thanksgiving activities for families

Gratitude Builders For Kids of All Ages

~Gratitude Builders ~
        For Families

Gratitude builders (for kids of all ages)…it’s what is on my mind this week.
That, and truth be told, I’m thinking about those sweet faces in the picture above,
and all the friends I am missing from the time we lived in Peru.
I know I need to turn the melancholy feeling toward gratitude & I’m hoping
in digging out some fun ideas to share this week, I’ll do just that!

‘Tis the season to reflect on all we have to be thankful for in these wonderful lives of ours !
‘Tis the season for gathering together with friends and family.
Tis the season to cram as much wonderful life as possible into every corner of every day.

I’m not sure about you,  but these very lovely feelings of gratitude and family warmth
can quickly turn into a jumble of endless evenings of events to attend, toddler tantrums,
serious shopping stress,  a big brother blowup, and then one major mommy meltdown !
Don’t worry, I’m not even going to say this never happens to us!  lol
I know some of the other mommy bloggers have it going on.  Not me so much.
So, what helps our family regain our focus on thanks-giving and all the warm holiday fuzzies?


I’m a planner.
I make plans to make plans.
I’m not even joking.  Ask my poor family.
And because,  I’m prone to mommy meltdowns (and yelling at dogs <–read my story
), I know we ALL can benefit from taking some quiet time as a family to appreciate these special days.
Just taking a moment to breathe, to be thoughtful, and to be thankful.

So, I’m making a plan.  For us all.
I’ve googled, and Pinterested, and pulled out old books.
I’m making a list of a few things to do, nothing strenuous or time intensive,
just a couple quick ideas to make some quiet family time actually happen.

I really hope that having it all written down in one place will make it easy for you to grab
some ideas of your own and find some of your own warm fuzzy time.

*Note:  There are a few items that I couldn’t find for free.  I’ve included a direct link to Amazon for those.  If you click through those links and buy anything on Amazon, I will receive a small commission on the sale !  So if you’d go through my site, I’d be super grateful! 😀
Thank you friends !

*Gratitude Builders For Kids of All Ages*


* Quiet Times:

– “Praying Scriptures of Thanksgiving” from His Mercy Is New
   (Try reading & praying these simple verses together in the morning, or before bedtime)

–  Printable Family Gratitude Devotions from Frugal Fun For Boys
Simple Weekly Thanksgiving  Family Devotions from Ligonier Camp

The Attitude of Gratitude (Lapbook) from Homeschool Helper Online

* Stories of Thanksgiving for Families:

–  “Thank You, God, for the Fleas!” adaptation from Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place
Audio Version  (Only about 3 minutes)
“Days to Remember”   from   Adventures In Odyssey

–  “The Children’s Book of Thanksgiving Stories”  from Project Gutenberg
     ( I love this resource !  Lots of short stories. Great for bed time, car time, anytime !)
“The Best Part of the Day”
“The Giving Tree”  

*”Watch” a short book, or a movie curled up together:

– “The Berenstain Bears Count Their Blessings”  book on YouTube
– “The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks”  book on YouTube

– “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”    (full episode)
or you can find it  HERE on  Amazon

“All Saints”
(I somehow had never seen this movie till just recently!  SO GOOD!)

“The Three Trees”
(YouTube- this story helps us to see past our circumstances & give thanks in all things)

“It’s a Wonderful Life”

– Disney’s “Pollyanna”  <– movie
OR you can listen to the FREE audiobook  —>  “Pollyanna”

Family Thanksgiving Book

-“Write” your own story of Thanks-giving.

Perhaps you might like to make your own family’s special story of gratitude.  You could do it together as a daily activity during the month of November…or all year long!  You could each take time to write your own story, or read the idea our family does.

My Family’s Thanksgiving Story~
I started the Thanksgiving notebook when my children were very small.   Every year there are various questions written at the top of it’s pages…every person (including guests) on Thanksgiving Day (or sometime during that week) signs in beside a number on the first page and answers the questions throughout the book.  We have several books now that are filled with the sweetest thoughts, memories, and words of love & friendship.   There are some years of little kid scribbles, of some umm… ‘creative’ things the kids were thankful for, some touching memories of happy times, and even several years that the pages are mostly in Spanish as we celebrated with our beautiful Peruvian friends.
Every year I bring the old notebooks out to read and remember.  There are some lovely treasures in those books-  thoughts from my Grandma, who passed away at 95 last year, and other people we have been blessed to know and love along the way.
These books are a very precious part of our family’s story.

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*Family Gratitude Activities:

– Create a Simple Gratitude Garland from Life Lesson Plans
– Write a “We are Thankful for You” letter to someone as a family

– Try printing out these family talk Gratitude Table Topics from Growing Book by Book
– Play some Family Games… Ideas for Building Attitudes of Gratitude
Have fun with  “An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving” Unit Study from Fields of Daisies (that’s me  🙂 )
+Thanksgiving Coloring Pages from Karla Dornacher
+Expressions of Gratitude Coloring Book
(this would be a great activity to do together while listening to one of the audiobooks!)
Learn more about the History of Thanksgiving (it started a VERY long time ago!)

“The root of joy is gratefulness…It is not joy that makes us grateful;

it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” 

― David Steindl-Rast

thanksgiving activities for families





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