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Thanksgiving is the perfect time to teach your kids about being thankful. Here are some ideas to teach your children how to appreciate the blessings in their lives.

Giving Thanks Placemats
The goal of this craft is to create a collage filled with drawings and pictures of all the things your children are thankful for. Cut photos from magazines, or print some photos from your computer. Older children can write captions under the photos or draw their own. Be sure to put the child’s name and the year on it.

If you make this collage from two standard letter size pieces of construction paper taped side-by-side, you can take the completed collage to a copy shop when you’re done and have it laminated. It then becomes a placemat that you can use every Thanksgiving for years to come.

Thankful Paper Chain
Another way to remind your children of their blessings is to create a paper chain. This is similar to a regular paper chain – where you cut strips of paper and connect them together as loops, but there’s one difference. You write on the strips of paper before you connect them. Write the things you are thankful for with your children. For instance, “Grandma plays games with me” or “My teacher is nice.” The fun part of this activity is to make the chain as long as possible – showing all your blessings. If you’d like to keep this up during Christmas, just use green and white paper.

Thanksgiving Tree
This is another take on the idea above and works really well if you have several kids in the family. Get each child to trace their hand on yellow, red, or brown construction paper. Cut out the hand shapes and write (or have the child write) what they are thankful for on the hand shape. Cut a tree trunk shape out of brown construction paper. Glue it on a large piece of poster board. Let the kids add their hand shapes as leaves above the tree trunk, turning it into a beautiful fall colored tree.

Thankful Book
This idea is similar to the others, except it’s more of a keepsake. Purchase a photo album or scrapbook kit and make a “blessings” theme. Add photos of loved ones, including stories about why they are special to you. Also, include pages of your favorite foods, favorite stories, favorite movies and all the other things that make you happy. Any time your kids feel down, you can open your blessing book to see all the reasons you have to be happy – and thankful for the blessings in your life.

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(J-bug took this picture of the moon)

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Thanksgiving coloring pages on the Internet that are free to download and print from your computer.

Here are a few web sites that have Thanksgiving coloring pages to get you started:

KidsSoup.com

First-School.ws

FreeColoringPages.com

ColoringCastle.com

FreePrintableColoringPages.net


Kaboose.com

ColoringPage.net

Apples4Teacher.com


You can also use Thanksgiving coloring pages as templates for craft projects you may want to do. They can be used to follow as a diagram for some type of craft or incorporated into a collage or picture that you want to display on the holiday.

Have your child color several different ones and then make them into placemats. Just glue the picture onto a larger piece of paper and you have a placemat. To make them even more durable, you may want to laminate them too. Laminating machines can be purchased quite inexpensively these days or most office supply store offer lamanating services.

Then enjoy the creation and the holiday as well!

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