Monday, November 14, 2011

Thankful Toddler Turkey Banner

Kim over at Newlywoodwards is hosting a DIY blog party challenge for the next few weeks and I  thought I'd join in since she's pretty darn swell.

Dare to DIY

This week, in anticipation of Thanksgiving, the theme is:

Dare to be... THANKFUL!

So, after browsing Pinterest for ideas, I was thrilled when Mary-Carolyn Longbrake pinned this charming little banner:

Awesome. Decision made. I'm stealing Mary-Carolyn's pin like a thief in the night. Now... Time to make this activity toddlerific!

Step 1: Convince toddler that it's fun to trace hands onto paper.

Step 2: Pin toddler's hand to paper and trace to the best of your abilities as he squirms all over the place and tries to escape because he doesn't think it's fun at all. Perhaps he thinks if I capture the shape of his hand on paper, I will be able to steal his soul?

Or maybe my kid just has alien shaped hands. You'll never know...

Step 3: Find some cute scrapbooking paper to trace your modified hand template onto. Or, maybe just steal some of your kid's fingerpaintings off of the fridge.

Yeah. Much better idea. This is Joseph's banner after all.

Step 4: Cut out as many turkey hands as needed. Keep scissors away from toddler. No matter how sad he pretends to be.

Step 5: Alphabet sticker time. I let Joseph do the honors.

It took some fierce concentration and some straightening assistance from Mommy, but we managed to spell out "Happy Thanksgiving".

Step 6: Add beaks, eyes, and legs to your turkeys and then sew them together to create a banner.

I actually really love how it turned out. It's not quite as cute and neat as the Pinterest inspiration, but it's mostly Joseph's work and that's what I like about it. Well, it's Joseph's work if you discount the cutting portion. It's not his fault his mother is unreasonable and won't even let him use safety scissors. Harumph.

In the spirit of Daring to Give Thanks, I wrote something we were thankful for on the back of each turkey. For example, Joseph is thankful for getting to play outside and having a toy lawn mower. I know this, because he went and grabbed his lawn mower when I asked him what he was thankful for. See? I speak Toddlerese. I also wrote down many things which I am grateful for... such as my husband, fantastic sisters, our home, getting to be an aunt, etc. It's all there on the turkeys.

We don't host Thanksgiving, but we do attend several different family Thanksgivings. So, I think we are going to take the banner along with us for the festivities. I think Gran and Grandmom will like it ;).

And, since I'm keeping things real... here's the banner with the view of my kitchen. The sewing machine is sitting on the kitchen counter because that's where I put the banner together, there are dishes and suitcases everywhere, and Joseph is methodically removing all of the ABC magnets from the front of the fridge. Because he's helpful like that.

Thank you Kim for hosting a party and thank you Mary Carolyn for your pinning awesomeness. Now, since I'm feeling the Thanksgiving spirit, I'm off to write some long overdue thank you notes.


  1. Caroline! You are a genius! I wanted to make this over the weekend, but I thought, "woe is me, I have no cute fall-ish paper." I would never have thought to use the many hundreds of finger paintings I will never be able to throw away.

  2. I love it! And what a clever idea to use finger paintings you already have! Love that it's so darn personal.

    Thanks for playing along this week.

  3. i LOVE this! meaningful art is the best kind! you will treasure this, especially as he gets older. i love that it will be a travelling show too :)

  4. a) Joseph looks possessed while gleefully finger-painting. Hilarious.
    b) Rob makes that same face when he's concentrating. They must be related.
    c) I'm a little sad you didn't use the alien-hands.
    d) I love you for being excited to be an aunt. :)

  5. Darling Joseph,
    Your Great Aunt Jennifer will let you use safety scissors, when you are sitting with me and we will promise mommy not to change any hairstyles or experiment with cutting up anything that is important to her! Tell Mommy that you are a very capable young man and would never consider anything like that while she was watching you! You are, by the way truly adorable! We love you and your Mommy and Daddy too!
    Your Iowa family!


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