Kids Newsletter November 2017


On the fourth Thursday of November, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, a national holiday honoring the early settlers and their harvest feast known as the first Thanksgiving.

Though many competing claims exist, the most familiar story of the first Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth Colony, in present-day Massachusetts, in 1621. More than 200 years later, President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving. Congress finally made Thanksgiving Day an official national holiday in 1941.

Happy Thanksgiving Turkey

Let's Read

"Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks" by Margaret Sutherland and Sonja Lamut

Sure, Thanksgiving is about pilgrims and history - and turkey, of course - but most importantly, it's a holiday all about everything that we are thankful for. Cheerful, colorful illustrations accompany the simple text in this celebration of family, friends and the holiday that brings them all together.

"I'm Feeling Thankful" by Natalie Shaw

When Daniel Tiger feels grateful, he makes sure to say "thank you!" Sometimes he even makes a thank you card to show how much he cares. Who do you want to thank today? Parents will love teaching their little ones all about what it means to be thankful in this adorable book that includes tips for them to help guide kids through their emotions.

Did You Know?

  • Each year a live turkey is presented to the President of the United States, who then "pardons" the turkey, allowing it to live out its life on a farm.
  • Around 46 million turkeys were eaten in the U.S. on Thanksgiving in 2010.
  • Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird instead of the bald eagle.
  • Around 88 percent of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving.
  • Arkansas is one of six states - along with Minnesota, North Carolina, Missouri, Virginia and Indiana - that account for nearly two-thirds of the 248 million turkeys that will be raised in the U.S. each year.
  • The sweet potato is most plentifully produced in North Carolina, which grew 972 million pounds of the popular Thanksgiving side dish in 2010.
  • Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October.
  • Three towns in the U.S. take their name from the traditional Thanksgiving bird, including Turkey, Texas; Turkey Creek, Louisiana and Turkey, North Carolina.
  • The first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in New York City in 1924. It was launched by Macy's employees and featured animals from the Central Park Zoo.
  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed 2,020 pounds and measured just over 12 feet long. It included 900 pounds of pumpkin, 62 gallons of evaporated milk, 155 dozen eggs, 300 pounds of sugar, 3.5 pounds of salt, 7 pounds of cinnamon, 2 pounds of pumpkin spice and 250 pounds of crust.

Let's Be Healthy

  • Eat before dinner - Don't deprive yourself before your Thanksgiving dinner. Eat a hearty breakfast and lunch, complete with in-between snacks throughout the day. If you show up at dinner starving, you'll be more likely to overeat and your body will have a harder time digesting the heavy meal.
  • Eat plenty of vegetables - Before reaching for turkey and potatoes, fill two-thirds of your plate with vegetables. They will fill you up and keep you from indulging in unhealthy food.
  • Drink lots of water - Drink plenty of water before and during your meal. Your mind often interprets thirst as hunger, so water will help your stomach stay full and keep you from overeating. Plus, you won't pack on any of the additional calories soft drinks and other beverages can add to your meal.
  • Limit sweets - If you've eaten a healthy meal, you can indulge yourself in a sliver of pie or a small portion of ice cream. If you're still craving more, eat fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthier way.
  • Leave the dinner table after eating - Once you're done eating, leave the table. The entire dinner party should move to another room to chat and spend time together. Hanging out around the table may tempt you to snack on some leftovers.

Let's Have Fun

  • Count your blessings - Make a list of all the people and things you're thankful for. Read it to your friends and family.
  • Have a turkey feather hunt - Cut out a turkey from construction paper, and tape it onto a mason jar. Have someone hide the turkey's feathers throughout a room. Everyone else will be in charge of looking for them, putting each feather they find back in the jar.
  • Collect food for your local food bank - There's nothing more rewarding than helping others who are less fortunate. Ask your friends, family and neighbors to help you collect canned food to donate to your local food bank.
  • Set the table - Gather a few family members and challenge them to see who can set the table the fastest. Time how long it takes each of you. Not only is this fun, but it's a big help to everyone else.

