It’s hard to find Thanksgiving or turkey specific activities to do for a 22 month old. There are a LOT of ideas out there on Pinterest, but nothing I thought Monte would be rrrrrrrrrrrrrreally interested in.
I did come across this post for Fall Scented Play Dough! I am so happy I made this! It smelled yummy and Monte has had so much fun with it. A win-win for the both of us 🙂 I followed her directions and used the Kitchen Aid. I ended up kneading the dough though, so you could probably just mix in a bowl with a spoon and knead if you did not have a huge mixer.
Orange – Pumpkin Spice
Yellow – Nutmeg
Green – Candy Apple
Red – Clove
Brown – Cinnamon
We defiantly made this into a Thanksgiving activity 🙂
Monte enjoyed trying to make his own turkeys …
mashing it all together 🙂
I also made a trip to our local library (check out the Local tab, I added all of the Des Moines area libraries!) and checked out several turkey and Thanksgiving children books. We have been reading them off and on and looking at all the turkeys!
Here are some titles to look for …
Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano
Thanksgiving is Here! by Diane Goode
Gus, the Pilgrim Turkey by Teresa Bateman
‘ Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Allison Jackson
This Is the Turkey by Abby Levine
Another fun idea you can do is make a turkey using your kiddos feet and hands! I have to admit we didn’t actually do this at home, but he had fun making them at preschool. I’m not sure how they kept a 22 month old still enough to get this made! I LOVE all these fun ideas to use feet and hands to make various crafts.
You can follow this picture recipe exactly or you can do what I did … use it as a guide.
Paleo Crock Pot Chili
Sweet onion, peeled & diced
(2) Green bell peppers, diced
Red bell pepper, diced
Yellow bell pepper, diced
(2) cups sliced mushrooms
(2) Tablespoons coconut oil
(1.5) lb sausage
(1.5) lb ground turkey
(1.5) lb ground beef
Can crushed tomatoes
Can diced tomatoes with garlic
Can tomato paste
1/2 Tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon hot chili powder
1/2 Tablespoon smoked paprika
Wash and dice/slice all of your veggies. In a large pan, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Add vegetables, cover. Let cook until veggies are softened.
Dump veggies into the crock pot.
Break up and cook sausage, ground turkey, and ground beef until cooked. Leaving a little pink is okay. You may need to do half, place into crock pot, then the other half and place into crock pot. It depends on how large your pan is.
Open and dump in your can of crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste.
Add in all of your seasonings!
Stir well, again! Place lid on and let cook 4-6 hours. Our crock pot cooks quickly so it took about 5 hours on low.
Top it with fresh avocado!
Note: I WAS going to add in the sweet potatoes as shown on the picture above BUT I completely forgot 🙁 I think it would add a lot if you add them in an hour or so before you serve. Again, our crock pot cooks quickly, so I did not get a chance.
This is a perfect event to take the little kiddos to. Monte had so much fun!
His costume this year is a FOX! Him and Elvis are going as the Fox and Hound. Of course, Elvis could not make an appearance at the Living History Farms, so he has a body double (stuffed animal) that Monte will carry around 🙂
You enter into the Living History town and trick or treat through the street, stopping at all the old buildings. We stopped at the bank, general store, veterinary clinic, etc.
Everything was decorated with scarecrows and pumpkins!
My favorite thing decorated was a gazebo, they dressed up as a witch. So creative!!
Monte’s favorite thing to do was roast marshmallows ….
…. more like eat them!!!
“Pumpkin” bowling was also a hit and there was a huge line to give it a try. Monte got the hang of it quickly and knew exactly what to do.
There was also kettle corn available for purchase, story time for those kiddos a little bit older, and a horse drawn wagon ride.
This event is also going on this weekend too! If you do not have plans, I would definitely recommend taking your kiddos.
First thing we did, when we entered the Farm Fun area, was check out the kid toy tractors! Monte thought he was such a big boy “riding” around.
Next, we were off to check out the farm animals. Monte isn’t too sure of goats. Remember when he wouldn’t get near the goats at Wills Family Orchard? Well, same thing here!
One of my favorite things is the 3 Little Pig houses they have. They are sooooo cute! They are perfect size for Monte to walk in and check out.
The bridge and old school house was fun too! Monte enjoyed the small desk. He was ready to learn!
