By Susanna Brock
Thanksgiving is around the corner and people are gathering resources to celebrate with their communities. I was born and raised in Sweden and I came to America and New York City in 2008 so this will be my 9th Thanksgiving.
I have had the chance to celebrate this big day in many different ways here in the city. I have been invited to friends’ parents’ houses, I have been alone in my studio apartment, celebrated with American friends who were making their first own Turkey and I have organized my own immigrant friends Thanksgiving where there were no Americans to be found.
The thing I learned early on was that Thanksgiving is about the FOOD! And oh the food I have tasted! It reminds me of Christmas celebration in Sweden which is our biggest food holiday. I saw the care and pride that went into making the Thanksgiving meal and that gave me a deeper understanding for the holiday.
At Spellbound we are excited and committed to multi-sensory play and learning. The senses that can be hard to include in a regular class or performance is taste and smell although we have known to include apple eating in more than one of our shows… So what a wonderful opportunity to explore sensory play around food this Thanksgiving weekend!
Babies - Painting with Food
Let your baby go wild with some different food paints on a big, big piece of paper placed on the floor. Join your little one and make sure to smell and taste the food as you go along. If you don’t have time to make your own paint just use some store bought baby puré!
Toddlers - Fruit & Veggie Prints
Cut a vegetable or fruit in half, dip it in paint and stamp on a large paper that you put on the floor or the table. Easy! Explore what different shapes different produce make and how different densities and textures within the vegetable or fruit will create interesting prints.
Produce to try; broccoli, apple, orange, radish, celery, rutabaga, bell pepper and pumpkin.
Make your own edible, non/toxic fingerpaint and use for the stamps. That way you can just wash off the fruit and veggies afterwards and use them in your Thanksgiving cooking!
Pre-schoolers - Make your own vegetable family
Bring your little one to the store or farmer’s market and pick out some interesting and fun looking root vegetables or pumpkins. Imagine them as characters with eyes and see if you can find enough to represent your whole family. At home use a sharpie to draw eyes and mouth or use ready made eye stickers. Maybe use toothpicks for legs or arms or hair. Make one for each person or animal in your family.
Now it’s time to play!
Lauren Jost, Director