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Thanksgiving BooksWe make a point to celebrate each holiday with books to give our 4 year old a wider perspective on how each holiday originated and how it is celebrated by other families. Here is a selection of books we read this year. Most of them came from our public library, but I placed them into Amazon affiliate widget for your convenience.
I want to highlight a book that was especially popular in our house:
Thanksgiving Day by Anne Rockwell illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell is one in the series of holiday books from this mother-daughter team. It belongs in a “gray zone” between fiction and non-fiction – while characters are fictional, the story feels “real” enough to my 4 year old. Smarty liked all the activities in the classroom (which sounds like a small kindergarten classroom) that lead to Thanksgiving celebration. I appreciated the age-appropriate explanation of the holiday and easy art projects that can easily be done as an extension of this book.
Thanksgiving Paper Dolls
My daughter already had simple paper dolls that I printed out for her from Activity Village and some clothes for them. She was thrilled to get special pilgrim clothes for them and was immediately busy creating one of her favorite play scenarios – a “feast”.
Open-Ended Thanksgiving PlaySmarty immediately decided that she needs to have paper food for her paper dolls. She was pretty thorough in designing a menu for her feast – it had to include all traditional Thanksgiving foods, even those that she herself does not like.
What I loved about this activity was that it was entirely self-directed. I was hanging out with my 4 year old, but she was in charge - creating, narrating and directing action and staying with her scenario for at least an hour or more. This is the type of play that I like best even if it is not as spectacular as an adult-directed “invitation to play”. I could practically see the little wheels turning in her head, and I loved to hear her think through her ideas. We need to have more of those “non-guided” moments in our busy house!
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