Do Not Panic. Here are 5 New(ish) Thanksgiving Traditions to Try in 2020
Your Thanksgiving celebrations may look different this year, but there is still so much to be grateful for. We give you 5 ideas to help you create new Thanksgiving traditions for 2020 and for years to come.
Have Turkey for Breakfast
Thanksgiving breakfast in my home was never a huge deal. Maybe a special pastry or warm cider, but with the stove preparing (and maybe already cooking) the Thanksgiving dinner, breakfast was kept simple. This year meals may be smaller, and perhaps you’ll have an open burner or electric skillet to make these super-cute Gobble Gobble Pancakes (via: bettycrocker.com). Created with freshly made pancakes, apple slices with a dust of cinnamon, raisin eyes, and carrot sticks for the beak and feet, you can get creative and have fun showing off, and then eating, your yummy turkey creations. I would serve them with hot cocoa or warm apple cider.
Make and Play with Leaves and Corn
These leaf sprites from Handmade Charlotte, make me so happy. They can play around the house, hold a place card, climb a LEGO® tower, or hang on to picture frames. Use the printable to help make these sweet sprites or create your own design for these friendly fall friends.
Get the kids to help create decorations for the table by making pony bead calico corn (via: onelittleproject.com). There are limitless combinations you can create, and they can be natural, neon, or based on the colors of your child’s favorite character.
Share Thanks and Love
We were the type of family who would occasionally go around the Thanksgiving table saying what we were thankful for that year. Why not use these thoughts to help make Thanksgiving décor for your home that can grow from year to year by making an “I Love You Pumpkin Garland” (via: somewhatsimple.com) and/or a “Thanksgiving Tree” (via: fun365.com). With each craft you write down what you are thankful for or what you love about your family and create a cute decoration out of it. What a lovely keepsake this could be!
Find a New Story
We love a good story, and here are two great stories about family and gratitude and taking a new approach to how we celebrate Thanksgiving.
Ten Thankful Turkeys by Angela Muse
One of the benefits of staying home, or closer to home, this Thanksgiving is the opportunity to maybe stay in your pajamas and get cozy watching a holiday special. One of my favorites is A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. It may not be the most popular Peanuts special, but the charm of a kid-made meal full of toast and popcorn coupled with the idea of doing the very best with what you’ve got at the moment, is a timeless message. You can watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving for free on PBS this weekend on November 22 at 7:30 p.m. Pop some corn, make some buttered toast, pull out that wonky lounge chair, and get ready to enjoy Thanksgiving week with your new traditions.
Our Magical Friends in Nature
Folklore say that our forests, gardens, and parks are home to magical creatures such as fairies and gnomes. Each year at Rockwood we celebrate this magic at Faerie Fest. This year we are going to celebrate them a little differently. We have gathered some stories, ideas and activities that celebrate our magical friends and help you immerse yourself in the wonders of nature.
Lets learn more about fairies and gnomes with some wonderful stories of curiosity kindness, and more.
Fairy Houses by Tracy Kane
A story about a young girl and the connection she makes with fairies during a family vacation in Maine. Learn about how she to create fairy houses using natural materials.
How To Grow Happiness by Kelly DiPucchio
Learn how Jerome the Gnome figures out how to grow happiness with a little help from his forest friends.
Village of Fairies and Elves Sleep Meditation
A soothing sleep meditation story for times when your little one needs to calm down, take a nap, or sleep.
Read more fairy and gnome stories on Hoopla with your Library Card
(Get a Delaware Library Card)
Fairy in Flight and Gnome on the Go Project
Embark on this adventure project and see the places where your magical friend can travel by participating in the Flat Fairy in Flight or Gnome on The Go Project (Modeled after The Flat Stanley Project)
- Draw a colorful picture of a fairy or gnome (or find a coloring page online of a fairy of a gnome) make multiple copies of your fairy or gnome and color it in if necessary.
- Drawing and coloring materials: crayons, markers, colored pencils
- Postage stamps
- Return address labels with the sender’s address
- List of names and addresses to send flat gnome or fairy
- Printed copies of project instruction sheet (see attached file)
- Draw a picture of a fairy or gnome friend (or find a coloring page online) print out multiple copies and cut each one out.
- Print out a general instruction sheet for each figure that will be sent (see attachment)
- Using art materials of your choice, add color and bring the gnome or fairy to life
- Address an envelope with the original mailing address and return address for each of the figures that will be sent [Example]
- Place the character and the instruction sheet in the addressed envelope.
- Add a pinch of fairy dust (glitter) in the envelope.
- Place the stamp on the envelope and place envelopes in mailbox.
- Await to receive responses via email to see the path the adventure took.
