5 Ways to Teach Kids Thanksgiving Gratitude
- November 16, 2015
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hello mamas and papas!
With my youngest now almost turning five, I’m realizing that we are ready as a family to start focusing more on the true meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday: being grateful and giving back. Here are 5 Thanksgiving craft ideas for kids focused on the real meaning of Thanksgiving that I plan to try over the next few weeks.
Any ideas regarding how to teach kids to be grateful this Thanksgiving? Please share below!
1. Make a Thankfulness Jar – Have each family member fill in a slip of paper for each of the things they are grateful for this year. Reading these notes would make for a great beginning or end to the big Thanksgiving feast. To make this more of a group craft, you could have your child cut and fold the paper or decorate the jar.
2. Volunteer for and visit those in need – There are countless people across the country who are less fortunate that we and won’t get to visit family nor put a hot meal on their table this year. Instill the meaning of gratitude by volunteering your time at a community center or local soup kitchen. Or find an older person in your community who is alone and deliver them a turkey or even just pay them a friendly visit. You’ll be so happy you did and your kids will never forget the experience.
3. Forego one luxury for a week – I hate to admit it but I am addicted to my smart phone. I honestly don’t know what I would do without it. But I’ve been thinking lately and maybe the best way to encourage Thanksgiving gratitude for our everyday blessings is to go without it or another such luxury for a few days. Skip the after-school cartoons or wait a week to dig into the tub of ice cream in the freezer. You and your family will be even more appreciative of these little luxuries after the week is up!
4. Encourage your kids to help around the house – As my kids have gotten bigger, I’m encouraging them to partake more in household chores. Thanksgiving can be a great time for encouraging this kind of involvement. Have your children help with setting the table or taking guests’ coats. Even the smallest gestures can help you instill the principle that it feels good to help others.
5. Involve your kids in the big Thanksgiving meal — In addition to getting your children to help out with household chores, have you children play a key role in the preparation of the big Thanksgiving meal. Have them snap the beans, mix the cornbread, or stuff the turkey with your family’s favorite stuffing. When kids get involved like this and feel a sense of ownership, the occasion becomes more meaningingful for them. And again, the next time you put a meal on the table in front of them, they will have a greater sense of what went into it.
I can’t promise that with all the hustle and bustle of my five kids that all these activities will see the light of day in our house, but at least I’ve now got them top of mind!
Thanks for reading and check back in tomorrow for more from CloudMom!