Fun Activities to Teach Students to Be Thankful
Many of us get increasingly busy around the holidays, and we sometimes forget to take a moment to reflect on the many things we have to be thankful for. So here are some fun, simple ways to work thankfulness into your family’s schedule. These activities not only provide the opportunity to show thankfulness, but also they might even become new family traditions!
To help get your creativity and thankful thoughts flowing, here are three of my favorite activities:
- Time to Be Thankful Placemats. What better time to bring out your family’s inner thankfulness than when you’re gathered around the dinner table together? Making placemats that remind you of the many reasons to give thanks is a fun activity to start the holiday season off right. Students who enjoy art projects tend to be especially excited about this activity. It gives them a unique canvas to work on and lots of resources to draw inspiration from.
Use two pieces of standard-sized construction paper, taped side-by-side. Then start getting creative! Have your family members print photos from the computer, cut out pictures from magazines, look for words and sayings that mean something special, or even draw pictures by hand. Put it all together in a collage format and add each person’s name and the year on it. Once you get them laminated, they become meaningful placements you can use for years to come. Bon appétit!
- Chain of Thanks. Families who are short on time or don’t always have the opportunity to get together all at once will love this one. By putting paper chains together over time, you create fun, homemade holiday decorations that also teach your students to recognize all the little reasons they have to give thanks.How:Cut a bunch of strips of colorful construction paper. Then, every time something happens that a family member is thankful for, have them write it down on one of the strips. Encourage thankful thoughts both small and large. Include everything from “I’m thankful I can learn my lessons in my pajamas” to “I give thanks every time Grandma comes to visit.” Then connect the strips together as loops and hang the chains around the house as festive decorations.
- The Gratitude Book. Create a book (photo albums or scrapbooks work great) that catalogues the people, places, and things your family is thankful for. You can leave it on your coffee table all year round, or bring it out on holidays and special occasions as a reminder of just how much there is in your life for which to be grateful. Feel free to have family members work on it little by little, or sit down on a Saturday afternoon and create it together.
Choose a book you want to fill, and include anything and everything your family finds special and meaningful. This can be people, places, recipes, movies, stories, special memories, and more. Feel free to include photos, stories, descriptions, and anything else that makes you happy.
The holidays give us a great opportunity to embrace the spirit of thankfulness, and these fun, simple activities will help get you started. Share your own holiday traditions and special ways to show thanks!