Make A Fairy or Gnome Friend
You can make a fairy or gnome out of ANYTHING you wish. But here are some cool projects to get you going. Be creative, and use what you have on-hand.
Fancy Flower Fairies [via: Untidy Artist]
Build a Home for Your Fairy or Gnome
Now that you've made some fair and gnome friends, make them a house! To help you along the way we have gathered a couple of projects for you. One uses materials you can find around your house or at a dollar store. The Second uses materials from nature that you can find in or around your back yard!
This sweet design is container in a plastic containers and uses craft and everyday materials of fun craft items you can find at a dollar store. Be as creative as you wish to make this a perfect home for your fairy or gnome.
This project uses natural materials from or around your yard and neighborhood. Pine cones, leaves, acorns, sticks, pine needs, seed pods and more! These whimsical abodes also blend right back into nature when your fairy or gnome friend is done with their visit.
Take a Trip to the Gnome Depot
Still feeling crafty? Make some cool home decor for your fair and gnome friends. Think of it as heading out to the Gnome Depot!
Show Off What You Made by Participating in the
Forest Friends Trails!
We have created a fun new way to celebrate our favorite magical forest friends this fall. Make a fairy or gnome sized dwelling to place along our Forest Friends Trails at Rockwood or Talley Day Parks! Your creation will be on display for the week of October 11-18 for all to enjoy. By submitting a dwelling you will be entered into a prize drawing. Your dwelling can be made out of any material, be creative! Looking for some dwelling design inspiration? This program is open to all ages. Find the link to rules along with a registration form below.
You will have two opportunities contribute to our Forest Friends Trails and to come out and enjoy the dwellings while you read a story with two new Trail Tails. All ages. FREE
Forest Friends Trails
October 11-18, dawn until dusk
Rockwood Park & Museum
4651 Washington Street Extension, North Wilmington
Talley Day Park at Brandywine Hundred Library
1308 Foulk Rd, North Wilmington
Make a Fairy Feast
July 3, 2020
4 (Non-Explosive) Ways to Celebrate The 4th of July!
Why the 4th of July?
July 4th is Independence Day in the USA, but why do we celebrate the 4th of July? It is a day we celebrate our freedom from British rule and the birth of the United States of America.
Watch, listen, or read one of the below resources to learn more about why we celebrate Independence Day on July 4!
Still looking for more information on Independence day?
- Watch Liberty Kids episode about the first Independence Day.
- Read a book about Independence Day on hoopla.
Red, White and Blue Treats and Crafts
Get ready to party with some cool treats and cooler crafts celebrating the USA, the red, white and blue and the Fourth of July!
Red, White and Blue Pudding Pops
A creamy dreamy treat with a patriotic twist! LINK [via: The Recipe Rebel]
Paper Plate and Paper Hats and Masks
- Uncle Sam Plate Mask [via:Chirping Moms]
- Patriotic Paper Hat [via:Little Stars Learning]
- Cardboard Tube Eagle [via:Crafts by Amanda]
- Statue of Liberty Crown and Torch Noise Maker [via: KIX Creativity Lab]
Add some ’POP’ to your celebration with these confetti popper “firecrackers”. All you need is some cardboard tubes; confetti; balloons; red, white and blue paper; scissors; and glue stick. LINK [via: Happiness is Homemade]
Salt Painting Fireworks!
Pedal in a Patriotic Parade
Parades are usually a staple for celebrating the Fourth of July, but with most parades being canceled this year, why not have an old-fashioned bike parade in your neighborhood?!
Have everyone decorate bikes, wagons, baby strollers and wheelchairs and have people parade around the neighborhood (safely distanced, of course).
Don’t forget the patriotic music!
- Star Spangled Banner, Military Anthems, America the Beautiful
- John Philip Sousa Marches
- This Land is Our Land
- Aaron Copeland , Rodeo
Play Patriotic Games
The day before the celebration, dip regular sized marshmallows individually into a bowl containing red and blue food coloring. Set aside to harden and dry. Leave some of the marshmallows white. [Get tips about dip dying marshmallows]
Get some golf tees and putters and have a contest to see who can drive their marshmallow the farthest.
Red, White and Blue Scavenger Hunt
Have someone hide a variety of red, white, and blue objects around the yard. (for example: pencils, puzzle pieces, crayons, markers, paper stars)
Give each player a bag, set the timer on your phone for 10 minutes and allow players to hunt around the yard for objects. They must locate items of each color red, white and blue.
Capture the Flag Tag
Purchase or make ten small American flags and divide players into 2 teams and the playing space into two territories. Place a marker down the middle of the play space to divide the space into two territories.
The object of the game is to have each team capture the five flags from their competitor’s territory and bring them back to their own territory without being tagged.
