Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday Teachings - Being Thankful

As Thanksgiving approaches, we naturally turn to images of Pilgrims and Native Americans. As adults, we usually know the true meaning of Thanksgiving, but children can receive mixed messages. If they only see turkeys for the holiday, how do they know what it means to be thankful?

There are several ways to accomplish the lesson on being thankful, but I would like to high light a few.
This is a "Thankful Tree" from Family Fun Magazine. I like this, as the leaves are different colors and very fall centered. I would recommend leaving the leaves out each day though and allowing people to fill them out numerous times. Once you have a few filled out, take time to read them aloud as a family. As you read them aloud, discuss ways to be thankful and to spread the joy on to others. If a child is thankful for a special toy, maybe they would like to make a donation to a toy drive. If they are thankful for a pet, maybe they would like to volunteer at the animal shelter or drop off donations to the shelter.

Consider a family service project for the holidays, but be sure to remind your kids that they should be thankful and ready to assist someone at all times, not just the holidays.

If you are outside raking your leaves, maybe you could also rake for a neighbor that just had a baby or maybe has been sick. Teach your children to treat others as they would like to be treated. Once you have finished, leave a little note with your kid's hand prints and names and write something cute on it like "These Hands were Happy to Help".

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