Updated November 4, 2019.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, this time of year lends itself to discussing thankfulness and gratitude with your kiddos. It’s a great time for everyone to take stock of the many things for which they should be thankful. But sometimes gratitude and thankfulness can be difficult concepts for kids. It’s not that they aren’t appreciative of what they have; it’s just that they sometimes take it all for granted or don’t know how to express their thanks. In the spirit of the season, we’ve rounded up a few fun ideas that will help your kids and families put into words what they are thankful for. Many of which are great activities for Thanksgiving Day.
Gratitude Scavenger Hunt
This activity will get your kids up and moving and help them take stock of what they’re thankful for. Give your children a list of categories and ask them to find things around the house or neighborhood that they are thankful for. You can give them a camera to take a photo of each object or just have them write everything down. For older kids you may want to make it a competition to see how many they can find in a set amount of time. If you have little children who can’t write yet, just walk around with them and point out things that fit each category. letsgettogether.com has a FREE Photo Gratitude Scavenger Hunt printable.
Thanksgiving Tree, Gratitude Wreath or Thankful Turkey
These activities not only show what your kids are thankful for, they also provide you with Thanksgiving decorations! Cut leaf or feather shapes out of colorful paper and have your children write something that they are thankful for on each one. Keep these crafty creations and enjoy looking back on how your children’s lists of blessings change over the years. Find examples of a Thankful Tree at Cleverly Simple, Gratitude Wreath at theclassroomcreative.com and Thankful Turkey at craftsforallseasons.com.
Print out a sheet with the alphabet on it and have kids think of one thing they are thankful for that begins with each letter of the alphabet. Work together with younger kids or make it into a game for older kids by timing them. Heck, even adults can get in on the fun and complete one! Find a cute Thanksgiving ABC Printable at MomTrends.
Help your children create placemats for your Thanksgiving meal. You can cut out leaf or pumpkin shapes from colorful paper and have the kids (and adults!) write the things they are thankful for on each shape. Be sure to include the family members who will be joining you on Thanksgiving and other things important to your family. Find a Printable Placemat for Giving Thanks at potterybarn.com.
Thank You Notes
Encourage you kids to express their gratitude by writing thank you notes or drawing pictures for the people in their lives. These can be for the closest people in their lives, like grandparents and teachers, or you can go one step further and ask your kids to think about community helpers who make their lives better or safer. Cards for local firefighters, crossing guards, garbage men or neighbors will be much appreciated. Better yet, bake cookies to go along with your notes! Your children will see the faces of their community members light up upon receiving thanks for what they do, which will teach your kids how enjoyable it is to express thankfulness. todayscreativelife.com has a great round up of Printable Thank you notes for children.
How does your family have fun together while giving thanks? We’d love to hear!