thankful_table_runnerThe month of November is filled with three key words for a lot of families: Thankful, grateful, and blessed. With my kids, I strive to help them understand the meaning of these words during this month and throughout the rest of the year.

There are lots of different ways we can easily incorporate what I call “thankful thoughts” into festive activities that are fun for everyone.

Make a Thankful Tree: Pick some branches, place them in a vase, and cut out around 30 different leaves out of colored paper. Each day write down something you’re thankful for. Have the kids do some together, some as a family, and some individually. I love looking at the tree at the end of the month. It is interesting to see what everyone values and appreciates most.

Participate in a charity drive: Whether it’s a food, toy, coat, toiletries, or clothing drive, it’s great to give back. I like to make a point in having the whole family pick something together. We always talk about how thankful we are to be able to help others and give back to our community. Even if we aren’t able to give as much as we want, we always do something good as a family.

Make a Thankful Table Runner: This is my favorite. We place craft paper down as a table runner at Thanksgiving dinner, and ask everyone to write what they are thankful for this year. I have crayons and markers on the table. It gives the runner color and really makes our thoughts pop. I suggest you take a video or snap photos of the runner. Then you can go back and look at what was important that year.

There are lots of creative ways to teach the kids to be thankful, but these are the ones we’ve made part of our family traditions. I look forward to it each year.

Do you do any “thankful thoughts” for the month of November or throughout the year?