Last year, I was looking for ways to help my kids understand what is really important about the holiday season, from as young an age as possible. I decided to start a gratitude practice with my kids during the month of November. My youngest was 14 months old at the time so she didn’t fully understand but my son, then almost 3, got so into it that I decided to make it an annual tradition for as long as it lasts. It’s called the Thankful Turkey. It’s all over Pinterest and other parenting blogs these days, but I first spotted this idea on the Busy Toddler, one of my absolute favorite free online resources for toddler moms (something I’ve shared before).
The Thankful Turkey is so easy, something even us craft-challenged busy moms can handle. Supplies needed (which most moms of littles probably have on hand!): colorful construction paper, tape or glue, scissors, and a black Sharpie. That’s it. Then, you just cut out shapes and assemble a basic turkey with some colorful feathers. Each day – we did it over breakfast – the kids come up with something they are thankful for. Then, you (or your kids if they are old enough) write that on a feather and tape or glue the feather to the turkey. At the end of the month (or week, however long you choose to do it), you can reflect back on all of the things you are thankful for. We kept our Thankful Turkey hanging up in the kitchen and the kids loved looking at it as it “grew” new feathers each day. We shared photos of it with our extended family on Thanksgiving day.
It is so much fun to see what kids – especially toddlers – come up with. Last year, my son chose his sister as the first “thing” he was thankful for last year, which was so sweet. You can prompt them by asking them about their favorite people, things and feelings. Or, ask “what do you love so much?” I’m curious to see how ours evolves over the years as my kids get older (mom hack: save your turkey and just cut out new feathers each year to make it easier).
So, if you’re looking for ways to teach your kids about thankfulness, give this a try! It’s a simple way to start teaching kids about thankfulness but still meaningful. Hope you have as much fun with it as we do!