20 Quiet Time Activities for When Turkey Makes You Sleepy

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.

20 Quiet Time Activities for When Turkey Makes You Sleepy 3

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!

Turkey Crafts

Have the kids get artistic on Thanksgiving Day with these calming crafts.Turkey Crafts Left Brain Craft Brain

Turkey Sensory Play

Soothe those senses with a bit of Thanksgiving themed sensory play.

Thanksgiving Sensory Play Left Brain Craft Brain

Turkey Learning Activities

You might as well hit up Grandma and Grandpa for a little help with some quiet time learning.

Turkey Learning Activities Left Brain Craft Brain

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.

Gratitude Turkeys Left Brain Craft Brain

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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Love to Learn Linky

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 BrainLeft 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.


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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.


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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 Logo Button photo onetimethrough-button_zps6d59d16e.png

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.


Love to Learn Linky Etiquette:

Love to Learn Linky

And now it’s time for the links!

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20 Quiet Time Activities for Thanksgiving Day Left Brain Craft Brain FB


9 thoughts on “20 Quiet Time Activities for When Turkey Makes You Sleepy”

  1. Great roundup idea Anne! I wish I’d had this resource last month when we celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada, so I’ll store it away for next year! Love the picture of your daughter – too cute! Best, Sue

  2. I love the roundup, and the education. I always thought is was all the turkey’s fault. Thanks for setting me straight. The hat the Babe is wearing is awesome! I think everyone needs a hat like that.

    1. leftbraincraftbrain

      Me too Katie! That’s actually what I thought when I started writing the post and then had to be educated too. Oh and the hat? Target Dollar Spot :)

  3. Pingback: What's the Difference Between Sweet Potatoes and Yams? - Left Brain Craft Brain

  4. Pingback: The Science of Thanksgiving Dinner - 12 Ways to Learn and Play - Left Brain Craft Brain

  5. Pingback: Kids' Turkey Handprint Multimedia Masterpieces + Linky - One Time ThroughOne Time Through

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