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I recently came across an article in Sam’s Club Healthy Living Made Simple Magazine about toddler thankfulness, and I knew that I needed to start showing my son how to be a grateful person. He is a typical two-year-old at this point, and I would love to encourage him to be a well-rounded child with a sense of thankfulness. Once I downloaded the app on my phone and read through the magazine, my 7 Thankful Days challenge was born.
Do you know what I want to do this season? Celebrate, appreciate everyday, and focus on my family. This time of year has me feeling all warm and fuzzy, and my son can now understand what “please” and “thank you” means. He might not know the full meanings of the words, but he knows when to say them. He is definitely ready for a week-long celebration of thankfulness. I hope that you join in on this challenge to give thanks to your community and family and teach your children how to be a better person everyday.
7 Thankful Days (UPDATED for 2016!)
You can start this challenge any time, but the idea is that the last day falls on Thanksgiving. So, because of this, I am scheduling my seven thankful days to begin on Friday, November 20th. I will be sharing these ideas more in depth on my Instagram with the hashtag #ToddlerThankful. I hope you can join in!
Day 1 (Friday, November 18). Create a colorful paper chain. Start the week off by creating a simple paper chain using construction paper.
Cut construction paper into one inch wide strips and use glue sticks to create a chain. Alternate colors and encourage your child to count each ring and shout out the colors as you assemble it. You could also write messages of gratitude on each paper chain loop to share the message of the holiday.
Day 2 (Saturday, November 19). Make a sensory bin. Use a large plastic tub to make a sensory bin. Add items with different shapes, sizes, and textures so that your toddler can play. Try using cupcake liners, beans or rice, a pine cone, and popcorn kernels. Show your toddler how to clean up after you’re done by putting things away and saying “thank you.” A simple activity that can show a lot of meaning (and keep your toddler busy!).
Day 3 (Sunday, November 20). Give a gift using washi tape gift bags. Surprise a family member with a small handmade gift. Whether it’s a drawing from your child or a baked good, use the day to create something together.
Use kraft paper gift bags and washi tape to create a customized gift bag. Your toddler will love decorating the bag with crayons or markers, and you can add washi tape to add a fun finish.
Day 4 (Monday November, November 21). Kraft paper coloring. Buy a roll of kraft paper and cover a table. Add crayons or pencils to let your child color. Write Thanksgiving related words and explain the meaning to your child.
Day 5 (Tuesday, November 22). Use colored candies to learn colors. Use colored candy or fruit to talk about colors. Separate each color and encourage your child to use their manners as they enjoy a sweet treat.
Day 6 (Wednesday, November 23). Master please and thank you. Continue the lesson on manners by demonstrating etiquette throughout the day.
Day 7 (Thursday, November 24). Guests of Gratitude. Use colored slips of paper at each place setting during Thanksgiving dinner. Ask each guest to list what they are most thankful for this year. Your child will now see how adults are participating in this celebration and what gratitude means to them. Hopefully after these activities your child will be inspired to use their manners, get creative during the holidays, and have a stronger family bond.
Thanksgiving For Kids
Need more Thanksgiving For Kids ideas? Click here!
How do you encourage your children to be thankful?
Follow me on Instagram with #TODDLERTHANKS as I share my journey with my toddler and these thankfulness activities. Join in the fun too!