Thanksgiving is usually busy and unpredictable. Not only do we have to cook that huge dinner, we still have to worry about Black Friday shopping. The last thing that we want think about is how to homeschool our kids during the week leading up to thanksgiving. Well, thanksgiving is actually a great time to teach your preschooler gratitude. Here are some ideas to get you started.
10 Ways to Teach Preschoolers Gratitude During Thanksgiving
1) Demonstrate gratitude in your bedtime routine
The best time to learn about gratitude is when your preschooler is peacefully unwinding from the day. Tell your preschooler what a wonderful time you had together. Tell your preschooler how thankful you are for the time. Then, give your preschooler hugs and kisses to feel that thankfulness coming from you. Soon enough, this thankfulness and gratitude will be reciprocated. Mine has taken to give me random kisses on the cheek out of the blue when he’s happy. That is a wonderful start.
2) Make an extra thanksgiving craft to give to a family member
If your preschooler is working on making a turkey craft on thanksgiving day, ask your preschooler to make an extra one to give to one special member of your household. Then, ask your preschooler to give it to that family member and to say “Thank you, I love you.” in the process.
3) Make a gratitude bag of old pantry items for donation to the needy
If you have an older preschooler, your preschooler can help you put old pantry items into a bag that they help to decorate. Then, you can take the bag to your local pantry or local library for donation for the needy.
4) Create imaginative play of taking care of a sick turkey
If your preschooler has a favorite stuff animal or a stuffed turkey, you can pretend that the stuffed animal is sick on thanksgiving day. Your preschooler can go through the motions of taking the stuffed animal to the hospital, giving the stuffed animal a shot and putting the stuffed animal to bed.
5) Welcome committee
On thanksgiving day, ask your preschooler to go around the living room with a jar of Hershey’s kisses to distribute to family members who are over for thanksgiving dinner. This can be wonderful pre dinner entertainment.
6) Help to clean up at thanksgiving dinner
After you’ve had a big thanksgiving dinner, if your preschooler is still awake, ask your preschooler to decorate the left over meal boxes with a star so that you can pack leftover meals into them for your family members to take home.
7) Help with younger siblings or younger cousins
On thanksgiving day, with all the family members over, it can be overwhelming for your preschooler. Set up a tent in the playroom, ask your preschooler to crawl under there with younger siblings or cousins and play hide and seek. If there are older children in the house, you can ask older children to read to the younger ones inside the tent.
8) Read gratitude books
Pick up some gratitude picture books at the library, then read them with your preschooler during the week leading up to thanksgiving. Act out a scene inside your preschooler’s favorite gratitude book to help them work through the concepts.
Holidays can be stressful, check out our post on 5 Ways to Detox from Sensory Overstimulation.
Check here for 10 Waldorf Inspired Montessori Christmas Gifts for Homeschool Preschool.
Save time during holidays by cooking with the Instant Pot.
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9) Help with cleaning the house for thanksgiving
Involving your preschooler as you dust off the house for thanksgiving is a great way to instill responsibility as well as instilling gratefulness into your preschooler. Give your preschooler a cloth wipe and see how far your preschooler get on with dusting the living room. Then, ask your preschooler to wipe down his/her toys.
10) Help with cooking
While you are preparing for the thanksgiving dinner, ask your preschooler to help you rinse out the vegetables. This activity will give your preschooler lots of water fun. It slows you down a little bit. But, at dinner, you would be able to tell your family members that your preschooler made the dinner with you. Your preschooler will be able to feel all that thankfulness coming from everyone at dinner.
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