THE Thanksgiving holiday is fast approaching. Are your kids getting stir-crazy while you finish your lists of ingredients to buy, food to prepare, and relatives to seat at the dining room table?
Help them feel included in the bustling preparations. Give each one a pad of paper, and encourage them to make their own gratitude lists.
10 Reasons I’m Thankful for You
Invite your daughter to choose one family member on the Thanksgiving guest list. Now, ask her to write down ten reasons she’s thankful for this person. Some items on her gratitude list might be one-word character or personality traits (cheerful, musical, trustworthy). Other entries could be short phrases or full sentences (She takes the time to listen; prays for me a lot).
If your daughter is too shy to give her list to that special person this Thursday, save it to mail in a Christmas card!
On Adventures We Will Go
Let your son choose a different family member from the master guest list. Ask your fun-loving boy to make a list of ten activities he enjoys sharing with this special relative. Challenge him to begin each entry with an “-ing” word (present participle), followed by a prepositional phrase:
- Running at the park
- Hiking in the woods
- Fishing at the lake
- Playing board games on Sunday afternoons
When he finishes his list, help him write a gratitude-filled title, such as “I’m Thankful We Can Spend Time Together.”
The Blessing of Food
Encourage your children to peek inside the refrigerator or pantry so they can count their many blessings related to food! With such a variety of tastes and smells—not to mention the plethora of grocery stores in town and kitchen gadgets at home—our families have so much to be thankful for.
Help your littlest writers make a list of five or six foods they’re thankful for. Ask them to include at least one item from each food group.
Ask your daughter to make a list of her favorite memories related to food. If she draws a blank, jog her memory by reviewing the four seasons:
- You baked pumpkin muffins with Grandma last winter.
- We decorated an amazing birthday cake last spring.
- You picked lemons and made real lemonade last summer.
- We visited a farmer’s market in July.
- You and your brother made raisin faces on peanut butter sandwiches this fall.
Thankful for Farmers (and Truckers and Grocers!)
Ask you son to make a list of all the people who help provide the food we eat. If your son loves cereal, remind him of…
- Farmers who grow the grain
- Workers who repair farm tractors and sprinklers
- Harvesters and cereal-factory workers
- Truck drivers and warehouse managers
- Grocery store checkers and baggers…
- …and don’t forget the people who help produce the milk!
Daniella Dautrich is a WriteShop alumna who loves real food, plush pets, and large family gatherings.