Teaching children the concept of being thankful is tough. When you explain what thankful means, they'll tell you they're thankful for things like their room, their friends, their toys, and their family. But, do they really understand what being thankful really means? I'm not sure.
This week, I wanted to teach the girls about Thanksgiving, the importance of Thanksgiving and most importantly what being thankful means. I scoured the internet and pinterest for some cool ideas on discussing Thanksgiving through projects, etc.
I came across a blog named KarenHarveyCox who is a childrens writer. She wrote a short story called "The Thankful Coat" - I read it and instantly fell in love. This was perfect and exactly what I was looking for! I knew Mairead would get it and it would be a start for Lilah.
During breakfast, we started to discuss being kind and thankful. Mairead had mentioned she was thankful to have food to eat. We spoke briefly about how some people do not have enough food to eat, especially around the holidays. Mairead had a great idea to buy some food at the grocery store to give to those people who don't have much, "that way they can be thankful, mama" - that's my girl. I thought. So, that's what we did. Mairead picked out some canned applesauce, canned soups, and a few other things.
That afternoon we sat down together on our couch and read The Thankful Coat. It was the perfect length for Lilah to be able to sit down and pay attention, but maybe a bit over her head. And it was elementary enough for Mairead to grasp the story line and importance of how being thankful makes you feel. After reading the short story, the girls were very excited to make their very own Thankful Coat. After the story, we went into our schoolroom to make our Thankful Coats. I am getting so impressed with her coloring ability. Just a few short weeks ago, she was scribbling and had no concept of staying within the lines, but now, look at her awesome coloring! I am so proud of her. Mairead wrote her letters by herself and colored her coat, too. Her writing is getting so great, too! She just loves writing and practices all of the time!
Not only did we read The Thankful Coat, make our own Thankful Coats and discuss what being thankful means and how it makes us feel, we also decided to make our very own thankful tree. While the girls worked on their thankful coats this uncrafty mama (who is quickly being forced to be crafty) started to make their thankful tree. I wrote out the letters and Mairead cut them out. I made the tree out of construction paper on the wall.
Today, the girls traced their sweet little hands on paper and mamma helped cut them out onto multiple sheets of paper to be our "leaves" for the tree. Each day, they will write what they are thankful for on their leaf to decorate their thankful tree. I can thank Pinterest for this super cute idea!
Over the next few weeks, we will start to learn more about Thanksgiving as a holiday and what it means to us. I really look forward to teaching the girls about giving back and the true meaning of being thankful. I want the girls to start to understand just how lucky they are to have what they have and when you have as much as they have, it is important to give back to those around us.