Mama’s at a Glance- November

Stephanie Peterson with Utah’s Mama shares with Studio 5 some great things to do this October.¬

Mama’s at a Glance- November

Time is the number one thing us moms wish we had more of. Whether you’re a stay at home mom, working mom, or single mom, we all want to engage our children each and every month. Planning and researching fun activities feels like another chore to add to the list along with dishes, laundry and carpooling. We’ve planned the month of November for you and your children to engage in crafts, books, cooking, games, service and more. Take this calendar and pick some fun things that you and your family might enjoy this month. See what works with your schedule and remember… you don’t have to do it all. Good luck and have fun this November!

For your convenience we have provided a link to a printable calendar for November:
Print it out and fill it up with some of these fun activities.

November 1st-7th

Tree of Thanks

This is a great month to remember all the things you are grateful for and try to do a little more good. Make a tree of thanks by gathering some branches to put in a vase. You’ll need to put some pebbles in the bottom of the vase to hold the branches in place. Use this template ( to print different colored leaves and cut out leaves to hang on your tree. Put these in a bowl to the side of the tree. Challenge your family to write something they are grateful for on one side of the leaf and on the other something they did for someone else. It could be as simple as giving a hug or smile to someone, using kind words, or sharing. See how many leaves you can get on your tree by the end of the month.

Fieldtrip: Splendid Heritage: Perspectives on American Indian Art @ Utah Museum of Fine Arts

Friday, November 6th

The UMFA is honored to curate and premiere this extraordinary exhibition of American Indian art from the John and Marva Warnock Collection. Splendid Heritage: Perspectives on American Indian Art will present 144 objects of unique artistry and powerful cultural expression from the Native people of the Plains, Plateau and Northeast. The exhibit contains cultural artifacts and works of art, including beaded tobacco bags, weapons, dolls, cradles, war shirts, dresses, and moccasins. This exhibition also features a make-and-take table where visitors can create their own parfleche case, hands-on activity stations, and family backpacks that allow families to explore the horse culture of the Plains Indians.

Party of the Month: Cookie Decorating Party

Forget the big dinner and have your family or friends over to decorate leaf sugar cookies. Use this fail-proof recipe. Make the cookies ahead of time and have all your goodies (frosting in different colors and candies) ready to go when your guests arrive. Don’t forget a tablecloth to make cleanup easy. Have some gift boxes or brown bags on hand so your guests can take extras home.

Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter (room temperature)

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

1 tsp soda

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

4 cups flour

Cream butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream. Add vanilla, soda, baking powder, salt.

Mix in flour one cup at a time. Mix until smooth. Chill dough thoroughly. Roll out dough using 1 cup flour to desired thickness and cut shapes. Bake 350 degrees, 12-15 minutes.

November 8th-14th

Family Fun Night: Rake Leaves

Now I know you are thinking what’s fun about raking leaves? But the combination of kids and leaves really is fun. Make big piles and jump through them, throw them around, or make a fort (if you have enough). You’ll be surprised at how much you have.

Game of the Month: Charades
Charades is great for family get-togethers, such as a “Charades Party” at Christmas or Thanksgiving-time. With help, even kids as young as three can play. Basically, Charades is pantomime: acting out a word or phrase without speaking. For example, “football” could be broken down into “foot” and “ball.”

Charades can be played with any type of word or phrase; but with kids, you may find that movie titles work best. Sleeping Beauty, Lion King… Most kids are familiar with many simple movie titles. And even the youngest can do Pinocchio!

Usually Charades is played by two competing teams in a race against time: each time a player acts out a phrase, a stopwatch is used to track the time, with a maximum of two (or three) minutes for each turn. The team with the least amount of total minutes and seconds wins. With young kids, however, you might want to skip the stopwatch and the competitive element.

Charades: getting started

There are many variations of how to play Charades, but here’s one format:

• Divide into teams, move into separate rooms.

• Think of a bunch of titles to be acted out, and write each title on a slip of paper.

• These slips of paper will be given to the opposite team.

• Write a player’s name on each slip of paper: make sure that young kids get easy titles to act out.

