Zzzzz…. Sorry, just taking a little post-turkey nap here… You know how it is on Thanksgiving? Scarf down the turkey and the tryptophan kicks in. Or does it? It’s a bit of a fuzzy story. But the post-Thanksgiving meal exhaustion isn’t so here are 20 Quiet Time Activities for When Turkey Makes You Sleepy. Keep reading for the science behind the snooze and this week’s installment of the Love to Learn Linky.
What is Tryptophan
Tryptophan is an amino acid found in turkey, other types of poultry, fish and eggs. Amino acids are essential to the body, but need to be ingested through the food we eat. Tryptophan, in particular, is essential in the body’s production of niacin, which is utilized in digestion, our skin, nervous system and in serotonin production. Serotonin is critical in our sleep process, therefore turkey tryptophan makes you sleepy. Right?
Does the Tryptophan in Turkey Make You Sleepy?
But here’s where it gets confusing… The levels of tryptophan in turkey are actually lower than that of many other kinds of poultry like chicken. And no one accuses that bird of being a downer… So what is it about turkey that makes you sleepy? It’s actually what you usually eat with it that makes the tryptophan so effective. It’s the sweet potatoes and stuffing and pie and and and… The carbohydrate list is a mile long at your typical Thanksgiving dinner. These carbohydrates trigger your body to make insulin to process sugars. But a side benefit of insulin is it also stimulates the muscles to take in other amino acids than tryptophan, leaving a high concentration of tryptophan in your blood. High levels in your blood translate to high levels of serotonin. So bingo, eat pie after turkey? You are going to need a nap.
For more ways to learn science while eating your Thanksgiving meal, check out The Biology of Bread and stay tuned for Friday’s sweet potato themed post.
And now, while you’re napping, have the kids do some turkey-themed quiet time activities!
Have the kids get artistic on Thanksgiving Day with these calming crafts.
- Build a 3D Turkey Cutout with this printable from Real Life at Home.
- Your kids will be the most stylish ones at the table with a DIY Turkey Ring from I Heart Crafty Things or a Thanksgiving Turkey Hat from Planet Smarty.
- These Coffee Filter Turkeys from Buggy and Buddy are so colorful and cheery.
- These Turkey Frames from The Chirping Moms are a great way to show off those Thanksgiving memories.
Turkey Sensory Play
Soothe those senses with a bit of Thanksgiving themed sensory play.
- Smell the flavors of the day and make some unusual art with this Sensory Spice Turkey from The Preschool Toolbox.
- The kids can play in this Deconstructed Turkey Dinner sensory bin (mashed potatoes included!) from Carrots are Orange.
- Even paint and play dough can have a Thanksgiving scent. Try some Thanksgiving Sensory Paint or Cranberry Play Dough from Learn Play Imagine.
- Put together this Turkey Play Dough invitation to play from Fantastic Fun and Learning.
Turkey Learning Activities
You might as well hit up Grandma and Grandpa for a little help with some quiet time learning.
- These Thanksgiving Learning Activities from The Life of Jennifer Dawn teach literacy, hone memory and more.
- Pack a small activity bag for the day with this Lego Turkey Busy Bag from The Educators’ Spin On It.
- No room for stuff on the table? Try this free printable Turkey Feathers Number Matching Game from Totschooling.
- Practice colors and fine motor skills with this Paper Punch Color Match Turkey from Lalymom.
- This Turkey Tissue Paper by Number from Crayon Box Chronicles helps kids practice number and color skills.
Turkey Activities that Show Thankfulness
I work every day with my daughter to make sure she expresses gratitude. Luckily, one day a year it gets a bit easier.
- Show your love and gratitude with this Thankful Heart Turkey from CraftoArt.
- Make these Crafting Gratitude Turkey Placemats from Mamas Happy Hive for the big event or as a great way to remember family that you saw.
- This Upcycled Turkey Craft from the Natural Homeschool helps kids highlight everyone in their lives that they are thankful for.
- Go on a pinecone hunt and make these Giving Thanks Turkeys from Creating Couture Parties.
- Create and write thank you notes for the loved ones with these Turkey Thumbprint Cards from Silly Eagle Books.
Love to Learn Linky
A lot of these activities were shared on the Love to Learn Linky in past weeks. To see more amazing kids’ activities featured this week, check out my co-hosts posts:
Kids’ Turkey Handprint Multimedia Masterpiece from One Time Through
Tons of Fun Ideas for Kids from A Little Pinch of Perfect
Love to Learn Linky #16 from Totschooling
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Now it’s time for some more links! I hope you’ll join me and a few of my friends for a fun and educational linky party. Bloggers, share your posts every Thursday and watch as we round them up and share them all over the place. Almost anything goes, we’re just hoping your activities teach kids (or us!) something (science, art, cooking, behavior, crafting, parenting etc…). The Love to Learn Linky is hosted by:
Left Brain Craft Brain (leftbraincraftbrain.com): Anne is an ex-engineer, current stay-at-home mama writing about crafty ways to encourage creativity (and brain power!) in our kids. Each of her projects gives kids the chance to learn about a new subject and do something crafty at the same time.
Totschooling (totschooling.net): Viviana is a blogging mom to a toddler and a preschooler, sharing ideas and resources for early education. She specializes in unique, hands-on printable activities that are educational, fun and inspire creativity in young minds.
A Little Pinch of Perfect (alittlepinchofperfect.com): Katie combines creativity, play, and learning for the perfect mishmash of fun activities that keep kiddos entertained throughout the day. She wholeheartedly believes in the power of play and feels that all activities naturally provide a fun way to learn.
One Time Through (onetimethrough.com): Sue is an Elementary School Teacher currently on leave to be at home with her preschooler son. She shares ideas for connecting and learning with kids through meaningful, play-based activities that nurture curiosity and creativity.
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