Saturday, November 22 – Family Fun Time: Thanksgiving


I get nervous planning programs. What if no one comes? What if it’s stupid? What if my boss walks in, takes one look, and says, “Annabelle, this is the worst program I’ve ever seen. You are fired.”

(The last is probably not likely, but these are the thoughts that zoom around my head nevertheless.)

It’s funny, because the Family Fun Times I do are generally two parts: the storytimes and the crafts. I don’t have any lack of confidence in my storytimes (I can do them with my eyes closed now), but often the crafts worry me. This time, though, I felt it was backwards. The Thanksgiving books I pulled turned out fine: a simple, introductory book about the holiday, and two “fun” books: a song I bet you know, and a riff on a traditional Christmas poem. The latter two were big hits with the little ones. A good time was had by all, and I felt glad.

Surprisingly, the craft went even better, because I had a brainstorm while planning it.

Have you ever combined kids and paint? Yeah, you have. Did you regret it later? Yeah, you did. I wanted to do handprint turkeys, but the idea of dipping kids’ hands into paint made me hyperventilate. So I had a brainstorm: why not paint the kids’ hands with a brush, and have them just press their hands on the paper?

I’m a genius. You know I was on Jeopardy!, right? I really was. And it’s because I come up with ideas like that.

So I decided to make myself the guinea pig as I put the materials together.

I painted my hand. Orange is fun. Apparently it’s the new black.


Then I pressed it carefully onto the medium of choice – a paper plate. After about 5 seconds, I peeled my hand away, and was left with this.

photo (2)

Look at my weird heart-shaped palm divot! I also learned that, while I went to wash my hand, the (simple washable tempera) paint dried, so I later sent the kids to wash their hands immediately after removing them from the plates, so they could begin decorating once they finished washing.

We had lots of little decorating doodads, so I created Stanley the Turkey:

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My attempt worked well, so I figured it couldn’t go too wrong with the kids, and it didn’t. We had a blast! Here are some of their finished turkeys. Even the parents, after helping their little ones, made their own. So cute.

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After I told them that I had named my turkey Stanley, and created a companion for him, Ursula, they all named their turkeys too.

It was a great program with a solid turnout. A good day.


In the top spot, Jacqueline Woodson won the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature for Brown Girl Dreaming. AWESOME.

The Burt Reynolds one is the worst.

From Friend D:

Who wouldn’t want to see more Margaret Atwood books on the big screen?

‘Cause everyone’s equal in the scary dystopias!

YA historical fiction is so necessary, and when it’s done well, it packs a punch.

From Mama Bear:

If you’re a longtime reader, you didn’t need this article to enlighten you.

Karen Katz is a staple of my storytimes, so her presence in this group is a terrific surprise.

One should always work “malaprop” into as many conversations as possible.

Harper Lee’s sister died.

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I had forgotten that I’d meant to read Deborah Harkness’ witch trilogy, so I picked up A Discovery of Witches. I’d read that first book a few years ago at my old job, but didn’t remember any of it. I’ve just finished it – enjoyed it a lot – and picked up #2 today. #3 is on hold.


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