Today marks a new year of 30 Days of Thanks and I’m super-excited about asking 20+ bloggers to share their best thanksgiving ideas for kids over the next 30 days. Ways to encourage your family and kids to be grateful.
You’ll get ideas for preschoolers, elementary, secondary and many for your entire family. We will focus on ways to encourage your kids to be thankful or celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday.
If you missed yesterday’s post, you can still sign up to receive each blog post idea in your email. Yep, we’ll send you an email each day with that day’s thanksgiving idea for kids. All you have to do to get these tips and tricks is sign below.
OK … let’s get started!
I believe my kids are thankful as adults. One of the easiest ways we did this was by modeling thankfulness. When Ashley cleared the table, I said, “thank you”. When Gentry made her bed, I said, “thank you”. When Hunter took out the trash, I said, “thank you”.
Are you seeing a trend?
We thanked our kids over and over for things they did. They naturally, copied our behavior and thanked others. Hunter was eating dinner with a friend. When he got up to take his plate to the sink, he told the mom, “thank you”. When I picked him up that evening, my friend let me know that Hunter was the only one who thanked her for the meal.
Let’s face it. Kids aren’t naturally thankful. We must model thanks for them.
Many kids will say “thank you” because Mom told them to say it. Not many kids will say thank you when they are away from home. Why did Hunter tell that mom thank you for the meal?
Hunter heard his parents saying thank you all the time. He grew up saying thank you around our home. Saying thank you became a habit. That habit of thanks continued when he was away from home.
3 More Thanksgiving Ideas for Kids
Idea #1: Things to Be Thankful For List
When we lived in Idaho in the early 2000’s, the kids & I kept a list of thanks on our refrigerator. Every time I opened the frig, I was reminded of something to say thankful for. How did it work?
When one of us thought of something we were thankful for, we wrote it on the list. Back then, it was just a piece of typing paper. But I have your back.
I have a printable you can use with your thankful list. You can get my ‘Things to Be Thankful For‘ in our Giving Thanks Mom’s Tool Kit ($19.95). It’s available in primary and secondary lines right here.
Although we used our list in a very informal way, you could be more intentional at listing your things to be thankful for. Each evening at dinner, write one thing to be thankful for as a family. Or you can have your kids keep a personal thankful list. When you start homeschooling each morning, give your kids time to write one item on their personal thankful list. By the end of November, you’ll have a great list.
Keeping this list will encourage your kids to think of ways God is blessing your family. Being thankful takes our eyes away from ourselves and puts them on God’s blessings to us. Be sure to use this list as your family prays together. It’s a great way to start your prayers, by being grateful to God.
Idea #2: Writing Thank You Notes
My kids groaned when I had them write thank you notes.
Thank you notes for birthday or Christmas gifts.
Thank you for spending time at their grandparents.
Thank you for Grandpa paying for them to go to summer camp.
They wrote all sorts of thank you notes.
But now, things have changed. They all tell me they are so thankful that I taught them how to write a thank you letter. (Pun intended!) As adults they continue to write thank you notes and letters.
Those thank you letters have opened doors at work, allowed them to be placed on special projects, built relationships with those at church and in their community. It usually comes easy to girls, but Hunter writes good thank you cards. When he raised support for his World Race (11-month mission trip to 11 countries), he wrote a personal note on every letter he sent. He also sent handwritten notes of thanks to everyone who donated to his trip.
What’s the best method to teach how to write a thank you letter?
I encourage moms to teach their kids a thank you letter outline so they write thoughtful thank yous. The outline and printables are included in our Thanksgiving Ideas for Kids Tool Kit for free this month. Scroll on down to sign up for the Tool Kit below.
You can use pre-printed cards for thank you notes. Or, let your child send a free card with our sponsor, Couple Next Door Cards.
Idea #3: Discuss Thanksgiving Bible Verses
Reading the Bible is important all year long, but especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our focus should be on giving thanks to Jesus for His sacrifice. To help you focus on thanksgiving, I’ve compiled a Bible study in thanksgiving you can do as a family.
My Bible study on thanksgiving will help you stay focused on thanksgiving the entire month of November. The easiest way to use it is to look up one or two verses each morning at breakfast and discuss it with your kids. Use those verses throughout the day to remind your kids to have an attitude of gratitude.
As you work through the study, let each child choose their favorite of the Thanksgiving Bible verses and memorize it. If your kids are older, they can study the verses by themselves, then talk discuss as a family.
If you want our FREE Bible Study on Thanksgiving, just enter your email below for our Giving Thanks Mom’s Tool Kit and we’ll send it to you immediately.
note: If you signed up for the Giving Thanks Mom’s Tool Kit ($19.95) above, you don’t need to do it here.
You’ll also receive our second ebook with Thanksgiving Bible verses – A Short Study of Thanksgiving in Philippians.