On Wednesday, Nate talked about why we do our leaf party. Today I am going to give you a few ideas of activities you can do at your own leaf party. In 2010 our first leaf party was just a mid-week play date with mom’s and kids. This was very fun and a really good start. We then switched it to the weekend in 2011 and made it a whole family event.
Our parties are pot-luck. We provide the hot dogs, buns, toppings, drinks, plates, napkins, cups and silverware. Everyone else brings a side or dessert to share. This has worked out great in the past. Some years I assign neighbors and co-workers desserts and church friends sides. Other years I let everyone choose what they want to bring.
Each year I try to have a craft, agame and a learning activity for the kids to do.
One year the craft and learning activity were tied into one. I sent a paper leaf with each invitation. I asked that each family write on the leaf what they were thankful for this year. Some families did one for each of their kids. Some did one leaf for the whole family. I left it up to each family to decide. I asked them to bring their leaf to the party and then each kid got to stand up and tell the rest of us why they were thankful. Then they added it to the tree that I had made. It was so awesome to see all of the things God has blessed us with.
To take this lesson a little farther we acted out the story It’s not Easy Being a Bunny By: Marilyn Sadler. I had kids volunteer to be the different animals in the story. In this story, PJ Funny Bunny is a rabbit who is not content with being a bunny. He wishes that he could be a bear, a bird, a beaver, a pig, a moose, a possum, and a skunk. But in the story PJ finds out that what he really wants to be is……a Bunny! PJ learns that it is best to be content with who he is and what he has. My point for the kids was that it is only when we are content that we can be truly thankful.
One of the games we have done I found on pinterest. It is a Martha Stewart idea. I didn’t follow the directions but used them as a guide. I just used a piece of plywood that my husband had around the garage and orange balloons I bought at the Dollar Tree. I had to hold them open while one of the girls stuck candy in the balloon. This was the hardest part and definitely a two person job. Then I blew them up and duck taped them to the board. I had to be generous with the duct tape to get them to stick but I didn’t want a whole bunch of tacks around the kids. I did use a dart to break the balloons but I had the kids walk up to the balloons and jab them instead of throwing a dart. The kids had a lot of fun and I thought it looked pretty cool.
Another fun game is Pin the Tail on the Turkey. I had a large coloring sheet that had a turkey on it. Then I colored on of the feathers and make several feathers for the kids to “pin” or tape in my case, onto the turkey. I did one game for the 2 and under, and one game for the 3 and above.
One tip for a leaf party is to have a baby pool full of leaves for the little babies so that they can have fun but not get trampled on by the older kids. (Or lost in the pile!)
Remember the point of the party is to hang out with friends and family and build relationships. So if you don’t have time to put together activities, don’t worry…the little kids and dads, I mean big kids will have a lot of fun jumping in the leaves!