I just love this time of year! Maybe it’s the different energy that seems to abound in the air, my children’s contagious excitement, the onset of new and old traditions, the changing of the seasons or, perhaps, all of the above! I’m just one of those people that absolutely loves this season and all of the energy that comes with each holiday. With all of this positive energy, I got to thinking more and more about Thanksgiving and how we emphasize the meaning of it with our own children.
My deeper thoughts surrounding Thanksgiving were inspired one late evening as I was prepping for the story time I lead within our church. I started thinking, wait, how can I make this a much more meaningful lesson? How can I teach more about truly having a grateful heart? That’s when I thought…let’s set up different ways we can bring a genuine “thanks” back into Thanksgiving!
Below are some quick ways I’ve scooped from Pinterest to help your kids focus on more than just talking turkey during next week’s holiday celebrations!
- Create a Gratitude Pumpkin-ONLY four supplies needed!
The image above in this post is one of my favorite new crafts we created last week! Of course I found it on Pinterest (my not-so-secret obsession)
Here’s the Pin: https://pin.it/3i4mhyzennqvof
Here’s the direct link to the website it was posted on:
Here are the simple directions!
*orange and green construction paper
*staples or brads
Cut out 8 pieces of orange contraction paper into 1 inch strips. You will also need to cut out 2 leaves and 2 skinny strips of green contraction paper for the vines.
Have your kiddos write something they are thankful for on each strip of orange construction paper. Be sure to leave about a 1 inch space on the sides of the strip so the writing isn’t covered up when stapled together.
Use a stapler or tape to attach the orange strips at the top and then at the bottom to form a pumpkin.
Add your leaves and green vines. You can roll up the green construction in a paper to help curl the vines.
Painting Thankful Rocks!
This is an awesome activity inspired by my local library!
- Any size rock–although selecting ones that are the flattest possible make it easy for writing!
- Orange or Yellow paint–could be acrylic or even simple water-based paints your kids have
- Permanent Sharpie Marker–any color but black works best.
- Mod Podge–easy to find at your local craft store like Michaels or, if time allows, order it from Amazon here!
- Set up a “safe” painting space ( we used our hard wood floor and newspaper).
- Paint the rock on one or both sides
- Let the rock dry for as long as possible. You will need it to be completely dry before applying the Mod Podge.
- While waiting for the rock to dry–brainstorm a list of different things/people/places you’re thankful for with your kids. Ask them why they are so thankful for these things.
- You can also play a great game called the “gratitude” game based off of the classic “pick up sticks” game while you wait! Here’s the information: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/252975704049236823/
- Apply Mod Podge with a paint brush in thin layers. The Mod Podge will look white but will dry clear.
- NOTE! Mod Podge can take several hours to a full day to dry depending. No worries! Just have the kiddos add what they are thankful for at the Thanksgiving Day Table or at anytime you gather together!
Take the Sharpie marker and recap what you spoke about with your kids! Depending on the size of the rock, have your kids choose those people or things that they are most thankful for and begin writing! My “littles” had so many things –we had to create several thankful rocks to fit everything!
Have a fun and a very blessed Thanksgiving!