Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Meaningful Thanksgiving Traditions, Crafts, and Songs for Kids

The day after Halloween I turn on the Christmas music. It's tradition. It's fun. And I'm not going to stop. Ever.

But that doesn't mean I go straight to celebrating Christmas. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and an important one to get us ready for Christmas. What better way to prepare to serve our fellow-men, celebrate the birth of our Savior, and give and receive gifts, than buy remembering everything we are thankful for?

You can find tons of Turkey crafts on pinterest. I'm not going to give you that in this post. Not color-by-numbers, or construction paper pilgrim hats. Those things are great, but what I'm going to talk about are a few more meaningful things to do this Thanksgiving. Things to become traditions and memories.

The ideas I have here have been gathered over a lifetime. Some of them are traditions from when I was a child, the things I remember. Some of them are traditions in my family now, and others are traditions I'm trying to start this year. Still others are traditions from other people. Do not feel overwhelmed by ideas, or like you need to do EVERYTHING! Just pick the activities that speak to you. Traditions are supposed to provide connection, not frustration.

Service Projects

Doorbell ditch the Thanksgiving turkey on the front porch of someone who could use a little help this holiday season.

Set up a canned food drive in your neighborhood.

Help deliver food for a Food Bank or homeless shelter.


Make the napkin rings or nameplates for the table. Pinterest has tons of ideas

Make this

"Give Thanks" nature garland.


Make a pumpkin pie completely from scratch. (Meaning straight from the pumpkin)

Read "Cranberry Thanksgiving" and make the Cranberry bread recipe in the back.

Have your smallest helpers slather the butter on the turkey. Great sensory experience and they are "helping". 

Older kids can help peel potatoes, make the jello, etc. Do not slave away in the kitchen all by yourself!

Make these Rhodes "corn" rolls.

Songs and Fingerplays

Over The River and through the Woods


Make a "Thankful Tree" and add to it every night. There are lots of really cute ideas on Pinterest. But I just hand draw mine on a big piece of butcher/easel paper and cut rectangles from construction paper for the "leaves".

Follow this link, to download a Thanksgiving ABC book for your kids to illustrate. Makes a great keepsake.

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