware if you find yourself a guest during the Thanksgiving weekend and help your hostess out with storing and sharing yummy left-overs! Leftovers are just a natural extension as we celebrate Thanksgiving, so we always make plenty so we will have enough to nosh on the rest of the weekend. Of course, a delicious side dish, flowers or homemade preserves would also be a lovely hostess gift.
  13. Maker Space: Set up a simple craft table with a tried and true holiday craft like the Thanksgiving apple or Handprint turkeys. These crafts are simple and fun to create!
  14. Place cards: Create beautiful place cards for the table so everyone knows where they belong. Write an encouraging note, scripture verse or a blessing on the back as a keepsake.
  15. Ping-pong or Air -Hockey: These are fun diversions and a great way to get multiple ages and stages interacting together. Both beginners and your super talented people can visit while they play.
  16. Pray Together: Join hands and pray – your prayer can be a simple one, a collective one, or a traditional one. You can find traditional prayers online, or pray through a Psalm together. You could even print these out for each place setting ahead of time.
  17. Take a Hike: If the weather is nice enough, get outside after the traditional turkey and take a hike. Encourage the littles to find as many colors in nature as possible, or to identify various sounds. If you have enough of a group, play a round of flag football or ultimate Frisbee.
  18. Tell Family Stories and Sing Songs: Every family has its share of fun, wild and wonderful stories! Tell about the time you had the canoe misadventure, or your latest vacation, or about when Grandma was little. Stories are a wonderful way to bond together and re-visit shared history. And don’t forget the joy of the sing-along. When I was little, no visit to my Grandparents was complete without a trip to Aunt Dolly’s house, where we would all gather around the piano and sing together. Church hymns are wonderful, but simple rounds and camp songs are delightful as well.
  19. Thankful Tree: Create a thankful tree with branches, spray painted if you like, and “planted” in a decorative pot. Set out construction paper leaves and markers and have friends and family write down what they’re grateful for on a leaf, then attach to the branches.
  20. Set the Table: Put a leaf in the table, pull out the tablecloth and set out your best dishes. Don’t forget a centerpiece, napkins, and lovely place setting cards. Put on some soft background music and light candles, then gather together to talk, laugh and enjoy a beautiful meal together.
  21. Show Gratitude: Set up a letter-writing station complete with beautiful stationery, colorful pens, and stamps for easy mailing to truly celebrate Thanksgiving by honoring those who have enriched your life in the past year! Give everyone time to write a letter of gratitude to a special friend who has blessed them this past year. A wonderful activity and sweet takeaway of the day.
  22. Serve: Donate coats to kids in need, serve in a soup kitchen and donate to your favorite charity, such as Blessing Bethlehem!
  23. Turkey’s Away: WKRP’s Turkey’s Away episode is still funny, after all these years! “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!”
  24. TV: Of course the Macy’s Day Parade is a Thanksgiving Day staple, along with afternoon football. If neither of those of your cup of tea, check out the National Dog Show!
  25. Video Chat: Visit with Far-away Family and Friends! You can use Zoom free for 40 minutes at a go! Of course, it’s not the same, but when your married kids live half a country away, it is the next best thing!

 

More Celebration Ideas

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving? We’d love to hear about what you do to make the holiday memorable! 

If you would like more fun ideas for creating family traditions and celebrating the season, download our free Fall Bucket List Printable or our Fall Activity Ideas Printables to help you plan now!

Virtual Field Trips

Virtual Field Trips

 

Virtual Field Trips are a great way to see the world, even if you are on a strict schedule or tight budget. With today’s technology, field trips can be just a click away. I’ve compiled a list of Virtual Field Trips below. Some are fun, but all are guaranteed to bring learning to you! 

Get ready to reclaim Field Trip Friday (or any other day of the week, for that matter) with these 26 virtual museum resources. Create engaging, active learning with fun virtual field trips.

This round-up style list of virtual museums has something to learn and explore for every age and curiosity.  Have fun as a family or invite a group of friends to hang out together because these are perfect for home or small learning communities that are gathering digitally to learn and use the world as their classroom. Where will you explore first?

Explore the United States with these Fascinating Virtual Museum Tours

Use The World As Your Classroom with Virtual Museum Tours at 11 World-Famous Museums

Th Thinker Statue wears virtual reality goggles.No passport is required! Learn about all kinds of things from the best museums in the world. From art to artifacts, science firsts to exploring Mars. It’s all right at your fingertips.  There is no better way to inspire and encourage a broad worldview than by visiting museums and outdoor exhibits that allow for inquisitive exploration. Now, thanks to technology, you can give your child the world right in your own living room.

Museums to Visit Online

  • Le Louvre – Studying art this year? Check out this World Famous Museum! So many resources and so little time. It’s perfect for art project ideas, artist studies, and art appreciation.
  • Secrets of Easter Island This is a beautiful website put together by Nova and PBS. It includes a tour of the island and the game Move a Megalith. So much fun!
  • Virtual Farm Tours: Learn more about the wonders of agriculture with your students through this panoramic tour of farms in Ontario.
  • Reach the World at home resources. Each of these kid-friendly journeys follows the experiences of a stand-out Reach the World traveler as they dive head-first into an exciting new country and culture. Super fun for geography & country studies!
  • Museo Galileo Institute and Museum of the History of Science View over 1,200 objects on the permanent exhibition!  There is so much to learn about Galileo Galilei in this interactive, online museum. Middle & High Schoolers may also enjoy a deep-dive Galileo unit study. The Let’s Study Galileo: Science & Truth is a unit study exploring the life and famous works of Gallileo using artifacts and resources from the museum.
  • Holocaust Museum Tour Find pictures, video, and art from the Holocaust Museum. Use the virtual tour along with teaching resources and survivor stories as you help your family understand the tragedy of the holocaust. 
  • Online Exhibitions from the Natural History Museum in London– explore art themes, botanical illustrations, and save images of your favorite exhibits. Perfect for an indoor nature study on a cold winter’s day.
  • British Museum investigate, and have fun adventuring through the many virtual galleries! Learn more about Roman Britain and Egyptian mummies with in-depth studies that correspond with gallery artifacts.
  • Tour the Sistine Chapel – explore the paintings on your computer. This is the same dizzying experience as doing it in person … but without the neck-ache. Being able to zoom in and see the detail of these amazing panels is actually better than being there in person! Grab your sketchbook and spend the day in Vatican City!  
  • The Great Wall of China Virtual Tour– this 360-degree tour of parts of the Great Wall is impressive.  You can advance on the wall as if walking. Jump on the stationary bike or treadmill and visit China for PE class today!
  • Ancient Greek Mythology Virtual Tour – studying the Ancient Greeks or mythology? This interactive virtual tour of the Acropolis in Greece is perfect for learning more about this ancient culture.

Virtual Tours That are Out of This World

  • Explore an Estuary – if your students are studying the tides, ocean, or water dwellers, this is an excellent site. Explore habitats, migration patterns, and climate impact using any of the resources from all over the USA.

Can’t get enough of these virtual field trip options? Don’t worry; we have more suggestions and companion resources for you! I’d love to hear how you incorporate virtual field trips into your homeschooling! Share your favorites in the comments below!

Learn more about the author, curriculum creator, and True North Homeschool Academy Teacher, Shannan Swindler.