Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
Create a Thankful Craft
Go beyond just naming the things everyone in the family is thankful for, write them down and put them on display. Seeing these things every day during the season will help remind everyone what Thanksgiving is for. Combine them into a fall wreath or grab a branch and cut leaves out of construction paper and have everyone write on the leave and glue to the branch to create a thankful family tree. Not very crafty? Just pick up a chalk board and have each family member write what they are thankful for.
Help the Less Fortunate
It’s often hard for kids to be thankful if they don’t realize how much they really have. Teach older kids how fortunate they really are by spending some time volunteering at a charity in your area like a soup kitchen. Even younger kids can help out too. Ask them to pack up a box of toys they don’t play with anymore and donate them. Involving them in the process and sharing that there are kids who don’t have any toys to play with.
Explore Something New
The pilgrims started Thanksgiving after exploring something new, why not do the same every year with your kids? Check out a museum, park or zoo you haven’t been to before. Take the little ones out to try something they’ve never done before like ice skating, rollerblading or playing laser tag. Try a new local restaurant. Explore a nature preserve and collect acorns, pine cones, leaves and other natural items and use them for a center piece. The possibilities are endless.
Involve the Kids in the Preparation
Lets face it… A lot of Thanksgiving tradition happens in the kitchen, where kids often get shooed out before they get in the way. But getting the little ones involved is a good way to create Thanksgiving memories. Older kids can help out by decorating cookies or assisting in a favorite dish. Tots too little for cooking can still get involved. Ask them color place mats to decorate the table.
Watch them Grow with an Annual Project
Reminisce every year by creating a project that shows how your family has grown over the years. Add the kids hand prints to a table cloth, table runner or placemat every year. You can also add what they’re thankful for that year. Bring it out for your Thanksgiving feast every year to adorn the table.
Take New Family Photos
The fall is a great time for new family photos with the leaves making an excellent backdrop. Celebrate coming together as a family for the holidays by getting a new family photo session every year. If you get them taken a bit before the holiday, you can share the prints with extended family as everyone gets together.
The holiday season is packed full of traditions, but a lot of them don’t quite make sense to little kids. But by getting each family member involved in the Holiday, it’s much easier to create memories that will last for years.