Thanksgiving is so much more than gathering around a table to dig into a dead turkey. Take a moment to teach your kids to appreciate the people and things in their lives that bring them happiness, love, and joy. If you’re looking to make the Thanksgiving holiday a little bit more meaningful for your family this year, here are five ideas that promise to bring more fun with a side of gratitude to your Thanksgiving table.
Place a jar in a prominent place in your home—the kitchen island, the center of your dining room table, the coffee table in the living room where your family gathers to watch television—and pair it with a pen and colorful, tiny, blank squares of paper. Throughout the year, have your kids write—or draw!—what they are thankful for on the squares and drop them into the special jar. At Thanksgiving, when everyone is gathered around the table, pull out each square of paper to remember and talk about the things you are so very thankful for this year. This activity is great end-of-year gratitude review and promises to recall happy memories from throughout your year.
Grab a giant pumpkin and some metallic paint pens and ask everyone gathered around your Thanksgiving table to write what they are most thankful for this Thanksgiving. This activity creates a beautiful table centerpiece that will keep gratitude on everyone’s mind throughout the festive meal.
For this pre-Thanksgiving, gratitude-focused activity, you’ll need smooth stones, colorful acrylic paints, and brushes. Gather your family around the table and ask everyone to paint what they are thankful for on their stone. The stones can then be placed on your Thanksgiving table or start a new tradition. Before or after dinner, set off on a Thanksgiving walk and scatter the stones in hidden spots around your neighborhood for others to find.
Gratitude ‘Round the Table.
From the youngest to the oldest in the family, take a moment to listen as each person gathered around the table shares one thing that they are grateful for this Thanksgiving. You can also turn this activity into a guessing game. Have everyone write down what they are most grateful for on a small piece of paper, toss the papers into a hat, and choose one at random to read out loud. Then have everyone at the table guess whose gratitude it is!
You’ll need large pieces of paper and markers for this thankful take on Pictionary. Set a timer for 3-5 minutes and ask each person gathered at the Thanksgiving table to DRAW something they’re grateful for. Then play a family guessing game as you determine what is on the drawing.