Thanksgiving is a time to remember the things in our lives we’re thankful for, and for many people family is at the top of that list. Teaching children to be thankful and appreciate the blessings in their lives can be difficult, since young children haven’t developed the ability to appreciate other people’s feelings very well yet. But there are lots of things parents can do to help children honour the special people in their lives at Thanksgiving. Here are some Thanksgiving activities that will help you to express appreciation for your family at Thanksgiving, while recording your family’s story.
Make a Photo Book
Moms who have done scrapbooking as a hobby may remember elaborate setups of special materials, papers and pages, but making a photo book can be as simple as you want it to be. A school notebook with blank pages, some printed photos, a glue stick and a set of colouring pencils can be all a kid needs to make a photo book for a family member. The photo book and memories inside makes a great holiday gift as well.
Draw Gratitude Pictures
Even the littlest kids can get involved with drawing pictures of things they are happy to have in their lives. Let everyone draw as many pictures as they want and display them on a picture wire strung across a mantlepiece, window frame or along a wall. This is one of the easiest Thanksgiving activities to do with your kids, and it’s a fun way to turn a bad-mood day into a good one for all ages.
Write a Thankfulness Letter
Choose a friend or family member and write a letter to them, describing the things about them you’re thankful for. Little kids can draw pictures of favourite outings or visits they’ve had with the person and parents can write a caption, while older kids and adults can write a letter themselves. It may seem like a cheesy thing to do, but receiving a hand written thank-you letter is an amazing experience.
Display Family Photos
Many families have a wall or picture frame with photos of special friends and family members on it, and updating this wall or creating one if you haven’t already is a great way to honour family at thanksgiving. Remember to display some photos in a kid-friendly way, either by hanging pictures lower on the wall or making a photo album that is safe for kids to look at independently.
Seize the Day with Thanksgiving Activities
Life is busy and it’s easy to put off expressing your appreciation. Maybe you think, “Oh, Mom knows how I feel about her anyway.” But life is also uncertain, and one of the biggest regrets people have on their deathbed is not saying the things they wanted to say to their loved ones before it was too late. Gratitude brings us back to the present moment and helps us live with awareness of the many blessings that surround us. Thanksgiving activities that help you share that gratitude with the people who mean the most to you will create good feelings that last all year long.
Michelle Carchrae is often asking those important life questions: "who moved the scissors?", "how would you do that differently next time?" and "are you finished with the glitter glue?" Homeschooling two girls, ages 6 and 3, is her full time job. The rest of the time Michelle can be found blogging at The Parent Vortex, hiking in the forest or knitting and reading simultaneously. She recently published her first ebook, The Parenting Primer: A guide to positive parenting in the first six years, and moved to Bowen Island.