Thanksgiving is a time of reflection, slowing down, and an opportunity to teach our little ones the spirit of communities. Thankfulness for abstract things can be quite difficult for kids to comprehend so giving them visual and material ways of executing gratefulness has always worked best.
For elementary aged kids, the cornucopia is a great crafty, visual to help them understand their actions. Kids enjoy making their own cornucopias and when they do a good deed for others (even just siblings or parents) they put in either a crafted piece of food or a little paper that has their good deed written on it.
At the end of the holiday season, they can see all the good deeds they have collected and it gives them a great idea of how it helps others.
Another incredible approach to teaching kids thankfulness is to show them what they have. Take the kids around the house and point out their toys, their cozy bed, their clothing, and their house. Filling a bag of toys and bringing kids to a donation center to show them the good that it does is a powerful way to show kids the spirit of giving.
Soup kitchens, food pantries, and food drives at your local supermarkets are an additional outlet for kids to practice thankfulness through giving of their time. When the little ones see parents giving their time and goods, they will learn through example.
Teach them from a young age that Thanksgiving is about coming together in a spirit of giving and gratefulness and they will forever have that spirit.
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