This year I really wanted to do something special for my children since we finally have friends who live close enough to come to events, BUT....I am on an extremely tight budget??? Ah, it turned out to not be so expensive after all! It just took a little pre-planning.
When homeschooling, sometimes the budget just doesn't allow one to do all the fun things one would like. I hope this gives another family the courage to go ahead and try! I learned everything did not have to be super fancy (or sparkling clean!) to have fun.
Once I knew I wanted to do this celebration, each week when I went to the store I simply picked up one to three items for the celebration. The items I had to buy included styrofoam bowls, plastic spoons, styrofoam cups, napkins, two craft kits (I found these in the clearance section for $2.50 each!), 2 bottles of vegetable juice, drinks, apple cider, and bay leaves. Most of the items were around two dollars, so adding them to a shopping trip didn't bust the budget.
We started the actual celebration out by making Thanksgiving Soup. The invitation included a list of ingredients that could be added to soup. We asked each child pick one item from the list to bring and add to the soup. I had already made the soup base ahead of time so that it was ready when everyone arrived. As each family arrived the items were added to the soup to cook while all the other activities were taking place. The moms also enjoyed a cup of hot caramel apple cider that I had put together earlier in the morning.
When everyone was here, and we could corral all the children, 12 total, I believe, I started our activities by reading Stone Soup. ( I didn't like the pictures in this version, but it was the only copy I had.) We then talked about how they had brought ingredients to help make our Thanksgiving soup. We even made a quick graph.
Then we moved on and made our crafts. They made turkeys and place mats/pictures. Some children didn't want to make anything and moved on to playing which was fine too. Then point of the day was just to have fun. These are some of the pictures of the crafts.
Next, we moved outside to play Stuff the Turkey. This was just a fun relay game where the children who wanted to play divided into two teams. Each team had a turkey (a pillow case) to stuff. One person raced down to the stuffing (old newspapers), got one (or two or three!) pieces of paper, stuffed it into the turkey and ran back to hand the turkey off to the next person in line. Each person had two turns. The team that finished first won. Both teams finished at the same time, of course. ;) We didn't get a picture of the activity.
Then, we went on a scavenger hunt to find pieces of our turkeys to put it together. I made up clues, cut out really strange looking feathers ;) to write them on, and cut out pieces of the turkey to have at each station. My husband hid the zip-top bags containing the clues and pieces at each of my stations while we read and did crafts. This a picture of my clues and an example of the turkey pieces that were in each bag. I had a couple bottles of glue that we toted to each station. The moms, my husband, and I helped with gluing the pieces at each stop.
When we were done, each child had a complete turkey. Well, it was almost complete. I made the tail feathers white so that each child could color them later, and the poor turkeys needed eyes to be drawn on, too!
This was the very last station. There was a bag for each child. Once inside, the children could reuse the bag for their crafts to take home. Each bowl was immediately filled with soup, and we enjoyed the meal we created together. Yeah, well, the soup should've been turned up or cooked longer, but it was still good! lol! I can think of only one thing in life that is perfect, so it was okay. Just being together and enjoying the fellowship of each other was enough.
Until we meet again, may you be blessed!