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Happy Gobble Day-- Kid Friendly Thanksgiving (50 photos)

 
 

Kid-friendly Thanksgiving tablescape & trading post using Anders Ruff Custom Designs "Happy Gobble Day" printable graphic package as inspiration.

 
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Nobody will be complaining about sitting at the kid's table this Thanksgiving!  As a mother of 4 children I am constantly on the hunt for festive ideas for involving my kids in the holiday preparations and making accompanying traditions all about them.  I was thrilled to discover that Anders Ruff's Happy Gobble Day Thanksgiving Collection was purposely created with kids in mind!

My amazingly talented friend, Vivian Kerr and I had so much fun collaborating again on this shoot.  We have 7 children between the two of us, so we were anxious to brainstorm kid-friendly ideas that even our own children would enjoy and be excited about!  We are so appreciative of Andrea Pasion Photography for capturing all of the fun!

We wanted our styling to result in an interactive experience for our children, both at the dinner table and away from it.  (After all, how long do your kids actually stay seated at the dinner table?)  In addition to designing a fun kid-centered tablescape (discussed later in this post), together, we came up with the idea of an Indian Trading Post (in lieu of the traditional dessert table) where pilgrims and indians could trade 'Gobble Day' gold for edible after-dinner treasures.

Creating the trading post was so much fun!  We hung a neutral colored, herringbone fabric to create a backdrop and added different levels of artificial plants and trees to create the illusion of being outdoors.  The 'Happy Gobble Day' banner from AR's collection was attached to dark brown burlap and fastened between two trees with natural clothes pins and twine.

The focal point of our trading post was a life-sized teepee designed, sewed and constructed by Vivian.  She spray painted PVC pipe brown to look like wooden sticks.  We used the pipe to hoist up the teepee exterior which was made by sewing together canvas paint drop cloths according to a specified pattern.

From Anders Ruff's coordinating printable papers, we created a triangle bunting which we hung around the top of the teepee for color and interest.  The teepee was a popular play place and also served as the designated spot for trading.  "Gobble Day" gold was created by adhering the colorful Gobble Day Thanksgiving party circles to plastic gold coins.  Each child was given a few at their place setting and could also earn more by finishing their meal.

Our hope was that the trading post would look rustic and authentic.  We collected old chests, a wooden canoe top, crates, baskets, a fruit-filled cornucopia and wooden boxes, over-filling them with pumpkins, gourds and indian corn.  A few pieces of modern Thanksgiving decor were added for festiveness.

We used the varying baskets and crates to serve as our display for our trading post treats.

Here are some highlights of the Trading Post Treats:

Pumpkin Parfaits:
Delicious layers of pumpkin mousse, whipping cream and crushed Gingersnaps filled small canning jars.  Keeping with the rustic look, canning jar lids were tied with raffia and adorned with brown cardstock and scalloped punched Gobble Day party circles.  Crème filled Pirouette cookies accessorized with 'Happy Gobble Day' party flags topped off each pumpkin parfait.

Maize Favors:
Faux indian corn favors were fashioned from dried corn husks (purchased in the Hispanic food aisle of most grocery stores) tied around small bags of Reeses Pieces candy with tiny pieces of raffia.  Each ear of corn was decorated on the top with a party flag and layered in a harvest basket.

Gobble Goodies:
One of Vivian's family traditions involves making 'Gobble Goodies' with her children.  Our trading post would not have been complete without a half-dozen of these adorable turkeys displayed on a hand-painted canoe top,  lined with green houndstooth printable paper.  They are simple enough, kids can make these with very little assistance.  Rice Krispy treats are rolled into small balls and attached to one half of an Oreo for the body,  using frosting.  Candy corn is 'feathered' around the base of another Oreo half and attached.  Add edible candy eyes and a candy corn beak and voilà--Gobble Goodies galore!

