Use these ideas to build a grateful heart in your child or students. Some activities can be done over a month's or week's time while others are as a single activity..
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Each year before our Thanksgiving meal we read a story from Family Life Today called Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember by Barbara Rainey. It is a story of the Pilgrims' faithfulness and biblical thankfulness. The book contains both large and small print words. Depending on the age of your children or the amount of time available, you can choose to read the large print for the whole story, or read everything and get more details.
Following the book reading, each person is given six pieces of corn. Circling around the table each person says one item that he or she is thankful for and then places one of the kernels of corn in a mug that we pass around. This process continues until all six pieces of corn are gone.
Each person shares six items of thanksgiving but this number may be lowered depending on the age and number of participants.
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For the month of October or November, write on a real or craft pumpkin. Each day add one or more items that you are thankful for.
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Put everyone's name in a bowl and place it on the table. Instruct each person to draw a name from the bowl and say one reason that he/she is thankful for that person.
Grab a couple of cans of crescent rolls. If you have the time and enjoy baking, make up a batch of butter horn rolls. (For best results use a higher-fat-content roll so the thankful stripes don't stick.) Cut stripes of paper that are approximately 1/2" x 3". With a pencil write or draw a picture of something that you are thankful for.
Roll the crescent rolls into triangle shapes. Place one thankful strip into each roll. Loosely wrap the roll into crescent shape. (Tightly rolling will make the paper stick. Some sources suggested smearing butter on the strips.) Bake according to directions. Allow to cool before breaking open. More tips...
On the dining room table place a basket of magnetic refrigerator letters for the kiddos to pick a letter at meal time and tell you one thing they are thankful for that begins with that letter. Write the ideas down to create an alphabetized list.
On a wall, door, or a bulletin board create a tree. Cut leaves to add to the tree. Each evening encourage each person to write one thing that they are thankful for and add it to the tree.
Printables included in the Thanksgiving Activity Workbook.
Add to a paper chain each evening by encouraging those in your family to write one thing that they are thankful for on each chain. See how long of chain you can create! For younger children, premake the chain and have the child tear off a link each day. May also write on a leaf and chain to create leaf garland.
On the wall, door, or a bulletin board create the body of a turkey. Cut feathers to add to the body. Each evening encourage each person to write one thing that they are thankful for and add it to the turkey.
Create a collage of items in which you are thankful. Draw or cut out pictures of the items and add the title "I am thankful for."
Weekly activities to help build an attitude of thanksgiving. The Workbook centers around memorizing Psalm 100 using a storyboard and actions. Weekly crafts, songs, and activities support the learning. Beginning in Week 3, a Thanksgiving Tree is created to develop an ongoing list of praises. Free for family Parenting to Impress blog and ABCJesusLovesMe Newsletter subscribers, or purchase here.