Teach Your Child About the "Thanks" in "Thanksgiving" with this Child-Friendly Activity


Tis' the season of friends, family, memories and kids running everywhere!!


What a time of year it is - it is so hectic and crazy as we start to prepare for the holidays. First comes Halloween (we survived that) and next comes Thanksgiving. The food and decor, meals and we have to keep the kids entertained! How are we going to get everything done?


Well, I am a HUGE advocate for getting kids engaged in the holiday preparations and planning. One way to do this is to encourage your child to help make decorations for the big day.



When involving your child in preparing for Thanksgiving, they not only get a "sneak peak" into all the work it takes to prepare, but this is also a time that you can teach them what thankfulness is all about.


Here is a fun and sweet way your child can help you prepare for Thanksgiving (and get some awesome decor at the same time):


Activity: Thankful Hands

Click Here for a Printer Friendly Version of this Activity

Materials needed:

  • One Marker
  • One Piece of Construction Paper (any color) for each Thanksgiving guest 
  • Some glitter and glue (if you dare - or markers work too ;) )


We are going to make Thankful Placemats for each person that is going to be eating Thanksgiving Dinner with us. 


Step 1: Have the child use the marker to trace one of their hands on each piece of paper. If they are unable to do this on their own, the adult can help.


Step 2: The adult should write the name of each guest on top of each place mat (one guest name on each piece of paper).


Step 3: Pick up one place mat and read the name that is written on it to the child. Ask the child to tell you five things that they are Thankful for about that person. The adult should write one thing in or above each of the five hand print fingers:


Example: "I am thankful for Uncle Bob because:

  1. He is funny.
  2. He smiles a lot. 
  3. He has big eyes.
  4. He helps me walk up stairs.
  5. I like his green shirt."

Step 4: Repeat Step 3 for each of the guests that are coming over.


Step 5: Allow the child to use crayons, glue and glitter to decorate each hand print placement.


** Have the child put each place mat on the dinner table the morning of Thanksgiving (where each guest will sit). Enjoy the "awes" coming from your guests!



Looking for some great ideas on how to help your child prepare for a meal at another family members house? How do we make sure our kids respect the rules in others homes and/or feel comfortable while they eat at a new table with lots of people around? Find out how in the Parenting Tips of this Unit.


Comment below: How do you include your child in your Thanksgiving preparation?


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