I’ve always enjoyed the month of November. With Halloween behind us and the Christmas season just ahead I appreciate the calm and cozy feelings that seem to accompany November. There is usually a good mix of warmer days that allows for outdoor play and cooler ones that are perfect for a pot of soup or cozying up with books or a movie. To me, November is all about enjoying good food and good company and being a little extra thankful. In the hopes of fostering grateful little hearts in my boys this year, we worked together on a gratitude garland. It’s a simple project that can really be recreated any way that you want. I love that it can be added to throughout the month, helping the whole family to focus on gratitude.
[Editor's Note: Attached, find a pdf with some gratitude prompts to help kids think about things they appreciate.]
- Paper and markers
- Clothespins or yarn
We started by sitting down as a family and brainstorming a list of things that we are thankful for. We divided the list up into people, places and things to help us think of a variety of items, big and small. Then we decided which items to include in our garland. For some items, we found or took photos and for others, we hand drew pictures. You could even cut pictures out of magazines. Then use paperclips or yarn and a hole punch to attach the pictures to the garland. I love the visual reminder of all our blessings and the combination of the drawings and photographs. You can get fancy and add letters to spell out thankful or blessings.
For a fun and meaningful new Thanksgiving tradition invite dinner guests to bring a drawing or photograph of something they are thankful for this year to add to the garland!
Some great books about gratitude:
- Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving by James Dean
- Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson
- Thankful by Eileen Spinelli
- Thanksgiving Day Thanks by Laura Malone Elliot
Other Gratitude Activities:
- Make a list of something you are thankful for starting with every letter of the alphabet
- Use the Gratitude prompts at dinner or before bed
- Make a traditional hand turkey by tracing a hand and writing things you are thankful for on each finger feather
- Go for a Fall walk and look for things in nature that you are thankful for
- Write Thank you notes to teachers, friends and family members to let them know you appreciate them
- Volunteer somewhere or do an act of kindness in appreciation of all that you have to be thankful for
About the writer: Formerly a school counselor, Megan now spends her days playing trucks, reading dinosaur books, dispensing snacks and adventuring with her three little men; ages 5, 2 and 6 months.