Kid Friendly Thanksgiving Table Decor

Post written by Paging Supermom

 

Hosting Thanksgiving is so much fun, but it’s also a crazy bunch of work. We are here to help get the kid friendly Thanksgiving table decor checked off your to-do list, and also to convince you to use our favorite Pumpkin Pie shortcut. Shortcuts not for you? Then don’t miss this killer recipe for the easiest, homemade Pecan Pie.

Kid Friendly Thanksgiving Table Decor We have been known to cringe at store-bought decorations but count on Land of Nod to provide the kind of details you’d expect from something homemade, like those real string bows on the pilgrim’s bonnet in this Thanksgiving Cupcake Kit. We used the liners and toppers to make our Cornbread Muffins more festive (click here for our favorite Cornbread Muffin Recipe).

We adore all the details of the Land of Nod Thanksgiving Decor Collection, including the foil-stamped, gold accents.

The Thanksgiving Mini Garland looks adorable strung together with a couple of Orange Circle garlands. Land of Nod offers these geometric felt garlands in a variety of colors, and they are super handy to have tucked away in your party box.

Kid Friendly Thanksgiving Table Decor - 2Set the kid’s table with our free printable Graph Paper Tablecloth and the Chalk Around the World Globe is the perfect, interactive centerpiece for your kid friendly Thanksgiving table decor. Get the free download of these Atlantic Ocean Placemats then add sails to straws (using this free template) to turn cups into boats. There is also a spot on the placemats where children can write what they are thankful for.

Kid Friendly Thanksgiving Table Decor - 3It’s always a good idea to have a few activities to keep little hands busy on Thanksgiving Day. These Pilgrim Cookie Cutters and a set of playdough will do the job quite nicely.

Thanksgiving Pilgrim Cookie CuttersYour little ones will also get a kick out of taking turns being the chef as they assemble this pretend turkey. Be sure to snag this adorable Pull Apart Poultry toy, and download our free printable Turkey Platter and Garnish.

Kids Play Food: Thanksgiving Turkey

Kids Play Food: Thanksgiving Turkey - 2Before or after dessert, serve up a little educational fun with a homemade Fraction Pie. Print our free Fraction Pie templates on cardstock and cut out the pieces. You may wish to laminate for added durability. We used a recycled pie tin to hold our pie pieces.

Kids Thanksgiving Activity: Make A Fraction PieWant more? Head here for more free printables and family-friendly Thanksgiving ideas.

Paging Supermom is written by “Sometimes Supermoms” Aimée and Bettijo, and came to be after many discussions with each other sharing their best insights on homemaking, parenting, party planning, teaching, playing and sometimes simply surviving. They soon discovered that although they can’t claim to be super all the time, each had their own moments. By sharing successes (and some of the funny moments when they fell flat on their faces), they hope to inspire others to find their inner superhero a little more often.

DIY Halloween Spider Straws

Written by Aleah and Nick of Valley & Co.

Halloween really brings out the kid in us and each year we get so excited to pull out all of the stops to decorate for the festivities. Pumpkins galore, dried corn stalks, creepy bats, aged scary silhouettes, and freshly made apple cider and home-baked goods are some of our Halloween must-haves for entertaining. This year will be our first Halloween as parents so now we can truly justify decking the halls with fun! To add the perfect dose of eeriness to a Halloween meal, surprise the kiddos with these Spooky Halloween Spider Straws. It’s a simple project that yields scary results!

MATERIALS YOU’LL NEED:
For the straws: paper straws || plastic spiders || faux spiderwebs || hot glue gun
For the glass: orange sprinkles {or rimming sugar} || water || tall glass

Kids Craft: DIY Halloween Spider Straws

Step 1. warm up your hot glue gun and dab a bead of glue towards the top of the straw

DIY Halloween Spider Straws - Step 1Step 2. gently press a spider onto the glue, holding into place while the glue dries
DIY Halloween Spider Straws - Step 2 DIY Halloween Spider Straws - 3Step 3: prepare a small piece of the spiderweb and turn the spider over. Place a few dabs of hot glue on several of the legs and secure the spiderweb onto each bead, stretching it as you go and pulling over the top of the spider.

DIY Halloween Spider Straws - 4Ta-da!

DIY Halloween Spider Straws - 5Serve up these spooky straws in a big glass of milk on Halloween morning and make it extra festive by adding a pop of edible orange fun! Pour a mound of orange sprinkles into a small plate. Rub the rim of a glass with water and turn the glass upside down, rolling the rim in the sprinkles until it’s coated. Then carefully pour the milk into the glass.

