I have all of these ideas about “being thankful” in my head, and there’s no way I’ll be able to squeeze every one of them out in time with my own family, so I have to share.
- It’s an oldie but a goodie, but making Turkey handprints is a classic way to get into the thankful spirit. Trace around everyone’s hand and then let them color in the “feathers” (fingers) any ol’ way they want. You ask and write down your child’s responses to “what are you thankful for this year?” on each of the feathers/fingers. Pop a name and a date on it and you’ve got yourself a cute momento! Consider framing it in an inexpensive frame or making a collage with them for each year.
- Have a Turkey Hunt. It’s your basic scavenger hunt, turkey-style. You can use decorator feathers or turkey-shaped Foamies. The person to find the most in a short amount of time wins a prize. What to do with those collected feathers? Why, make a turkey or an Indian headress, of course!
- If you are hosting Turkey Day at your house, let your child(ren) help you with placecards. You can purchase pre-cut placecards at craft stores. Decorate and write guests names on them. Have your child think of something special about each guest and write it down on the placecard.
- Similarly, have each guest write down something they are thankful for on a piece of paper and place it in a large bowl of vase. During or just after the meal, have each person draw a slip from the “thankful bowl” and read what’s written on it. It doesn’t have to be your own–better if it isn’t–have others members around the table guess who’s thankful card it was.
- Do you have a little chef or waitress? Have them don an apron and pass our hors deorves. (does that mean “hour of devour,” by chance?!) It makes them feel “big” and gives them a task to do, so you can do yours!
- Work up an appetite! Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be all about stuffing your face. Do a family 5K walk/run the morning of Turkey Day or be like us and take a hike at nearby park. While you’re walking, chat about what you are thankful for.
- Speaking of appetites, I have been advocating for a long time to have my family work in a soup kitchen or a shelter for Thanksgivng. It hasn’t worked out yet, partly because our kids have been too little to understand or appreciate it, but soon we’ll make this a tradition.
- Donate your time to www.saveourstarvingchildren.org in which you can help prepare food items/create carepackages for those less fortunate. There’s one in our local area (Naperville/Aurora, IL) and there just may be one near you, too.
- Remember, it’s not just one day a year we should be thankful, but all of the days of the year…we forget how simple and easy it is just to be thankful. Our family has started a tradition each day–usuaully at the dinner table–in which we share something we are thankful for. Try it. You may be surprised what your children are thankful for!
UP NEXT on Leslie 4 Kids:
- Apraxia Monday will feature interview withTeri Peterson, CCC-SLP and a give-a-way of her book, “The Big Book of Exclamations!” I won’t want to miss this. Pass it on to other friends who are interested. Be thinking about your child’s favorite exclamations…sharing them will be part of the give-a-way.
- Mystery Readers at Kate’s Kindergarten Class…see what I read, how they react, and how you can make your kid love reading.
- Holiday Ho-Ho-Ho Down on Wednesday will feature some gift-giving tips and tricks.