Off to the corn pit! I wanted to do this last year with Monte, but he was still a bit young. Monte had so much fun “swimming” in the corn and would not stop laughing 🙂
The Jumping Pillow is another highlight at Center Grove and GREAT exercise!
Riding on a hayrack ride was also on our bucket list. We hopped on the hayrack ride to go find us some pumpkins! Monte enjoyed all of the bouncing and scenery along the way.
When we got out to the pumpkin patch there were so many pumpkins to pick from! Monte picked one out just his size 🙂
Last, but not least, we could not leave without trying some yummy apple cider made from apples at Center Grove. The perfect ending to a great experience!
Overall, Center Grove Orchard is a definite must! There are so many activities to do and see! I couldn’t list them all!
Some other things include …
Horse bounce races
Lots of food to eat such as apple cider doughnuts and caramel apples
Admission is $9.95 per person for ages 3 and up BUT if you go during the week it is $7.95 per person for ages 3 and up. The main advantage for going during the week is it’s not as crowded. There are some things that are not available though, such as the restaurant and science shows they offer.
If you think you may go multiple times, purchasing a season pass would be smart for $21.95 and you can visit the Farm Fun area as many times as you like for the 2013 season!
I created such a fun activity bin for Monte … a Fall Sensory Bin!
He absolutely loves it and I absolutely love it because I love fall (if you had not heard).
Anyways, all of these items I picked up from the Dollar Store and Michaels. I also had quite a bit of these items already.
You can put whatever you want in your bin, but some things I included were: gourds, leaves, a fake little owl, mini pumpkins, basket filler, tall red feathered grass, acorns, and a sensory jar.
Some things you could add or use instead: hay, pine cones, wood chips, corn stalks, small scented tealight candles, etc. I almost did the candles for Monte, but I was concerned he would try to eat them instead.
We worked on our colors (red, yellow, brown, orange), touch (rough, crinkly, tickle, soft) and smelling certain items.
As mentioned above, I also made a sensory jar. Monte loved this! At Michaels, I found little glass pumpkins. I put a few of those and a leaf into the jar. I filled it about a third full with water and added 1/3 cup vegetable oil.
The picture isn’t the greatest, sorry. But, the vegetable adds a really cool effect to the pumpkin beads when you shake it.
Overall, the bin was a hit! I definitely recommend for you to try it out!
What type of sensory bins have you made for your kiddos?
It was SUPER hard to narrow down only 10 pumpkin patches and orchards to visit this year! There are a lot of choices. Make sure to check out their websites for special events they may have going on during this season!
Also, make sure to check out my calendar on the right hand side, for events taking place at various places such as, Living History Farms, the Science Center, Blank Park Zoo and more.
1.Center Grove Orchard– Located in Cambridge which is between Ames and Ankeny. This is my favorite orchard and pumpkin patch to visit every fall. It is loaded with fun activities for the whole family including: apple picking, a pumpkin patch, farm animals, corn maze, corn pool, jumping pillow, hay rack rides, rubber duck races, and much more!
They also have a store with already picked apples, apple cider, apple cider donuts, caramel apples, sauces, and more. Check out their Pinterest board, where they post a ton of ideas for fall.
There is an admission price. Ages 3 and up $9.95 Saturday & Sunday. $7.95 Monday – Friday. They also offer a season pass for their fun farmyard!
2.Berry Patch Farm – Berry Patch Farm is located in Nevada and is actually not too far from Center Grove Orchard! They are known for picking your own produce. We made a trip out there this summer and picked our own blueberries. We came home with about 6 lbs! Right now, there are several varieties of apples, green beans, and raspberries to pick from.
On Saturday and Sunday there are hay rack rides available, along with pumpkins and gourds too!
There is NO admission to pick. You only need to pay for the produce you take.
3. Iowa Orchard– The Iowa Orchard is located right in the city, in Urbandale! Do not be fooled by the name, they also have lots of pumpkins and gourds available to pick from. They offer lots and lots of varieties of apples. They also offer pies, apple cider, different sauces and much more!
Available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday they offer hay rack rides, which also include access to the hay bale slide, corn box, tire obstacle course, face painting, and horseshoe toss.