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DIY Halloween Spider Straws - 8 DIY Halloween Spider Straws - 6 DIY Halloween Spider Straws - 7 Party planning tip: If you’re hosting a Halloween gathering, set out a side table welcoming your guests with pre-rimmed glasses with straws at the ready. Let guests garnish drinks {whether it’s milk or other libations} with all sorts of fun elements like edible red flowers, frozen spiders {simply place plastic spiders in an ice cube tray and fill with water to freeze}, or raspberries {use them frozen if you want them to attain a dripping red look as they melt}.

Who else is as excited for Halloween as we are?

Nick and Aleah Valley, of Valley & Co., began planning and designing utterly fantastic celebrations in 2003. They also pen Valley & Co. Lifestyle, an entertaining blog, where they share their pro party planner tips, effortless entertaining ideas, recipes, and tips on how they balance family life with running a business. Their entertaining and party tips are frequently sought after for publications like Better Homes and Gardens, Sunset Magazine, BRIDES Magazine, Occasions Magazine, and many more. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram

Milk & Cookies Birthday Party

Hi there! I’m Kelsey Nixon. I host a cooking show on Cooking Channel called Kelsey’s Essentials and I recently wrote my first cookbook, Kitchen ConfidenceMost importantly, I’m a mom to 2 year old Ollie! I recently threw a birthday bash for him celebrating with two of his favorite things – milk & cookies! He’s also a big fan of Elmo and Cookie Monster, so this was an attempt to do something that he really loved, but that didn’t have an overly pronounced character theme. After throwing a big party for his 1st birthday where I made all of the food (and ran myself ragged during the process), I decided to just focus on a fun cake this year and not worry about feeding all of our guests an entire meal. By scheduling the casual party later in the afternoon at the park, this worked really well. No one showed up super hungry, yet they were all happy to have a little something fun to eat.

Milk and Cookies Birthday Party

Once I decided to focus on the cake, I knew immediately that I wanted to do a chocolate chip cookie layer cake. I’d never made a “cookie cake” before, but felt like it seemed simple enough to tackle. I altered my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe slightly to make it more of a bar cookie – meaning that it was a bit thicker and more soft on the inside with crispy edges.

I used a springform pan to make the layers the exact same shape, but you could do the same thing with a standard cake pan as well. For the layers of frosting I used a cream cheese based recipe that wasn’t too sweet. I was worried that the weight of the cookies would be too much for the frosting, but it ended up working out just fine and the tart flavor of the cream cheese layers was a great compliment to the sweet cookies. I assembled the cake the day before since I had to work the morning of the party and ended up storing the cake loosely covered in the refrigerator. I didn’t want the frosting to become too soft causing the layers to shift, but I also didn’t want the refrigerator to dry out the cookie. It ended up working out perfectly, and if I were to make the cake again, I’d follow the same method of completing it the day before and storing it in the refrigerator until party time. I sliced the cake with a serrated knife to make sure that I could easily get through the layers.

The cake looked as good as it tasted and ended up being a great conversation piece for the adults throughout the party – I think everyone went home with a verbal tutorial! You can find the full recipe and detailed directions here.

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When it came to the decorating details, I used many of the same decorations that we had used at his 1st birthday party. We kept the same color scheme and reused a darling garland (similar here) that felt fun and festive with blues and greens. I’m a big fan of Shop Sweet Lulu and think that they do a great job of curating party decorations. I was able to find some additional details like this number 2 balloon  these mini milk jugs  and these paper goods that helped bring our simple theme to life and made the get together feel celebratory. I used Cookie Crisp cereal to fill the mini milk jugs for favors and also used the crispy cereal pieces to decorate the straws that everyone enjoyed with their milk. I also had some fresh fruit as an option to balance out all the sweets. We used this small picnic table to set up a few details and it was awesome. One of my favorite family purchases for summer!

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Milk and Cookies Birthday Party: Cookie Birthday Cake

Milk and Cookies Birthday Party: Stacked Cookie Birthday Cake

Milk and Cookies Birthday Party: Cookie Cake

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We held the party at a playground in Central Park that had a small grassy area where we could all congregate. It was perfect for toddlers because the playground kept them contained, yet the adults were still able to mingle a bit on the grass without having to chase their toddlers everywhere. This parachute was fun for both the parents and kids to play with on and off throughout the afternoon.

Overall, I put in a little bit of effort and felt like we all had a great experience – most importantly Ollie had a blast! Since I wasn’t so concerned about preparing an entire menu, I was able to focus on Ollie and our guests more. It was a much more enjoyable experience this year! Just like any mom out there, I love the idea of throwing birthday parties for my kids that look like they fell from the pages of Pinterest, but I also know that it’s important to be realistic and not overwhelm yourself. This little party felt like a good balance where I focused on a few details (cake, small favors, cookie straws) and let everything else just fall into place.

