Now that our daughter is two and a half, she’s really going to be able to enjoy the holidays in a whole new way this year. It’s so exciting for her (and for me! Eeek!). Christmas celebrations are pretty obvious for little kids…the tree, the lights, the gifts, a trip to see Santa…no wonder they get excited about it!
I’ve been racking my brain this week trying to think of a way I could get her into the “spirit of thanksgiving.” How exactly do you get a small child to think about gratitude and all of the things they’re thankful for?
Well, I have no idea! Being thankful is a concept that isn’t exactly a typical toddlers forte, but I do know that there are a lot of people and things that she loves and considers special in her life. This project was a way to get her to think about those things. Now we have it displayed in her room, giving us opportunities to talk about everything she’s thankful for. Hopefully it will provide her with some meaning behind the Thanksgiving holiday!
There are a lot of ways you could go about doing this project. You could go super simple and use push pins to hang pictures on a cork board. Or you could cut pictures out of magazines and glue them to cardboard. Or even draw your own pictures of the things you’re thankful for. The spirit of the project is the same, regardless of the supplies you use! It might even be fun to make a large board as a family that highlights all of the combined blessings in your life.
Here’s what I used for my daughters “Thankful for Board.” (Because it’s stuff I had around the house…)
-Flat piece of wood I found in the garage
-Baling wire, or twine (also found in the garage. My husband probably should read the blog to keep up with where all of his stuff in the garage is going..)
-Family photos, magazine clippings, hand drawn pictures (I used a combination because I’m really horrible about getting pictures printed. Honestly, flipping through magazines with my 2 year old for pictures of things we’re thankful for was really fun.)
-Tape, thumbtacks or glue
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First step was using the paints to write “I’m Thankful For…” on the wood and let it dry completely. I did this part during nap time, but older kids would have fun doing the painting. Then I just wrapped the baling wire around the wood at different angles, twisting the excess around itself on the backside of the board to secure. The rest is up to you! We had a fun afternoon clipping different things to her board, and it sparked a great conversation about the things she finds special and important in her life. I think we may just leave it in her room year round and occasionally update it with new pictures! Hope you and your family have fun with this project, and Happy Thanksgiving!