A Friendsgiving Celebration for Kids

By Taylor Sterling

Written by Taylor Sterling of Glitter Guide for Building Blocks.

A Friendsgiving Celebration for Kids | Building Blocks Blog

This year for Thanksgiving, we wanted to throw a fun Friendsgiving picnic for baby Elodie, her friends and their mamas. Since Elodie is just under a year old, we wanted to keep the party kid and baby-friendly but also fresh and fun for our guests. Here are the simple tricks and tips we used to create this sweet and cheerful celebration:

Don’t be afraid to mix it up! Inspired by the traditional fall colors of orange and green, we decided to add some light pink to give the color palette a more modern feeling. There are so many gorgeous colors that can subtly be tied in through decor like flowers and table linens.

A Friendsgiving Celebration for Kids | Building Blocks Blog

Keep the menu simple! Stick to easy finger foods from your local grocery store like cheeses, crackers, fruits and nuts — They look so chic displayed on or in household items like cutting boards, mason jars and muffin tins. It’s a great way to save money, plus it’s kid-friendly.

A Friendsgiving Celebration for Kids | Building Blocks BlogA Friendsgiving Celebration for Kids | Building Blocks Blog

Try a simple signature drink! We created an easy beverage station by placing sliced strawberries, cucumbers, and sprigs of mint in glass water bottles to give the water a hint of flavor. It not only looks pretty but is also so refreshing!

A Friendsgiving Celebration for Kids | Building Blocks BlogA Friendsgiving Celebration for Kids | Building Blocks Blog

Create a cozy space to gather! Use a few of your favorite picnic blankets and throw pillows to build a magical hiding space for the little ones and their mamas. A fun printed teepee makes this space even more special!

Tips for Creating a Baby-Friendly Thanksgiving | Building Blocks BlogTips for Creating a Baby-Friendly Thanksgiving | Building Blocks Blog

Put together an easy DIY craft station for guests! We wanted to incorporate natural elements like rocks and leaves into the party, so we set out paint and brushes to give everyone a creative activity to participate in. It was such an easy and inexpensive craft that you can even do at home!

A Friendsgiving Celebration for Kids | Building Blocks Blog

Thanksgiving is often a traditional (and sometimes) formal meal, but don’t be afraid to think outside of the box! With a few simple changes to the food, decor and activities, you can create a Friendsgiving that will be a unique and memorable celebration for little ones.

Happy Friendsgiving!

Our Favorite Tips and Tricks for Thanksgiving

By PBK Editors

We can’t wait for the festive feasting to begin next week and are already thinking about ways to make the Thanksgiving holiday even more special in our homes. Here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks to try at your Thanksgiving gathering:

Make it personal. Add a personalized touch to the table design for guests of all ages with a fun DIY place card. Whether you’re designing a dramatic tablescape or a bright and cheerful meal, here are our three favorite ideas to try:

Design a stunning centerpiece. Although candles make for a beautiful Thanksgiving table, try a fresh floral bouquet for a colorful statement that’s also kid-friendly!

Add a new recipe to the Thanksgiving menu. Whether you’re trying out a comforting soup or adding a bright appetizer to the meal, here are a few of our favorites to get inspired:

What are some of your favorite tricks for making Thanksgiving extra special? Share with us in the comments below!

A Printable Placemat For Giving Thanks

By Joel Henriques

Written by Joel Henriques of Made by Joel for Building Blocks.

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Celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friend gives the perfect opportunity to reflect on the things that we love and appreciate. This Thanksgiving, I decided to create an “I’m Thankful For…” coloring sheet that doubles as a fun placemat for the kids table!

Download the sheet here 

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My little ones felt really good about putting their appreciations down on paper and I was happy that they were able to reflect on the meaning of Thanksgiving while doing something that was creative and engaging. It’s a great activity to do before the big Thanksgiving meal, plus it’s a sweet reminder to give thanks while they’re sitting at the table.

