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  1. Monday, November 21

    Easy Turkey Pudding Craft Perfect for Thanksgiving

    Before we take off on our Thanksgiving travels, I have to share this super cute, crazy easy Thanksgiving kids craft with you. Owen brought it home from school. It’s so simple and so cute (and so delicious…I love Hunt’s Pudding Snack Packs for some reason!) even I would do this craft with my kids. That is really saying something. I’m like the anti-craft mom.

    Simple and Easy Turkey Pudding Craft Perfect for Thanksgiving!

    Materials:

    • Chocolate Pudding Snack Pack
    • Small Googly Eyes
    • Construction paper, cut into feather shapes and small orange triangles for the nose

    Simple and Easy Turkey Pudding Craft Perfect for Thanksgiving!

    How To Make the Turkey Pudding Craft:

    • Flip the pudding snack pack upside down.
    • Using either a hot glue gun or scotch tape, attach the eyes, nose and tail feathers.
    • All done!

    You could even have the kids make these and then put them on the table at each place setting for decoration. It will keep them busy while the grown-ups are cooking and make them feel like they’ve contributed.

    I never thought I would say this on the blog…but…Happy Crafting!


  2. Monday, November 24

    Fun Learning During the Thanksgiving Break!

    This post is sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA) and reflects a collaboration with NEA’s Raise Your Hand for Student Success campaign. All thoughts and opinions are, of course, my own. Be sure to visit the NEA Parents’ Page for great resources for parents!

    My kids have this entire week of Thanksgiving off from school. I remember back in the day only getting Thursday and Friday off, leaving you with just a few days to enjoy the holiday. I actually really appreciate having three extra days to relax with our family and enjoy some time off together. But having the whole week off means almost 10 days of no school!

    I’m not one to buy workbooks and pull out the flashcards on school breaks. Honestly, I love getting a break from the homework grind. But just because homework and class time are on hiatus doesn’t mean learning has to be. Here are a few things we’ll be doing this week as a family to facilitate fun learning during the Thanksgiving break!

    making learning fun during the thanksgiving break by @janemaynard

    • COOKING! Of course we’ll be cooking up a storm this week and you can bet the kids will be involved. Not only will having the kids cook with me help form lasting memories, but there are ample learning opportunities in the kitchen, especially around math. Anna even got up this morning and made up her own “recipe” with yogurt and milk, so she is ready to go in the cooking department!
    • READING! I am lucky that we have kids who love to read, so they’ll do plenty of reading on their own over the break. But even if kids don’t love reading, Thanksgiving break is a good time to get them excited to read. I always buy Christmas books during this week and we kick off the holiday season by reading those books together as a family. We also have fun Thanksgiving books to share together, too.

    making learning fun during the christmas break - reading books and buying new christmas books - from @janemaynardThis is our newest Christmas book, which I bought just last night!

    • DAY TRIPS! We have passes to the Natural History Museum in LA as well as the San Diego Zoo. We will be visiting one of those spots for sure this week! Museums really are a great way to mix learning with fun!
    • CRAFTS & LEARNING ACTIVITIES: My Anna loves science more than a million ice cream scoops, so I’m sure we’ll break out our Green Kid Crafts science kit and do a science project together. My friend Marie also has about 1 billion projects on her website Make and Takes, so I’ll be seeing what ideas she has for us, too!

    making learning fun during the thanksgiving break by @janemaynard

    What do you have planned this week with the kids? I’m sure you all have all kinds of creative ideas, so please share them with the rest of us!


  3. Thursday, November 6

    Gifts and Giveaways: Green Kid Crafts!

    holiday gifts & giveaways on thisweekfordinner.com from @janemaynard

    This giveaway is now closed. But keep reading to find out more about these wonderful craft kits for kids!

    This post is sponsored by Green Kid Crafts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own…and my kids’!

    It’s November, which means my holiday shopping has commenced! I find the more I can get done early, the more I enjoy December! Just like last year, as I start shopping around I’ll also be sharing Gifts & Giveaways posts with fun gift ideas and, of course, giveaways! We’re going to kick off this year’s festivities with a GREAT gift for kids.

    green kid crafts review and giveaway from @janemaynard

    Have you heard of Green Kid Crafts? Two very good friends of mine had recommended this company separately, so I was excited to work with them and try out their product! (Those friends who did the recommending? They’re amazing and totally trustworthy. I would do anything they tell me to do. Maybe even jump off a cliff.)

    green kid crafts kitchen science box - review and giveaway from @janemaynard

    Green Kid Crafts is a green company that provides creative and educational activities to do with kids through an eco-friendly Subscription Service, Craft Boxes, Birthday Activities, STEM Science Kits, and Creativity Kits, targeting kids ages 3-12. Our family recently received the Kitchen Science kit from Green Kid Crafts to try out and my kids LOVED it. REALLY loved it. Am I getting the point across? THEY. LOVED. IT. From 3 years old up to 9, all three of them had so much fun doing the science projects in our kit. Maybe a little too excited…I definitely had to play referee when it came to taking turns! Anna was so cute, while we were getting set up she asked, “Are we doing a science project?” When I responded in the affirmative, she simply stated, “Oh, GOOD.” And she was ready to get down to business!

    green kid crafts - kitchen science kit - review and giveaway from @janemaynard

    You can order Green Kid Craft boxes one at a time or sign up for a subscription, in which case boxes are delivered monthly. I know my kids would love me forever if I signed up for the subscription service…I’m thinking that just might be one of their Christmas presents this year, especially after seeing how much they loved this first box!

    green kid crafts - kitchen science kit - review and giveaway from @janemaynard

    Giveaway time! One lucky, randomly-selected person will win a 3-month subscription to Green Kid Crafts (winner must have a U.S. or Canadian address). Here is how to enter!