If a player gets tagged in the opponent’s territory while retrieving flags, they must give up the flags they retrieved and sit in the spot where they were tagged until one of their team members tags them and unfreezes them.
The forecast looks pretty good on July 4, but with organized fireworks displays cancelled, we are recommending you enjoy the evening with some night games, a family cookout, enjoying your bomb pops, and counting fireflies.
If you absolutely must see fireworks on the 4th of July here are 2 options for watching fireworks displays on TV:
The virtual celebration includes streamed fireworks as well as concerts, behind the scenes museum tours for many of Philadelphia’s museums, educational activities and so much more. LINK
PBS will be airing this annual July 4th celebration from Washington, D.C. beginning at 8:00 pm on July Fourth. The program includes pre-recorded virtual musical performances, inspirational readings, and segments honoring our country and current frontline national heroes battling Covid19. The program will close with a spectacular firework display that can be viewed from various points of view from cameras hidden throughout Washington, D.C. LINK
May 16, 2020
5 Ways to Celebrate Parks at Home for Parks to Kids Day
Today is the 10-year anniversary of Kids to Parks Day an initiative founded by the National Park Trust to get kids out into nature and into our wonderful city, state and national parks. This year, due to the realities of isolation and social distancing, the parks are coming to the kids in the form of Parks to Kids Day!
What is Kids to Parks (Parks to Kids) Day?
Kids to Parks Day is a national day dedicated to outdoor play and exploration of local, state, and national parks. “While discovering and exploring our parks, kids learn about park stewardship, outdoor recreation, STEM and the history of our country and its amazing national treasures – because kids need parks and parks need kids!” Learn more about Kids to Park Day at kidstoparks.parktrust.org.
Get the Buddy Bison’s Park Activity Book
Buddy Bison is the National Park Trust mascot for Kids to Parks Day. Buddy will help you safely plan a trip to a park and plan an action or activity to take such as park clean up, listening to nature and more. You can also download, print, and color one or all of the National Park coloring sheets from the National Park Trust where you can explore locations such as the Statue of Liberty National Monument, Padre Island National Seashore, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Katmai National Park and Preserve, and more!
Please note: If you are planning to find an isolated park spot to enjoy the day, please make sure you observe social distancing and wear a mask in the park if you are not able to do so. Please check the park’s website for other closings or restrictions. Seasonal fees may be in effect at state parks.
Become A National Park Junior Ranger at Home
Completing the steps to become a Junior Ranger is a fun activity many children enjoy when out on family visits to National Parks across the country. Since that is not possible right now, why not become a Junior Ranger online? While you’re at it, why not start here in Delaware and become a Junior Ranger for the First State National Historical Park? You can earn a virtual stamp at one of three levels depending on how many activities you complete. Learn more about earning your FSNHP Junior Ranger stamp online.
Go beyond Delaware and explore Junior Ranger programs at other National Parks, and find some really cool info and activities too. Yellowstone, Appomattox Court House, and Grand Teton National Parks, among others, offer online and virtual Junior Ranger programs.
Explore 3 Top National Parks, and More, at Home
Set up camp in your back yard or living room, grab your favorite watching device, and take a quick trip to explore Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and Biscayne National Parks. Then take a deeper dive by exploring National Parks through virtual tours and video hikes, as well as videos on Mud Pots, Devils Tower, and even the once restricted Minuteman Missile site. Top off the night with a nature documentary such as Yellowstone National Park for Kids or wind down and Spend a Relaxing Hour in Yellowstone’s Beautiful Landscapes, both available on YouTube, or watch National Parks Adventure on Netflix.
Plan a Fantasy Trip Going from Sea to Shining Sea and National Park to National Park
Let’s plan a fantasy trip across the USA traveling from National Park to National Park! Here are some tools you will need to do it. First, if you don’t have a map of the USA on hand, print one here and get started. You can do this however you like. Start with a park you really want to go visit, maybe Grand Teton National Park, and then connect the states from here to there finding a National Park in each state that interests you using the “Find a Park” tool. You can also start at home and plot the course to the west coast finding new and lesser known National Parks along the way. Draw your route and take the time to learn a bit about each park making note of what you and your family are most excited to see at each park! Do you think you might camp? Get a room at a fancy lodge? Canoe down the Colorado River? The sky is the limit!
Plus, if you have a library card, you can also check out some e-books about our national parks at hoopla. Don’t have a library card yet? You can get one now online and gain access to all online resources.
Pack a Punchy Park Picnic
Hungry after all of that (virtual) exploring? Make some fun snacks to pack a punchy picnic (say that three times fast) to enjoy in your own personal backyard park.
If venturing (safely) outside of your yard make sure to leave no trace and remove all trash from your picnic.
