Help children get into the spirit of Thanksgiving, and the habit of giving thanks, with these fun ideas.
Capture the Moment
Take a picture of your child on Thanksgiving Day. Frame the photo and include, in your child’s own writing (or drawing), a few things for which he or she is thankful. As the years pass you will enjoy looking back on each one, and remembering what was important to your child at every age.
Tip: check for film, memory cards and batteries today.
Capture the Spirit with Scrapbooking
Gather the whole family together to make a Thanksgiving scrapbook. Each member can craft their own page to create a book that grows with your family’s ongoing gratitude.
Make a Family Mural
Tape a piece of fabric or poster board to the wall during your Thanksgiving family gathering. Ask everyone to write about something they feel especially thankful for. You may even want to use felt, fabric or other crafting supplies.
Tip: don’t forget to include names under each statement and, of course, the year.
Write it Down
Have family members write letters of thanksgiving or appreciation to one another. Young children may just want to make a list of the ways they appreciate mom or dad (because you are a great story reader, or because you make yummy pancakes). Mom, dad or other caregivers may want to take this opportunity to remind teens of the reasons they are glad to be their parents or guardians (because your creativity inspires me, I enjoy your sense of humor; I love the time we spend together).
Tip: this is a great relationship builder, particularly for parents and teens when the road has been a bit bumpy.
Say it with Pictures
Help children cut pictures out of magazines that represent the things they are happy about. Attach the pictures to poster board or paste them onto pieces of construction paper. Let children share their stories of thankfulness with the whole family gathered.
Tip: each child’s presentation would also be great for a video scrapbook.
Keep a Journal
Sarah Ban Breathnach’s, The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude [Grand Central Publishing,1996], reminds us of overlooked blessings and includes space to record a few things we are grateful for everyday. Help children get into the habit of noticing all the blessings that make life great by adding this ritual to cuddle and story time each evening.
Tip: buy or make a journal in which to list life’s many gifts.
Thanksgiving is a special time that comes only once each year, but everyday thankfulness is available to all of us for celebration every single day.