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Celebrate Thanksgiving Charlie Brown's Way - Party Ideas for Turkey Time

As a child, I loved watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on TV. Since 1973, the Charles Schultz classic has entertained millions of kids on and around Thanksgiving Day. How many of us fantasized about eating jelly beans and popcorn instead of our mother’s green bean casserole? This year, make the kids’ table the best one in the house by recreating a Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving. Entertain the kids with crafts, games, and, of course, Chef Snoopy’s famous Thanksgiving meal (Jelly beans, popcorn, pretzels, and toast). It will be a Thanksgiving they will never forget!

Decorate the kids’ table with a disposable green tablecloth. Add some white tapelines and you have recreated the ping pong table where Snoopy served his guests. While I am sure the kids would count jelly beans as a vegetable, this mom believes that the kids have to eat everything on their plate from the traditional family meal before participating in Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving. The kids will rush through their dinner. When they are done, allow them to watch a screening of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. This will also give the parents an extra half-hour to eat in peace.

When the movie is over, move on to the crafts:

Charlie Brown Shirts. Purchase solid yellow shirts at the craft store along with black felt sheets. Make a template of the zigzag pattern from Charlie Brown’s famous shirt. Have the kids trace it on the black felt, cut it out, and hot glue it in place. Make one zigzag for each side of the shirt.

Chef Snoopy Hat. Gather two 8½ by 11 sheets of white paper and a sheet of black felt and parchment paper for each hat (see sidebar for assembly instructions). When the hats are made, trace and cut out Snoopy ears from the black felt and hot glue on the inside of the hat.

Mini Football Pillow. Use brown or NFL printed fabric to a make a tie-closed pillow. Make a template in two sizes: 22” and 17”. Trace the larger template onto the fabric and cut out two ovals. On the cut pieces, trace the smaller template on the backside. Have the kids cut 1” strips from the large oval edge to the line of the smaller oval. Then tie the two pieces together with the strips, leaving a couple open at the end to stuff with filling. When stuffed, tie the rest of the strips together. For an added touch, use white felt and hot glue to create the football stitches.

Games

Popcorn-Eating Contest. Popcorn was a staple at Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving. To play the game, give each player a small bowl of popcorn and two pretzel rods. On “go,” the first person to finish eating their bowl of popcorn using only the pretzel rods is the winner.

Jelly Bean Separation Anxiety. Place a handful of jelly beans in front of each person. Players have to separate the jelly beans by color into piles or paper cups. The first one to separate all of their jelly beans into the correct colors is the winner.

Pin the Football in the Goal. A spin on Pin the Tail on the Donkey, this game is one for all ages. Create a goal post out of paper and stick it to the wall. Cut out miniature footballs for the players to pin. Blindfold the players and see who can get their football in the goal.

Charlie Brown Trivia. This is a good game for older kids who have seen the movie “a million times.” Come up with your own questions by watching the movie ahead of time or use the questions in the sidebar.

Snoopy Chef Hat Directions

Supplies needed to make one hat:

  • 2 pieces of white computer paper

  • 5 feet of white parchment paper

  • 1 rubber band (elastic)

  • 1 sheet of black felt

  • Stapler

  • Scotch Tape

Tape two pieces of computer paper together at shorter end. Fold the paper in half lengthwise and then in half again. This will be the band of the hat.

Measure the band around the child’s head and cut off any excess paper.

Fold the parchment paper back and forth as if you are making a fan (1” strips).

Open up the fan and tape inside the folded band of the hat. Staple into place starting in middle and on ends and then filling in-between the staples.

Wrap band in a circle, but do not secure. Gather up fanned parchment paper and wrap the rubber band around the edge to hold it together.

Flip the band inside out so the rubber band is hidden inside the hat.

Secure the band to fit the child’s head.

Fluff out the hat so it is puffy on the sides.

Trace and cut out Snoopy ears on black felt.

Hot glue the ears to the inside of the band.

Charlie Brown Trivia Questions After Watching the Movie:

1. Who was the first guest Peppermint Patty invited?

2. Who helped Snoopy prepare dinner?

3. Was Sally part of the Thanksgiving meal?

4. What did Snoopy and Woodstock eat when everyone left?

5. What were Snoopy and Woodstock wearing?

6. Who is Sally supposed to write her essay about?

7. What are the only things Charlie Brown can cook?

8. Who says grace at Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving?

9. What time is Charlie Brown supposed to be at his grandmother’s house?

10. Who got the bigger piece of the wishbone at the end?

Answers: 1. Herself. 2. Linus, Charlie Brown, and Woodstock. 3. No. 4. Turkey. 5. Pilgrim outfits. 6. Myles Standish. 7. Cereal and toast. 8. Linus. 9. 4:30.
10. Woodstock.

Happy Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown!

Pam is a freelance writer and mother of three. Parties at her house include good food, laughter, and, of course, games. 

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