- Ultimate Healthy Trail Mix, via: Five Heart Home
- Butterfly Sandwiches, via: Taste of Home
- Celery Snails and Caterpillars, via: Good Housekeeping
- Green Bug Juice Punch, via: Cooking Mamas
May 5, 2020
10 Sweet, Savory and Simple Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes
Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10, and it will be a bit different this year, but with our help Mom won’t miss a thing. We’re delivering you 10 sweet, savory and simple recipes that you can prepare in your own kitchen and no one will know they weren’t prepared by a pro!
If you are able to be with your Mom on Mother’s day consider yourself lucky and be sure to make it memorable!
First, let Mom sleep in, leave her a note to join you for a Pajama Brunch- whenever she’s ready. All Moms are different so it’s up to you to decide whether she would want you to set the table for a formal meal, plan an alfresco meal on the deck, or maybe a brunch buffet is the way to go.
If you don’t live with Mom but she is close by, prepare a meal to deliver. You can drop and leave it with a heartfelt note or plan an outdoor picnic (observing proper social distance of course). She will appreciate YOU and the time you took to make her day special.
Here are 10 simple recipes that look spectacular- make one or make them all!
Happy Mother’s Day!
May 4, 2020
5 Ways to Spice Up Your Family’s Cinco de Mayo Celebration at Home
Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner and we have five fabulous ways to spice up your celebration, from lively fiesta decorations to fun family activities you can enjoy at home, alone or with your family.
Before we start, it’s important to know why we celebrate...
On May 5, 1862 a small Mexican force went up against a large French force and won the Battle at Puebla. It was a huge morale boost for the Mexicans and Cinco de Mayo is still celebrated today. In Mexico it is more of a ceremonial celebration and in America it became a celebration of American-Mexican culture whose popularity grew as a result of Super Bowl ads from the 1980’s.
1. Set the Scene for Your Fiesta
Cinco de Mayo fiestas are filled with fabulously bright decorations, music, dancing, laughter and games, so let’s get started!
Let’s get colorful! You can’t have a fiesta without a colorful setting, so are you ready?
Woven Paper Placemats
Make your own brightly colored woven placemats out of two pieces of construction paper; you choose the colors!
Set the Table
Break out your brightest dishes and glassware; matching is not necessary.
Tissue Paper Flowers
Tissue paper flowers are oh so easy to make and will complete your fiesta table décor.
The Ojo de Dios or God’s Eye is said to have originated with the ancient Huichol Indians of Mexico. Early accounts of the brightly colored combination of yarn and sticks represents the power of seeing and understanding unseen things.
Take a peek at step-by-step directions to create this colorful treasure: God’s Eye
2. Add Some Fun!
Make a Party Piñata
What’s a party without a piñata? In the U.S., piñatas are popular for Cinco de Mayo, birthday and Christmas celebrations. You can make your piñata out of paper mâché or cardboard then fill it up with candies or toys, whatever you choose. Let everyone in the family take a whack at it…blindfolded! When the candy falls, it’s a free for all.
Shake Your Maracas
Make your own music or turn on the radio; no Mexican fiesta would be complete without music. Dancing shoes are optional; music + dancing = fun for the whole family.
Kids of all ages will love making their own maracas using plastic spoons, leftover plastic eggs, lentils, foil, and tape!
You can also make maracas with recycled plastic bottles, dried rice, beans and more. Find out how by clicking here: Bottle Maracas.
3. Fill Those Bellies
Salsa y Tacos
Spice up your “comida” (meal) by serving up some Mexican specialties. You don’t have to use hot peppers in your dish, but they are a tasty part of the complex and social Mexican food culture. Most Mexican dishes are linked to a specific cultural celebration using preparation techniques that have been developed over thousands of years with ingredients that are native to Mexico.
Mexican-American food and Mexican street food are extremely popular and a variety of dishes can be created in your own kitchen. Now all you need to do is decide what tickles your taste buds and then get to chopping!
4. Play a Game
Pass the Sombrero
It’s like playing Musical Chairs without the worry of falling on your you-know-what. Find a Fiesta Music playlist online, or shake your newly made maracas, and let the fun begin!
Follow these easy steps:
- Find any hat to use for this game.
- Have everyone playing the game stand in a circle.
- Turn on the music or shake your maracas and have participants pass the hat until the music stops.
- The person left holding the hat when the music stops is out of the game.
- The last person left holding the hat is the winner.
5. Habla Español? Learn to Speak Spanish at Home?
Impress your family by learning some Spanish in time for your Cinco de Mayo fiesta.
- Spanish Numbers and Colors
- Free Online Spanish Lessons For Kids
- Free Online Spanish Lessons from Your Library through Transparent Language