Thanksgiving Activities for Children
Thanks-giving is something we can and should be doing all year long, (note to self) but November is a month that is an ideal time to really focus on this character trait, and build an "Attitude of Gratitude"! I encourage you to read about the first Thanksgiving and children in histoy! There are some excellent Thanksgiving book recommendations for all ages here! In this post are some of my Best Character-building book recommendations! Reading living books that are character-building fosters the Godly character, such as gratitude, that you want to see in your children.
"Attitude of Gratitude"
by continually offering up thanks to God
A Month of Thanksgiving Activities for All Ages
Here are some fun Thanksgiving activities that you can do with your family, no matter what age you are, to encourage a thankful heart! Start a tradition this year! But, if it's not Thanksgiving time, don't let that stop you from doing activities to promote thankfulness!
Craft Idea To Do To Promote Thankfulness at Thanksgiving
DIY project: Paint a ball jar, decorate the outside of the jar, leave the cover on and cover it with fabric, or, put raffia around it or ribbon. This will make you want to leave it out in plain sight, which will remind everyone even more to be thankful!
For Small Children
- Draw a tree (see image above or go to A Thanksgiving Tree for complete instructions) with a trunk and branches, but no leaves.
- Have each of your children think of something each day that they're grateful for, and write it on a piece of paper in the shape of a leaf, or trace their hand in colored paper for fall leaves.
- Add leaves daily and try to have a full tree by Thanksgiving!
- Draw a turkey with a body (basically a circle) and a head, but no feathers on stiff paper or construction paper.
- Write daily thanks on paper in the shape of a feather. Try to have a full turkey by Thanksgiving!
- Have your children color Thanksgiving placemats! I've pinned some free Thanksgiving placemat printables on my Pinterest boards "Preschool" and "Toddlers"!
Thankfulness doesn't just happen. You have to promote and encourage it. "A Thankful Thoughts Journal" is a tool to use in your family! Print one for your tween and teen to use. Use it as a couple for special bonding time! Have your preschooler dictate their thanks and color a picture--bind it together as a keepsake you'll keep forever! Use it in your morning time or at mealtime as a family! 31 days of journal prompts, inspirational and motivational quotes and Bible verses beautiful enough to print out and frame. Get "A Thankful Thoughts Journal" today!
For Older Children
- Older children, teens and young adults, as well as parents, can make a list, which you all read once a week. Our family has done this a few years, and on Sunday mornings in November we'd gather and read our lists to one another. This was an amazingly bonding activity, and is eye-opening as it lets you, as parents, in on what your older children and teens are thinking. A variation on this: Read your thanks-giving lists on Thanksgiving Day, (after your meal, so you don't upset the cook!).
Family Discipleship: Grateful Together
- Write a letter of gratitude to someone. For a number of years, all four of us wrote a note of gratitude to each of our three teaching elders of our church and their family. Then we put them all in an envelope and presented the envelope to them on the Sunday before Thanksgiving (or you can mail them). Writing out your thanks makes you really think about how much you have to be grateful for, and the extra effort really makes the recipient feel special--plus they can keep it and read it over and over again.
Creating Family Unity Through Traditions
- At the top of every hour, whether at work or home, or wherever you are, stop and think of something for which to say "Thank You, Lord." Knowing that each of your family members is doing the same is also spiritually bonding.
None of these activities is difficult or time-consuming. They don't cost a lot of money. They are a sacrifice of self, but reap rich rewards. Planting seeds of gratitude grows a harvest, like the mustard seed grows a tree, much larger than you would ever expect.
I encourage you to begin traditions in your home, if you haven't already. Choose ones that are timeless. All of these can be carried on into your children's homes and families when they grow up!
The act of remembering to give thanks is so Biblical, and pleases God. It is God's will, in fact! It causes our hearts and minds, and habits to be changed. We are a forgetful people, a good friend of ours likes to say, yet God has been so good to us! Let's stop to remember and give Him thanks and cultivate an "Attitude of Gratitude" this November!
Have a Great Week Making Your Home For God!
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Wendy Gunn helps young Christian moms have clarity and consistency prioritizing God's Unique Goals for their home, family, and life through courses and coaching.