When pantomiming, for starters:

• First, indicate to your team whether you’re going to mime the title of a movie, book, TV show- see below.

• Next, indicate how many words are in the title. (Hold up the number of fingers.)

• Next, indicate which word you want to start acting: hold up three fingers for “Third Word”, and so on.

Then: start acting silly!

Craft: Feather Hat
Measure the recipients head; lay out a strip of duct tape, adhesive side up. Place feathers on the strip, then cover with another strip of tape (adhesive side down) for a fun feather hat. You could make one for everyone at the dinner table. What a fun picture that would be!!

November 15th- 21st

Family Cooking: November 17th- Homemade Bread Day
It’s been a goal of mine to at least once in my life make homemade bread. For moral support gather your family together and try this AMAZING recipe.

Quick and Easy French Bread

6-7 cups flour

2 tbsp. sugar

2 tbsp. yeast

1 tbsp. salt

2 tbsp. oil

2 ½ c. hot tap water

2 tbsp dough enhancer

Measure 3 cups of flour into mixing bowl. Add sugar, yeast and salt. Mix well. Add water and oil and mix. Add rest of flour, until dough is not sticky. Dough should clean sides of the bowl. Knead a few minutes and let dough rest 20-30 min.

To form loaves: divide dough in half (or fourths). Roll out into rectangle. Roll up, pinching seam. Place seam side down on cookie sheet. Cut 3 diagonal cuts in each loaf for a French bread look. Brush with beaten egg and let rise* until double in size. Bake in 400 degree oven for 15-20 min. Will make 2-4 large loaves or 4-8 small.

*To rise: turn oven to 150 degrees and turn off. Put bread in for 15-20 min.

Service Project: Harvest Blessing Mix

Can you think of someone who could use a visit? A neighbor, a grandma or grandpa, or friend? Drop by with some harvest blessing mix and this little note to thank that person for being in your life.

Harvest Blessing Mix

Each ingredient in this snack mix symbolizes something associated with the Harvest Season (Thanksgiving).

Bugles– Represents a cornucopia, a horn of plenty.

Pretzels– Represents arms folded in thanks and prayer.

Candy Corn– During the first winter, the pilgrims were each allotted only 5 kernels of corn per day because food was so scarce.

Peanuts/Sunflower Seeds– Seeds represent the potential of a bountiful harvest for the next season if they are planted and well tended.

Chocolate– Today’s Modern Pilgrim would not be able to make it through Thanksgiving without chocolate!

Fieldtrip: Garden Cornucopia @ Red Butte Garden from 10-11:30am

Saturday, November 21st

Red Butte’s gathered together dried husks, gourds, ornamental grasses, and other harvest materials to make spectacular garden cornucopias! Amaze your family and friends with your unique, creative centerpiece at the Thanksgiving table.

November 22nd-28th

Read Thanksgiving Books

Thanksgiving Wish, by Michael J. Rosen; Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving, by Joseph Bruchac; and In November by Cynthia Rylant

Journaling: Thanksgiving Album

This month’s journaling is along the lines of last month. This month pass around festive paper and have each person write down what they are grateful for. The little ones will need help writing or they can draw a picture which would be more fun to look back on. You will enjoy having this album every year to see how they have grown and what is really important to them.

Burn Some Energy: Utah Human Race to Benefit the Utah Food Bank
November 26th, 8am @ Draper Outlet Mall: If your husband has left you with the kids to play football, gather the kids and start a tradition of your own by
participating in this 5k fun run/walk. Race proceeds will go to the Utah Food Bank and other Humanitarian Services. Cost $10/individual, $50/family. Pre-register at Bring canned goods to donate the morning of the race.

Utah Mama’s provides personal, professional and parenting resources designed to foster a greater sense of identity, empowerment and connection for women and mothers everywhere. The Handbook covers what, where and how to be the best Mama in town by collecting all the top Mama secrets. From community services and school information, to places to do and things to see-it’s a book packed with information that is compiled into 25+ in-depth chapters. To order your Utah Mama’s Handbook, and for other great mothering information and advice, visit

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