Simple Thanksgiving traditions to start with kids and family
Each year as we gather around a table laden with food , surrounded by family and friends, it's great to take that extra moment to reflect on all life has blessed us with and to express our thanks.
Rather than just a short simple prayer by a parent before the bird is carved, why not involve the kids, the grandparents and the whole gang by offering some great starter questions and "food for thought"?
This can be done at the table when waiting for the meal to be served, or even just at "appetizer hour" as you all gather and relax.
Hand out slips of paper that say " I'm thankful for (blank) and (blank). Ask everyone to fill in one "serious" thing and 1 more "silly" thing. No names on the paper! Then put them all in a large basket and have a school age child pull them out one by one, read them and see if everyone can guess who wrote each one.
Another fun idea is to use paper napkins (also have another napkin for the meal) and have the children write on them things they are thankful for, in colorful writing. Then distribute to each guest with their appetizer or meal and let each guest read it out loud.
Alternatively you can make a large paper placemat and have the kids trace their hands. On each finger, the child then writes something they are thankful for and an adult can read it to everyone before the meal is served. This can be saved and brought out year after year. They will be very treasured I'm sure! Laminate them before saving if possible.
I find putting value on thankfulness, while adding in a touch of humor, can make it a wonderful experience for everyone , rather than just diving into the meal. ( of course, that is one of the best parts too )
Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!