Thanksgiving time lends naturally to discussions of gratitude, even among the youngest of us! At UDA Creative Arts Preschool, we help children understand the concept of gratitude while giving opportunities for practice.
You can do the same at home, with these seven Thanksgiving activities for preschoolers, all of which point back to gratitude in one way or another. Do these on the day of Thanksgiving, or any time during the month.
Thanksgiving is such a high-stakes meal, which might lead to shooing the littlest children out of the kitchen. But does it really have to be that way? For a meal so focused on gratitude, this is a perfect time to involve your preschool-aged children.
Think of simple kitchen activities that your child can manage mostly on their own: washing green beans, stirring stuffing, spreading butter, and mixing the dip for appetizers.
Be sure to thank your child for their help, and point out how their contributions allowed others to enjoy the meal.
Make Homemade Butter
Kids love making butter in a jar. All you need is a baby food jar or mason jar, heavy cream, and a wiggly child willing to shake the jar! Follow these directions from The Stay-at-Home Chef here.
Make the butter a few days before Thanksgiving, and then ooh and ahh over how delicious it tastes on your Thanksgiving rolls. Your child will enjoy your gratitude for their hard work.
Go for a Walk — for Charity
Traditional community turkey trots and charity walks may not take place in 2020, but your family unit can still create your own charity walk.
Pick a charity you all want to support. Then, map out a route and set out on a walk or jog together as a family. Donate what you would have donated in a traditional turkey trot.
Go for a Walk — for Nature Art
Take a walk around the neighborhood, looking for nature items you can bring back home. As you walk, talk about what you’re grateful for in nature. Point out the tree your child loves to climb, or notice the beautiful variations in the neighbor’s rock bed.
Collect twigs, leaves, rocks, acorns, pinecones, and more. Bring them home and make a gratitude nature art piece. Use paper, glue, tape, glitter, scissors, markers, and crayons and see what your child can create.
Create a Thankful Collage
Put some concrete understanding behind the concept of gratitude. Discuss what it means to be thankful. Then, look through magazines for images that remind you of gratitude. Cut out the images and arrange them into a collage. Display the collage somewhere your family will pass by frequently, so everyone can be reminded of gratitude.
Let Your Child Make Place Cards
Give your child ownership of Thanksgiving day, by letting them help decorate. One simple — and fun — thing your child can do is to create place cards for the dinner table.
If your child can write, let them sound out people’s names. If this frustrates them, write out the names for your child to copy.
If your child can’t yet write, you can first write the names and let your child decorate the place cards. Or you can forego names, and let your child decorate however they want.
Stickers are a great item to have to make the place card decorating fun — and to help your child develop their pincer grasp.
Make Thankful Cards
Talk about people you love and why you’re thankful for them. Then, encourage your child to decorate cards and write those thoughts (with your help, if needed). Hand deliver the cards, or send them in the mail!
At UDA Creative Arts Preschool in Draper, Utah, we teach children important character traits, like gratitude, as part of our curriculum. To learn more about how and what we teach, contact us online or give us a call at (801) 523-5930.