Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays mainly because it happens in the fall and because lots of yummy food is involved. And, oh yeah, I get to remember all my blessings. Sound familiar?
Sometimes, it is easy to forget why we have Thanksgiving in the first place. The meal becomes the big deal, and everything else is forgotten. I also love it though because it involves family and my family includes my favorite people in all the world!!
How can we instill a sense of family and thanksgiving in our own children? It isn't easy, but I believe you have to start them young. Talk to them about why their family is important, and teach them about where they come from. Their ancestors are an important reason why they are even on this earth, so it's important to teach them about that history.
One way to do this is to do a fun thanksgiving craft/layout with your children. Even the youngest one in your family will love this. Use finger paints and let them get their hands dirty! It is easy to make a turkey out of two little hands. Start with dipping each hand in finger paint. Place one hand on the page at a slight angle with the fingers spread out, and then when you make the handprint for the other hand, overlap the thumbs of your little one on the page to create the body of a turkey.
Help your child think of why they are thankful for their family. You can help them with the ideas, or for older children, have them come up with plenty of ideas on their own. Remind them not only of their immediate family, but of cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and even their relatives that have left this earth many years ago! They are sure to come up with reasons why they are thankful for those people!
As they come up with ideas, journal these ideas on the "feathers" (or fingers) of the turkey. For older children, let them write down the ideas themselves. Then, include a family photo on the layout. This can be an old photo of ancestors, or a current family photo that includes your children in it. Either way, it will remind them of family.
Pick a cute title for the layout like, "Don't be a turkey...Be Thankful for Families".
Children are never too young to start learning about the importance of families. Try making a fun layout like this to help teach, get creative, and be thankful!