Milk and Cookies Birthday Party - 2nd Birthday

Happy Birthday Ollie! 2 years old has never looked so good!

Kelsey Nixon (www.kelseynixon.com) is the host of Kelsey’s Essentials on Cooking Channel and author of Kitchen Confidence. Kelsey’s Essentials is also currently airing Mon-Thurs at 3pm on Food Network. Kelsey, her husband Robby, and son Oliver (“Ollie”) live in New York City. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Kids Science Club

Post by Rebecca and Suzanne of A Feteful Life

Summer Activity: Kids Science Club

Hello friends! We had so, so much fun with our recent book club that when The Land of Nod asked us what else we had in store for our kiddos this summer, we knew instantly that we had to expand our group to include science. All of our kids have an interest in the subject and we knew once we put together a little party for the club, they’d be all over it. And they were — despite the sweltering afternoon summer heat (btw, how cute is our motley crew!?!).

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Fortunately for us, The Land of Nod carries the most stylish party goods perfectly suited for our club: The Meri Meri Fundamental Party Collection. The bright colors and graphic prints are right up our alley and the incorporation of real scientific principles, concepts and theory make them much more than just pretty partyware. Good looking and smart — a combo we can get behind.

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In addition to the party collection, we decorated the entrance to our gathering with a fabulous customizable Pennant Garland spelling out the name of our club. We hung Land of Nod’s gorgeous periodic table of elements Science Banner front and center over our lab for the day. Suzanne’s son Brady is a bit chemistry-obsessed and was over the moon to see the periodic table! We were equally impressed with the quality of canvas and beautiful colors of the artwork. We also draped a graph paper bunting, which we made using our free pennant bunting template, along the top of the elements banner. And even though a table full of sweets was sitting nearby, our kids wasted no time in getting right to the experiments.

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We set up three relatively straightforward experiments: making slime; mixing colors; and creating “snow” (you can download free printable blank experiment labels over at A Feteful Life).

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I was surprised that the color mixing seemed to be everyone’s favorite. The kids used their custom periodic element initialed lab notebooks (we had to make them after the book club notebooks were such a big hit!) to hypothesize which two colors they needed to mix to achieve their desired result. They took it very seriously and even experimented mixing different ratios of two primary colors to get what they wanted. The “snow” was another messy hit and Suzanne and I were grateful we held the meeting outdoors!

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While we waited for the slime to finish congealing, we turned to snack time. I set up a drink as an experiment itself by prepping one of my favorite party drinks: cotton candy + lemonade (a little trick I learned from Sweet Paul awhile ago). When you add lemonade to colored cotton candy … it changes color! Well, the party decided to take it a step further for us. It was so HOT outside that the cotton candy had lost all its moisture and completely solidified. The kids thought it was a hysterical “experiment.” No worries, the lemonade still changed color when we poured it over the petrified candy and earned oohs and aahs from our crowd.

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I added periodic element flags to the awesome graph paper straws, which we slipped into the beaker cups. The kids all loved finding their own initialed straw. We served puffed corn snacks and berries in clear cups, which we decorated with leftover stickers from the party collection. For some more sweet, we served up a plate of “whoopie pi,” which sat on a cake stand decorated with a handmade graph paper mini bunting.

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We obviously can’t resist DIY accessorizing, so we put together cute labels to wrap around chocolate milk boxes and custom confetti, too. You can find all of the items, including the periodic element flags, in our printable party pack.

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To keep the science going after the club adjourned, each kiddo took home an edible experiment: DIY Rock Candy (you can download the free printable favor tag at A Feteful Life). The favor kit included all non-grocery items needed to grow your own rock candy. And I used the bright cupcake wrappers from the Meri Meri kit to top a mason jar containing it all.My kids can’t wait to try it!

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It must be obvious from the photos, but we so loved our Science Club. And we think you should have one too! To get you started, we designed an invitation to go with the party pack. Hope your own little scientists are staying busy this summer. Fete on!

Rebecca and Suzanne are bloggers, graphic designers, and event stylists living in Washington, DC.  Rebecca is a mom to two young kiddos and, in her spare time (ha!), likes to pretend she’s a back-up dancer, craft cocktails, and run long distances. Suzanne is a big fan of good design, good wine, and her two rambunctious little boys. They share DIY lifestyle and event styling projects at A Feteful Life. Rebecca also blogs kid-friendly projects at Not-So-SAHM.