    All entries must be received by Midnight PT on Wednesday, 11/19.

    Good luck on the giveaway! And Happy Crafting!

    Comment #65 angie was the winner of this giveaway. Congrats, Angie!


  4. Thursday, June 20

    Cutting Triangle Half Sandwiches

    Hey everyone! It’s looking like I’ll be able to share our fun news with you tomorrow! Which is one of the reasons I’ve been missing from the blog this week. Things to do! Things to do!

    Cutting Half Triangle Sandwiches | thisweekfordinner.com

    Until then, I want to share a little trick I just discovered. Oprah would call it an “A-HA!” moment, but I think it can more accurately be described as an “OH, DUH!” moment.

    Okay, so I have kids who won’t eat the crust on their sandwiches. It drives me batty. They all started out as people who ate their crusts, but all three of them, at some point along the way, just stopped eating crusts. I think it’s such a waste and I hate it, but there’s not much I can do about it! Since there’s no fighting the no-crust-eating around here, I always cut their sandwiches into four triangle, which results in straight crusts. If the crusts are straight, they end up eating a lot more of the actual sandwich.

    My one problem has always been when they just want half of a sandwich. I always cut squares for half-sandwiches. When you try to cut rectangular-sized bread into a triangle for a half, the edges don’t line up.

    Cutting Half Triangle Sandwiches | thisweekfordinner.comSee, the long side of one triangle doesn’t line up with the short side of the other triangle and everything is skeewompus.

    As a result of all this, I hate giving my kids half sandwiches because I feel like they are hardly getting any sandwich at all with those dumb cornered crusts.

    And then, the other day, as I was making a half sandwich, it finally hit me. We CAN have half sandwiches AND straight crusts, too! (PS…I’m pretty sure this is what Marie Antoinette actually said.)

    uncut bread | Cutting Half Triangle Sandwiches | thisweekfordinner.com

    Cut the bread in half diagonally, into two large triangles.

    first cut | Cutting Half Triangle Sandwiches | thisweekfordinner.com

    Then, flip one of the pieces over, like so. (This is the secret to success here!)

    the flip | cutting half triangle sandwiches | thisweekfordinner.com

    Look at that! The long edges line up with the long edges, the short edges line up with the short edges. All is right with the world!

    bread lined up | Cutting Half Triangle Sandwiches | thisweekfordinner.com

    The result? A half sandwich cut into two triangles with straight crusts!

    final product | Cutting Half Triangle Sandwiches | thisweekfordinner.com

    When I was photographing the bread for this post yesterday, Cate asked, “Do you think other people don’t know this?” She makes a good point. You may all have already figured this out, but if there is just one of you in the “OH, DUH!” boat like me, then it’s worth writing the post!

    Happy non crust half sandwich eating, spoiled children of the world!


  5. Friday, June 14

    Summer Fun: Coloring Hair…with Chalk!

    Two weeks ago, ONE invited us to join them at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation’s annual event “A Time for Heroes” in Los Angeles. Our family had a wonderful time enjoying the carnival, seeing the sights and celebs (Richard Simmons called Nate his son and Owen his grandson, and Owen is best buds with Gwen Stefani’s dog…in fact, the dog kissed Owen AND Nate, which basically means they both kissed Gwen, right?), and spending time with some amazing people, like Marcus Samuelsson’s wife Maya.

    easy colored hair for summer | thisweekfordinner.comMy little punk-rocker princess.

    Anna was especially delighted that there was face painting and a table where they COLORED YOUR HAIR. Anna is kind of obsessed with anything that involves decorating her body (face paint, hair styling, jewelry, flashy clothes, tattoos…we’re kind of scared).

    So, anyway, I wanted to share the hair coloring trick with you because it was so simple and genius! I know, none of this has anything to do with food, but I’m pretty sure some of you reading this blog have kids and a long summer stretching before you. This is definitely a fun activity and I love how UN-permanent the color is. Plus, the color ends up looking really pretty and subtle. Win-win for parents and kids…crazy colored hair that’s actually not that crazy and washes out easily!

    Completely Un-Permanent Colored Hair
    – Chalk (color of your choosing!)
    – Water
    – Hair spray

    Wet a small portion of hair, from the root to the ends. You can spray the hair with spray bottle or use a very wet towel or papertowel. The lady at the party used a papertowel. I used a spray bottle, which was decidedly less pleasant for the hair coloree, but she was my kid, so I wasn’t too worried about it.

    Slide the chalk up and down the piece of hair, applying moderate pressure, until hair is sufficiently colored. The smaller the piece of hair, the easier it is to apply the color. Work in small sections!

    Spray lightly with hair spray to set the color, then smooth out gently with a comb and/or fingers.

    easy colored hair for summer | thisweekfordinner.com

    easy colored hair for summer | thisweekfordinner.com

    easy colored hair for summer | thisweekfordinner.com

    easy colored hair for summer | thisweekfordinner.com

    anna's delight | easy hair color with chalk | thisweekfordinner.comThis was the Instagram shot I took of her right when we finished. It was too cute, had to add it in!