There IS an admission for the hay rack rides. $4 per individual or $15 for a family of 4. No charge for ages 2 and under! There are also tour packages you can sign up for. Check out their website for more information! Of course, there is no charge to walk through their shop and purchase items 🙂
4. The Pumpkin Ranch – Located in Winterset. Not only do they have pumpkins to pick from, but they offer a 9 acre corn maze! Along with hayrack rides, horseback rides, zip lines, slides (new this year), playground, and jump house. Also, photographer Allison Knox will take a picture of you and your family for FREE! For times that she will be available check out the website.
There IS an admission. $8 per person, children 2 years and younger are FREE!
5. Geisler Farms – Located in Bondurant. They have a 10 acre corn maze which features the Ankeny high schools logos. There is also a fun zone available for a small price. Included in the fun zone area is swings, rubber duck races, and other fun games.
There IS an admission. Corn maze, fun zone, and hay rack ride $8. Corn maze and fun zone $7. Fun zone only is $2
6. Wills Family Orchard – This is a definite must do this fall season! We already made our trip to Will Family Orchard and enjoyed every minute of it! Located just west of Adel, they offer organic apples for picking, a pumpkin patch, farm animals, a cute little store to shop at and paint your own gourd!
There is NO admission, but you do pay for whatever pumpkins you pick and apples you pick!
7. Patch Pumpkins & Honey Farm– Also located in Adel! Another pumpkin patch with lots more then just pumpkins! They have a corn maze, kid corn maze, duck races, corn pit, petting zoo, play center, bounce houses, and more!
They also have honey, pumpkins, apples, gourds and other various items to purchase.
There IS an admission. $5 per person. Ages 2 and under are FREE! $10 for a season pass. They offer discounted pricing for week days.
8. Howell’s Pumpkin Patch – Located in Cumming. They offer a pumpkin patch, corn maze, pony rides, duck races, farm animals, playground and giant tube slide. The Greenhouse Cafe offers yummy fall treats, hot dogs, chips, ice cream and more! You will not go hungry at Howell’s!
There IS an admission. $8 per person. If you have kept your eyes open recently, there has been a Groupon offer for Howell’s. I am not sure if it’s still floating around … but you should check it out!
9. Dan – D Farms– Located in Knoxville. Are you kiddos a fan of the Angry Birds? Their corn maze is is an Angry Birds design! Lots of farm animals, pumpkins and other activities. Check out their website for different events they have going on this Fall season!
10. Williamsons Pumpkin Paradise – Located in Ankeny and has FREE admission 7 days a week. They offer a petting zoo, pony rides, bag toss, hay maze, hay rack rides, fire pit and more! Some of these activities are only available Saturday and Sunday.
Barrel train rides, pony rides, pumpkin cannon and corn maze have a small fee.
Which pumpkin patch and/or orchard is your favorite?
Good morning everyone! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. I know it’s not Monday, but my week usually starts on Tuesdays 🙂
Anyways, I want to share another awesome fall recipe I found on Pinterest. I made it Sunday morning for breakfast. It was such a beautiful day Sunday that we sat outside and enjoyed our rolls out on the patio.
While I was baking Monte enjoyed himself, while reading a People Magazine 🙂
I found this recipe here. Of course I added a little something to change it up a bit!
Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese Rolls
2 packages/cans crescent rolls
4 0z cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
4 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon canned pumpkin
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unroll crescent rolls to form 4 rectangles. Pinch the seams together to create one large rectangle.
2. Place the cream cheese, brown sugar, pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon into the mixer. I also added some dried cranberries! Beat it until it is well combined.
3. Split the mixture evenly among the rectangles and spread until about 1/2 inch from the edge.
4. Starting at the long end, roll them up and then cut into 1 inch pieces. I was able to get 3 small rolls out of each rectangle.
5. Place the rolls around 2 – 9 inch cake pans, sprayed with cooking spray. Place them along the edges, leaving the middle open so they can expand.
6. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, mix up the ingredients for the frosting in a mixer until well combined.
7. When the rolls are done baking, pull them out and frost the rolls immediately so the frosting can melt on top of the rolls. Let them cool for about 10 minutes.
These cinnamon rolls are pretty small, but I really only needed 1 pan instead of 2. If it’s only going to be 2-3 people you can probably get by with halving the recipe.