Let's Get Creative

Thankful Tree

  • Colored paper (any style or shape)
  • Pencil or crayons
  • Scissors (adult and child-size)
  • Adhesive (glue dots, craft glue or tape)
  • 2 to 3 bare tree branches
  • Tall vase
  • Acorns (optional)
  • Using a pencil or crayon, draw leaf shapes onto your colored paper.
  • With your scissors, cut around the drawn leaf shapes on the paper. Cut each leaf shape out, as you'll want a lot of these to attach to your tree.
  • Write down different kinds of things you are thankful for on the leaves. You can talk with your children and write their words for them. If they're old enough, let them write their own words. Younger children can also draw a picture of what they are thankful for on their leaf.
  • Add the adhesive of your choice to the bottom edge of each leaf.
  • Once your tree is complete, Thanksgiving guests can admire all the wonderful things you are thankful for this holiday season.

Let's Go Exploring

Petit Jean State Park

When you're thinking about what you're thankful for, think about the wonderful nature that we're able to enjoy in Arkansas, such as our state parks. Petit Jean State Park is an Arkansas icon, a state natural and historic treasure that has welcomed travelers over the decades. The natural beauty and ancient geology of legendary Petit Jean Mountain inspired the creation of Arkansas's first state park, and with it our state park system. The park mirrors the mountain's rugged beauty with its rustic-style, native log and stone facilities constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) beginning in 1933. Within the park are three national historic districts containing more than 80 structures, trails, and bridges. Each of these remarkable works connects you to the craftsmanship and conservation legacy of the CCC, the close to his heart "Tree Army" of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal.

Petit Jean Waterfall

Let's Cook

Human Puppy Chow

  • 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 9 cups toasted corn cereal or 9 cups toasted rice cereal
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • In a large saucepan, melt together butter, peanut butter and chocolate chips (have mom or dad do this part).
  • Stir until all is evenly distributed and all is completely melted.
  • Measure out cereal into a large bowl.
  • Pour chocolate mixture over cereal and fold until all the cereal is completely covered in the chocolate mixture.
  • Put powdered sugar into large paper bag.
  • Put cereal into the bag with the sugar and shake until all cereal is covered.
  • Add more sugar as needed.
Human Puppy Chow

What's New

"Sesame Street" turns 48!

The original Sesame Street cast

On Nov. 10, 1969, "Sesame Street" made its broadcast debut. Since its inception, over 74 million Americans have watched "Sesame Street." Today, an estimated 8 million people tune in to the show each week in the U.S. alone. Currently in its 47th season, the show continues to promote education, diversity, inclusivity and a celebration of community.

New Shows

"Once Upon A Sesame Street Christmas" - premieres Wednesday, Nov. 22, at 10:30 a.m. It's Christmas Eve on Sesame Street! After putting out cookies for Santa, Elmo's dad tells him a bedtime story about his great-great-grandmonster Elmo and how Sesame Street was once an unfriendly street. Everyone was grouchy and there was no holiday spirit. With the help of Grandmonster Elmo's new friends, they try to find a way to bring back the holiday spirit in hopes that Santa would come to visit. They learn that all you need is kindness!

The Sesame Street cast of puppets

"Thomas & Friends: Journey Beyond Sodor" - premieres Monday, Nov. 20, at 8 a.m. Determined to prove his importance on Sodor, Thomas takes James' trucks and sets off on a big adventure to the Mainland. On the way he makes friends with the cheerful and helpful "Experimental Engines" but, after a wrong turn, finds himself lost in the steelworks. There, Thomas encounters two mysterious engines who instantly make him feel welcome but who aren't what they first seem. After Thomas fails to return, James sets off to the Mainland but runs into trouble himself and it is up to Thomas and the Experimental Engines to save the day. Join Thomas in a tale of daring escapes, heroic rescues and discover that true friendship comes in all shapes and sizes.

Thomas the Train

"Anne Of Green Gables" - premieres Thursday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. Join Anne Shirley as she turns 13 and faces complex situations with friends, adults and Gilbert. Her free-spirited nature is challenged by her perceived need to be sensible, a journey fraught with confusion and unfortunate-albeit amusing-mishaps.

Anne of Green Gables

"Pinkalicious & Peterrific," a new PBS KIDS animated series will premiere Monday, Feb. 19, 2018. "Pinkalicious & Peterrific" will encourage children to explore the arts and spark creativity. "Pinkalicious & Peterrific" follows the adventures of Pinkalicious and her brother Peter. Pinkalicious imagines creative possibilities everywhere she looks. She is an artist at heart and, like most creative people, she sees the world differently from others. She knows what she likes, and she is not afraid to express herself, though she sometimes needs help from her brother, Peter, and her neighborhood friends.

Pinkalicious and Peterrific

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