Download the sheet here

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So before you start that oven next week, get your printer warmed up and give the kids this fun activity to celebrate what they’re thankful for. I hope you all have an excellent Thanksgiving!

A Comforting Thanksgiving Recipe

By Megan Bailey

Written by Megan Bailey of Sweet Little Peanut for Building Blocks.

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We all have our favorite Thanksgiving traditions and recipes, but today we are introducing you to a new recipe that is sure to become an instant hit! We wanted to come up with something a little different for our Thanksgiving menu this year and our thoughts kept turning to the idea of a delicious soup!

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This butternut squash soup recipe is perfect for fall and adds a warm hint of orange to your Thanksgiving table. Whether you serve it as a first course or right along side with your turkey and mashed potatoes, we promise that kids will love the subtly sweet taste!

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Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash, or 2 small (about 4 lbs total), peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 apples, peeled and sliced (I used Gala)
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated or minced (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • pinch of ground cardamom (optional)
  • 3 cups of stock (chicken, turkey or vegetable)

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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Spread squash in a single layer on prepared baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, tossing the squash to coat. Roast squash for 30 minutes or until tender and the edges are caramelized. Allow to cool slightly.

2. In a heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and butter over medium heat. When butter is melted, add apples, ginger, onion, cinnamon, allspice and cardamom (if using). Cook, stirring frequently, until apples and onions are soft and mixture is fragrant, about 10 minutes. Add roasted squash and stock to the pot and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Working in small batches, carefully transfer soup to blender and puree until smooth. Return soup to the pot and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings for salt and pepper. Serve!

Note: Soup can be garnished with sour cream and pepita seeds

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I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as ours does! For more great Thanksgiving ideas, check out our stunning DIY centerpiece, gold leaf place cards and kid’s placemat craft from this celebration.

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Sources:
Photography by Becky Kimball
Floral design by Studio Stems

Kid’s Table: plates, utensils, tumblers, table runner and decor from Pottery Barn Kids
Adult’s Table: plates, mercury glass pumpkins, table runner, napkins, candles and glassware from Pottery Barn
Gold flatware from West Elm

2 Easy DIYs for the Thanksgiving Table

By Megan Bailey

Written by Megan Bailey of Sweet Little Peanut for Building Blocks.

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Creating a gorgeous table setting for your guests is actually much easier than it looks. As I mentioned in our feature last week on stunning centerpiece ideas, Thanksgiving is all about spending time around the dinner table so including a few beautiful (and easy!) decorating ideas is key. Today I’m going to share two more DIY projects that are simple to re-create and work perfectly with the adults’ and kids’ tables.

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Whenever I’m planning a table design for a party or holiday, I always love to bring a little personalization to the table to make my guests feel special and welcome. You can easily do this by creating unique place cards.

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For our Thanksgiving table I wanted to do something more unexpected then a typical paper place card so I decided to use spray painted maple leaves for the perfect fall touch. A quick coat of metallic gold spray paint can transform any simple object into a fancy décor piece and we decided to finish off each leaf with a delicately scripted name in white pen.

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For the kid’s table, I created a DIY “thankful” placemat that each little party guest could interact with. Natural kraft paper works great for a rustic celebration, but you can use any colored paper or card stock that you like. Using the same white pen as our place cards, write a simple “Thankful For” title and blank list along the right side of the sheet. These make a great pre-dinner activity to do with your kiddos and you can talk about all the things they are thankful for — from family and food to toys or pets!

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I hope you liked these two simple DIY ideas! Check back again next week because I will be sharing an amazing and unexpected recipe that will definitely become a new favorite on your Thanksgiving dinner menu.

 

Sources:
Photography by Becky Kimball
Floral design by Studio Stems

Kid’s Table: plates, utensils, tumblers, table runner and decor from Pottery Barn Kids
Adult’s Table: plates, mercury glass pumpkins, table runner, napkins, candles and glassware from Pottery Barn
Gold flatware from West Elm

A Friendsgiving Giveaway with Glitter Guide!

