Category Archives: Thanksgiving

Make the most of family time this fall with books

 

by Melissa Perry
Program Coordinator
Family Reading Partnership

Piles of crunchy leaves, a spicy bite in the air, chilly mornings, and flocking geese; all these signs point to fall. When this time of year rolls around, we tend to take notice of and truly appreciate the colorful, yet slowly browning outside world, with a few moments of summer-like sun sprinkled in for good measure. We spend more time at home enjoying the warmth thrown off by a baking oven overflowing with delicious, tempting smells, and lingering just that much longer in the comfort of a cozy blanket with a steaming cuppa and a few good books. Children love the extra family time that comes as a result and reading together is the best way to make the most of it.

Here are some ideas of expanding on your time spent reading together and incorporating books into your fall activities.

‘Leaf Man’ by Lois Ehlert, is a book that features collages of real leaves made to tell the story of the very busy leaf man, traveling wherever the wind takes him. You may enjoy taking a walk outside to collect leaves to make your own leaf people and animals. What types of leaves work best for feet? Heads? Hair?

‘Why Do Leaves Change Color?’ by Betsy Maestro teaches you all about why and how leaves change in the fall when the weather turns cool. You can explore the park or your yard to see what kinds of leaves you can find and talk about how and why the leaves change from green to red, yellow, orange, and brown. If you find a green leaf, make a guess at what color it might turn!

Explore different types of leaves with ‘Autumn Leaves’ by Ken Robbins. How many of the leaves in the book can you identify in your own back yard? To preserve the beautiful leaves and make your own book with them, cut contact paper to the desired size, then press leaves onto the sticky side of the paper. Carefully cover with another sheet of contact paper, slowly smoothing out the air bubbles. Make a cover out of a cereal box or construction paper and decorate.

To learn about the growth cycle of pumpkins, check out ‘Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden’ by George Levenson. You and your child will see the pumpkin’s process from seed, to plant, to fruit, and then as it decomposes. Try it with a pumpkin at home! Cut open a pumpkin and take a look at the seeds. You can even save a few to plant next year. Leave the pumpkin outside and watch it decompose as time goes on. You can even keep a diary of the pumpkin and draw pictures of how it looks as it changes.

‘Pumpkin Soup’ by Helen Cooper is a charming tale about a dog, a cat, and a duck that live together and make pumpkin soup together every night, each with their own special part of the process. Enjoy reading the recipe at the end of the book and following the steps to make the pumpkin soup recipe with your family!

‘Cranberry Thanksgiving’ by Wende and Harry Devlin has always been a favorite at my house. This funny tale offers a glimpse of the New England autumn and teaches us not to judge others by their appearances. You’ll also find the secret recipe for Grandmother’s Famous Cranberry Bread in this book- a fall time favorite that you can recreate with your own family!

‘In November’ by Cynthia Rylant is a sweet story about how the earth and all it’s creatures prepare for winter. When you look outside or go for a walk, what winter preparations do you see taking place? What does your family do to get ready for winter?

 

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Delicious Reading for Thanksgiving

Reading, math, and science, colors, textures, and tastes­–cooking together with your child is multi-sensory fun that gives them much more than just good food to eat. Include your children in making family meals and see their confidence grow. Create some goodies for gifts and make snacks together and your children will learn about measuring, planning, and having patience while things cook. The more your children know about the food they eat and learn about cooking, the more adventurous they may be in what foods they will try!

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to cook with the young children in your life. Start a family tradition by making some delicious creations from kid-friendly cookbooks. The American Grandparents Association website, www.grandparents.com, recommends 12 cookbooks for kids and a grown-up helper. Here are a few:

pretend soup“Pretend Soup” by Mollie Katzen and Ann Henderson. Mollie Katzen collaborated with her son’s pre-school teacher to come up with vegetarian recipes for young children that are easy to make and easy to eat. Each recipe has a fanciful name but not fancy ingredients. Pre-readers can follow along by looking at the illustrations.

“C is for Cooking: Recipes from the Street.” Favorite characters from Sesame Street give directions for making nutritious dishes like Big Bird’s ABC Chicken Noodle Soup and Cookie Monster’s Homemade Peanut Butter with recipes from guest chefs. Each recipe has at least one or two steps that a child can do on his or her own and activities to do while cooking.

“Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes” by Felicity Dahl. Learn to make Mr. Twit’s Beard, Lickable Wallpaper, and Hot Ice Cream You Can Eat on Cold Days. Recipes are all foods from Roald Dahl’s classic books including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “James and the Giant Peach.” Read a book, then cook together and bring the story to life!

“Kids’ Fun and Healthy Cookbook,” a DK book. This cookbook teaches basic cooking skills with step-by-step illustrated instructions. You’ll find recipes for Breakfast Crepes, Chicken Quesadillas, Tuna Noodle Casserole, Oven Fried Fish, and Ultimate Peanut Butter-Chocolate Squares as well as non-edible things to cook like homemade play dough and finger paint.

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