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Giving Thanks

Ways to Be Thankful on Thanksgiving


Updated November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving is often a busy time for people, but it's also a time we should stop and consider the things we have to be thankful for. Here are some things you and your family can do to put some focus on giving thanks.

1. Watch Some Thanksgiving Movies

There are some wonderful movies about Thanksgiving that the whole family can watch. Two of my favorites are Mouse on the Mayflower and Miracle on 34th Street. I like the first one because it provides an opportunity to talk about the founding of the country and the first Thanksgiving.

The second one takes place between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I like it because it centers on faith -- in family, in wishes, and even in even in our fellow human beings. It reminds us of the importance of being positive and being thankful for what we have.

2. Read Some Thanksgiving Books

Children who like to read are sure to enjoy reading books about Thanksgiving. From picture books to story books with delightful stories about Thanksgiving to a history of the first Thanksgiving in 1621, there is a book available for every taste and interest.

Here are some additional books that gifted kids should enjoy:
Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving

A Child's Story of Thanksgiving

3. Make Some Thanksgiving Treats

The grown ups are usually busy preparing for Thanksgiving, so why not let the kids help? They can create some of these easy treats with little or no supervision.

Candy Cornucopia Treat
Turkey Cupcakes
Easy Thanksgiving Recipes For Kids
Harvest Blessing Snack Mix

4. Make Some Thanksgiving Crafts

Are you looking for some fun Thanksgiving crafts for the kids? One of my favorites is a Thanksgiving Paper Chain. It's easy enough that the kids can do it on their own, and it helps them focus on the idea of giving thanks on Thanksgiving.

Another simple craft that puts the focus on the thanks in Thanksgiving is the Giving Thanks Jar. The kids can make the jar, but the whole family uses it to give thanks.

5. Be Creative

The kids can write their own stories about Thanksgiving and then read them after Thanksgiving dinner. Or, if you have company, the kids can read their stories while everyone is waiting for dinner to be served.

The kids can also write a play and perform it for the guests. Or they can write a poem. If your child is artistic, he or she can draw or paint some pictures than can be used to decorate the house. You can even iron the picture in between two pieces of wax paper to make homemade placemats for the table. Musical children can compose a song to be sung or played.

The kids can start a journal in which they write what they are thankful for. The journal can be put away and then brought out every Thanksgiving.
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