Pumpkin Muffins:
My children are obsessed with pumpkin bread.  Instead of making it in loafs, we made it in muffin form and clothed them in colorful striped cupcake liners.  How cute are those little turkey toppers from the Gobble Day collection? We simply cut them out, attached them to toothpicks and made a cute muffin topper out of them.

Teepee Cupcakes:
We couldn't resist making these adorable teepee treats.  Did you know you can bake a cupcake right inside a sugar cone?  Neither did we (until we saw the idea on Pinterest)!  After baking, simply cut off a small portion off the top of the sugar cone to allow for inserting 2-3 broken pretzel rods to look like sticks.  Adhere them in your teepee with a little dab of chocolate frosting. Dip the bottom of your teepee in chocolate and roll in colorful sprinkles or candies.  Insert a little coordinating party flag and you've got terribly cute teepee treats!

Turkey and Cornucopia Cake Pops:
Johanna Dellino of Pop.O.Licious Cake Pops graciously donated her original turkey and cornucopia cake pops for our shoot.  Aren't they so cute?!  And trust me when I say, these little bites of goodness were gobbled up...and fast!  Notice how perfectly they coordinate with the colors in AR's printables?  She customized them for us!  (If you aren't already a fan on Facebook, go here to become one!

Mini Apple Pies:
Aren't things in miniature even cuter?  I love these delicious (yes, I sampled a few of them!) mini apple pies that Vivian made using premade pie dough.  She cut rounds out of the dough, placed them in her muffin tins to bake, filled them with apple pie filling and topped them with an adorable little pumpkin shaped top crust and party flag.  Coordinating pattern paper was used to make sweet little individual pie boxes with peek-a-boo acetate windows.  Each box was dressed up with raffia and a circle tag.

Blessing Mix:
It is always nice to tie in a little bit of teaching into each holiday.  We put together these easy Thanksgiving "Blessing Mix" favor bags to help teach our children about some of the symbolism of the holiday.  Cellophane bags were filled with a mix of bugles, peanuts, candy corn, pretzels and candy orange slices.  A fold over topper was affixed to the top of each bag and an ingredients list and poem was added to the front.

Thanksgiving Tablescape:
Our Thanksgiving table was also designed for kid-friendly fun.  While we are frantically trying to put last minute touches on the meal,  the last thing we need is a bunch of turkeys running wild.  AR created the most adorable coloring/activity placemats and "I am Thankful" cards in their Gobble Day Collection which are perfect to use as mini activities to keep the kids entertained.  With these activities in mind, we created a place setting for each child which included a turkey feathered vessel containing a crayon bundle tied with raffia, a few mini chocolate bars decorated with trimmed down party flags (to keep them from putting their hands in the food you are preparing), and a couple of  pieces of 'Gobble Gold" for the trading post.  Adorable beverage labels dressed up clear glass mugs.  We crafted mini Mayflower ships from felt and attached party circles to the sails to tie our Gobble Day theme together.  An enlarged Mayflower was also hand sewn and provided a focal point for our table, with pilgrims and indians standing close by.  We tied the colors from the printable package  into our table decor with washable hand-sewn napkins, a handmade table runner and colorful plates and chargers.

Costumes:
Children LOVE dressing up {Hello...Halloween?} Using Anders Ruff's printable feather indian headbands and pilgrim hats to jumpstart the costume idea, we added indian costumes we purchased at after-Halloween sales for $2 each, and Vivian used her love of sewing to create peter pan-collared dresses in coordinating fabrics and feminine bonnets for the girls.  The children had so much fun being in character and playing with rustic fans, flutes and toys.

We hope you love these Happy Gobble Day ideas!  Our children can hardly wait to celebrate Thanksgiving---kid style!

Vendor Credit:
Styling, Decor & Desserts:  Jennifer Carver (Banner Events) and Vivian Kerr (Kerr Kreations).
Graphic Designs:  Anders Ruff Custom Designs  (Happy Gobble Day Package available for $12 in their Etsy Shop.)
Cake Pops:  Pop.O.Licious Cake Pops

Photography:  Andrea Pasion Photography



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