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Giving Thanks

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In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, this craft will encourage children to practice gratitude as they reflect on the people in their life whom they are thankful for. Then the children will actually create a handmade book expressing their gratitude for each person. This also makes a great gift! Find more timely holiday activities like this one in The GIANT Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities for Children 3 to 6


  • photos of children's families
  • large basket
  • real or fake fruits, vegetables, and breads
  • paper
  • stapler
  • glue

What to do:

  1. Send a note home asking parents to send in family photos, or take pictures of family members in class during drop-off and pick-up times.
  2. At circle time, show the children the real or fake food. Discuss the qualities of each food.
  3. Let each child place a piece of food in the basket.
  4. Talk about what it means to be thankful. Focus the discussion on people that the children are thankful for and why, such as parents, siblings, relatives, friends, and so on.
  5. Give each child a pre-made book (three pieces of paper stapled together). Have them glue their photos in their books and dictate why they are thankful for that particular person.
  6. Send each child's book home and encourage a discussion at home about thankfulness.
  7. More to do— Dramatic Play: If you use pretend foods in the basket, place them in the dramatic play center to encourage Thanksgiving role-play. Discuss and model how to show and when to tell others "thank you."
  8. More to do— Snack: If you use real food in the basket, let the children help wash and prepare the foods for a "thanksgiving meal" of vegetable soup and fruit salad.

Book: The GIANT Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities For Children 3 to 6
Topic: Holidays
Content: Social Studies
Area: Social-Emotional
Age: 3 through 4 Years Old
Interaction: Large Group

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