Thanksgiving is a holiday filled with traditions, family, food, and history. But how do you teach your children about the history of Thanksgiving and the importance of being thankful? Here are some ideas.
Share your Thanks: Ask your children what they are thankful for, and tell them what you are thankful for. Consider starting a tradition to express your thankfulness, such as writing what you are thankful for on leaves and attaching them to a tree, creating a journal or box that is added to each year, filling in a calendar daily through the month of November, or making a collage with cut out pictures. You could also make it a game or song, and include extended family members.
Read Books: Read to them stories of the first Thanksgiving. Look for books about Pilgrims and Indians and how they celebrated the first Thanksgiving. Below are a few suggestions.
What Is Thanksgiving?: This book is a great way to share the original meaning of Thanksgiving with your child through rhyme and pictures.
The Story of Thanksgiving: This board book is a great way to share the history of Thanksgiving with toddlers, presented in the traditional form with helpful illustrations.
The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving: This book is geared for slightly older kids, and tells the accurate story of the first Thanksgiving through pictures and easy to understand text.
Act it Out: Make it fun by acting out the story. You can make simple hats and basic accessories. Be a narrator as your kids pretend to be Pilgrims and Indians. You can use the books above or the resources below to tell the story.
Education Activities: There are also many online resources, including history summaries, videos, songs and poems, games, coloring pages, and more.
Volunteer at a Charity: To help your children understand that some are less fortunate than others, help out at a charity, such as at a local shelter. Encourage your child to talk to those at the shelter, and help brighten their day.