Teach Kids to Show Gratitude with Thanksgiving Place Mats
When young children are old enough to talk, they start to learn simple words as well as basic manners. And when a child learns the appropriate times to say “please” and “thank you,” he or she slowly starts to connect manners and gratitude. Teaching children to be grateful is essential to character development.
To help your child understand and express gratitude, try our Thanksgiving place mat activity. It’s a simple construction paper craft that gives kids a chance to thank every friend and family member at the Thanksgiving dinner table. These personalized place mats are decorated with cutout leaves, which have handwritten messages such as “Thank you for teaching me how to bake cookies.” It’s a great exercise because writing specific messages reminds kids of all the things they are grateful for.
Other Crafty Place Mat Ideas
The Thanksgiving place mat craft is easy to modify if your child wants to get creative. Here are a few ideas he or she might like to try.
- Add extra flair with stickers, stamps, and markers.
- Use tempura paint to make a handprint turkey in the middle of the place mat.
- Draw a picture of the family member on a blank sheet of paper. Cut it out and glue it to the center of the place mat.
- Glue on a couple of real leaves, if you can still find some outside.
- Include one of the thank-you quotes at the bottom of the page.
Don’t forget that your child needs a place mat, too! Remind him or her to make one for him- or herself. If you’re ready to get started, click on the graphic below for the full instructions.
Expressing gratitude benefits those who give thanks as well as those who receive it. Consider the true meaning of being thankful by reading the thank-you quotes below.
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”― William Arthur Ward
“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.”― Alphonse Karr
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”― Marcus Tullius Cicero
“Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.”
― Henry Clay
“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
― Maya Angelou
“When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”
― G .K. Chesterton
“The most thankful person is the most fully human.”
― Thomas Goodwin