Thanksgiving is sometimes overlooked by children because it is sandwiched between the candy-filled thrill of Halloween and the magic of the winter holidays. Thanksgiving is one of the most important days in American culture, thus this is a shame.
Fortunately, teaching youngsters the significance of Thanksgiving is simple and provides opportunity to help them realize their own personal blessings.
Begin with a story.
Children must grasp the early Pilgrims’ tale in order to appreciate Thanksgiving. You can find age-appropriate books or films about Thanksgiving at your local library, or you can sit down together at the computer and study the topic online.
Make the story exciting, which is simple to do because it already is. Explain how the Pilgrims traveled to the New World to avoid religious persecution, as well as the harsh winter they endured during their first year there. The Pilgrims might not have lived had it not been for the assistance of the nearby Wampanoag tribe. This is an excellent time to discuss the importance of assisting others.
Continue the story by telling your children how the Native Americans taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate crops and hunt animals, and how the first Thanksgiving took place in the fall of 1621, with both peoples sitting down and eating together in friendship.
Make it a habit to be grateful every day.
Make a Box of Thanks to start your own Thanksgiving tradition. Throughout the year, children and adults alike place notes in the box stating why they are grateful (small children will, of course, require assistance). The box is opened and all of the notes are read on Thanksgiving Day.
Remind youngsters that even when things are difficult, they may be grateful for something or someone. For example, even if your children squabbled all day, you may be grateful for them. Being grateful in difficult times is a valuable skill that you may cultivate by adding to the Box of Thanks.
Sharing our good fortune with others, as the Native Americans did with the Pilgrims, is an important aspect of the meaning of Thanksgiving. Encourage youngsters to consider how they may help others, whether through charities or within the home. Food drives, as well as working at elder hospices or other organizations, are wonderful options.
One of Thanksgiving’s greatest assets is that it cuts across religious and cultural divides. A religious family can emphasize the importance of thanking God, whereas a secular family can just be grateful. In any case, you’re instilling thankfulness and appreciation in your children for the people and things in their lives. And that, in a nutshell, is what Thanksgiving is all about.
Donate and share. Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for all that we have. Create a culture of sharing with those who have less and involve youngsters in donating to a food bank or other charitable organizations. This can teach children to be grateful for what they have and to value assisting others.
Make something special for Thanksgiving as a family. Including children in the preparation or activity is a terrific way to celebrate and enjoy family time, whether you’re cooking with them or doing a craft. Don’t worry if the potatoes have a few lumps—the experience will be worth it.