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5 Super cute Thanksgiving activities to help kids practice gratitude

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 11/19/21

Here are 5 easy crafts you can do at home to get in the right spirit for the upcoming holiday.

Gratitude is having a real moment in the spotlight lately, thanks to research showing that giving thanks can make you happier. Of all the cultural trends that come and go, this is one of the best, and we hope it’s here to stay!

As Christians, we don’t just give thanks because it makes us happy. We practice gratitude because we believe “It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give [God] thanks.”

Since we know that gratitude has many benefits, both spiritual and psychological, we might wonder how we can teach this virtue to our children. The prospect can seem daunting. How can we encourage our children to have grateful and humble hearts in a world that seems to applaud entitled and selfish behavior? 

One simple way is to model gratitude ourselves. Children learn best by imitation, so let’s take time to share things we are thankful for with them. For example, many families have a daily practice of thanking God for his blessings.

This month dedicated to Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year to set aside time for giving thanks. Here are 5 easy crafts you can do at home this month to get in the right spirit for the upcoming holiday. (But of course, if you’re short on time, don’t forget that a craft is not really necessary: Simply giving thanks together is meaningful enough!)

1Thankful Jar

All you need to create this eye-catching Thankful Jar is the following: 

  • An empty mason jar 
  • Tissue paper 
  • Scissors 
  • Paintbrush 
  • Mod Podge or liquid glue

It’s a great craft for kids to make themselves. Check out the full tutorial at Buggy and Buddy!

2Gratitude Stones

These smooth and sturdy Gratitude Stones are a tangible symbol of thankfulness. Here’s what you’ll need to make them:

  • Stones (washed and dried) 
  • Tissue paper 
  • Scissors 
  • Glossy Mod Podge 
  • Paintbrush

Check out the tutorial, as well as 5 meaningful ways to use the stones, over at Fireflies and Mud Pies.

3Garland of Gratitude

This sweet craft makes a beautiful fall decoration as well as a reminder of God’s blessings! Simply cut paper into leaf shapes, write a reason to be thankful on each one, and attach each one to a string. You’ll need these materials:

  • Paper 
  • Markers 
  • Scissors 
  • Hole punch or clothespins 
  • Yarn or string

An even prettier option is to use coffee filters instead of paper: The effect is like stained glass. This is the gratitude craft I chose to make with my kids! Just wait until they’re dry to write on them.

4Thankful Pumpkins

These little pumpkins make a darling centerpiece! And putting them together is a fun and mess-free activity to keep little ones occupied before the Thanksgiving meal. You’ll need the following:

  • Orange and green construction paper or cardstock 
  • Toilet paper or paper towel cardboard tubes
  • Tape 
  • Markers

Start saving your cardboard tubes now!

5Gratitude Wreath

This charming Thanksgiving wreath helps your child focus on the things they’re grateful for all year, and it looks lovely hanging on the wall or door! You’ll need these materials:

  • Construction paper (red, yellow, and orange) 
  • Leaf templates
  • Pens
  • Scissors 
  • Glue sticks 
  • Thin cardboard 

Find the tutorial at Hands On As We Grow.

Catholic LifestyleChildrenThanksgiving
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