By PBK Editors

We love a festive twist on the typical holiday celebration and this adorable Friendsgiving Picnic from Glitter Guide takes the turkey! For a casual daytime gathering before the big feast, Taylor planned a gorgeous outdoor picnic filled with flowers, food and a sweet space to hideout.

See some of our favorite snaps from this celebration and enter below for your chance to win a $1,000 Pottery Barn Kids gift card in our Friendsgiving Giveaway! Better hurry – giveaway ends Dec. 1st!

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How To Create A Stunning Thanksgiving Centerpiece

By Megan Bailey

Written by Megan Bailey of Sweet Little Peanut for Building Blocks.

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Thanksgiving is all about spending time around the dinner table and enjoying a meal with our family. Since this holiday is centered around the table, it’s important to create a beautiful centerpiece to make the meal even more special.

This year we wanted to focus on an organic look filled with seasonal pumpkins and fresh fall florals. Pumpkins are so visually striking and make for the perfect centerpieces — plus, they are one of the easiest ways to incorporate stunning style into the adult and kid tables!

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There are several ways you can style your table using pumpkins. For a simple rustic look, arrange pumpkins down the center of your table and simply weave foliage vines like Russian Olive, Bay Leaf or even natural grape vine from your own garden throughout the pumpkins (as shown above). Add simple décor pieces like candles and Mercury Glass Pumpkins to create a more formal feel.

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To step things up a notch and recreate our look we recommend sticking to mainly green and white pumpkins for the centerpieces. You will want some that are “filler” pumpkins and some that you will actually use as “vases” to hold fall flowers and foliage. Pick your favorite pumpkins to hallow out and use them as various vases to hold your flowers.

For flowers think simple ivories and greens with small pops of orange blooms like roses and Ranunculus. We also love the use of lots of leafs and even touches of small wheat stock or cornhusk.

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To hold your beautiful arrangements together we suggest putting a piece of green floral foam (you can find at most craft stores) into your pumpkin vase that you can stick your floral stems into. Make sure to properly soak your foam before using it. You can also use a smaller vase inside the pumpkin if you don’t want to use the floral foam. To finish off this centerpiece, use green vines to drape the ends of the table.

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For the kid’s table, create smaller versions of the pumpkin vases from the adult’s table and sprinkle in a few mini pumpkins with tiny blooms attached to the stem. Feel free to play with natural elements from your own garden or have a little fun with some metallic spray paint!

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Sources:
Photography by Becky Kimball
Floral design by Studio Stems

Kid’s Table: plates, utensils, tumblers, table runner and decor from Pottery Barn Kids
Adult’s Table: plates, mercury glass pumpkins, table runner, napkins, candles and glassware from Pottery Barn
Gold flatware from West Elm

Host the Perfect Sleepover

By PBK Editors

As the weather continues to cool down, let your little ones invite a few friends for a warm and cozy night in! Here are our five favorite tips for hosting the perfect sleepover.

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1. Create a special space. Designate an area that’s ready for fun with a teepee or hanging lights. Make sure to lay the sleeping bags in a cluster or circle so that everyone is included in activities throughout the night.

2. Prepare a plush place for kids to curl up. Whether your little guests will be watching a movie or playing games, make sure there are plenty of pillows, throw blankets and soft seating for an extra cozy evening.

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3. Plan a few light snacks for the evening activities. When choosing a sleepover snack, choose something that is healthy and light like Veggie Chips, so that guests don’t have any trouble getting to sleep.

4. Keep extra items on hand. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for any forgotten or lost items like toothbrushes, pajamas or sleeping bags. Create a basket of extra items a few days before the sleepover to be prepared ahead of time.

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5. Cook up a mighty breakfast. Greet your sleepover guests with a special breakfast before they head home. Find our favorite recipes over at Design Studio.

Visit potterybarnkids.com to prepare for your very own sleepover and be sure to shop our Sleepover Event to save 20% on all sleeping bags, pajamas, robes and slippers.