The Thanksgiving holiday is fast approaching. Are your kids getting stir-crazy while you finish your lists of ingredients to buy, food to prepare, and relatives to seat at the dining room table?
Help them feel included in the bustling preparations. Give each one a pad of paper, and encourage them to make their own gratitude lists.
10 Reasons I’m Thankful for You
Invite your children to choose one family member on the Thanksgiving guest list. Now, ask them to write down ten reasons they’re thankful for this person. Some items on their gratitude list might be one-word character or personality traits (cheerful, musical, trustworthy). Other entries could be short phrases or full sentences (She takes the time to listen; prays for me a lot).
If your child is too shy to give her list to that special person on Thanksgiving Day, save it to mail in a Christmas card!
On Adventures We Will Go
Let your kids choose a different family member from the master guest list. Ask them to make a list of ten activities they enjoy sharing with this special relative. Challenge your children to begin each entry with an “-ing” word (present participle), followed by a prepositional phrase:
- Running at the park
- Hiking in the woods
- Fishing at the lake
- Playing board games on Sunday afternoons
When the lists are finished, help them write a gratitude-filled title, such as “I’m Thankful We Can Spend Time Together.”
The Blessing of Food
Encourage your children to peek inside the refrigerator or pantry so they can count their many blessings related to food! With such a variety of tastes and smells—not to mention the plethora of grocery stores in town and kitchen gadgets at home—our families have so much to be thankful for.
Help your littlest writers make a list of five or six foods they’re thankful for. Ask them to include at least one item from each food group.
Ask each child to make a list of favorite memories related to food. If they draw a blank, jog their memory by reviewing the four seasons:
- You baked pumpkin muffins with Grandma last winter.
- We decorated an amazing birthday cake last spring.
- You picked lemons and made real lemonade last summer.
- We visited a farmer’s market in July.
- You and your brother made raisin faces on peanut butter sandwiches this fall.
Thankful for Farmers (and Truckers and Grocers!)
Another idea? Ask the kids to make a list of all the people who help provide the food we eat. If one of your children loves cereal, remind him of…
- Farmers who grow the grain
- Workers who repair farm tractors and sprinklers
- Harvesters and cereal-factory workers
- Truck drivers and warehouse managers
- Grocery store checkers and baggers…
- …and don’t forget the people who help produce the milk!
Whether your youngsters write lists about people or food, remind them to give thanks for each blessing in their life. Who knows? You might feel inspired to write a list of your own.
Daniella Dautrich is a WriteShop alumna who loves real food, plush pets, and large family gatherings.