Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to recognize all the people in our life that we’re grateful for. Getting crafty and reflecting on the people we’re thankful for was the perfect combination for this year’s Thanksgiving activity. In addition to a fun activity, children will tap into their emotional intelligence. Giving children opportunities to express the way they feel and think about others is extremely important for children’s growing minds and emotional awareness.
What You’ll Need:
Unfinished wood picture frame
Construction paper (fall colors)
Pen or pencil
Photos of special people
Plastic plate or container
Decorate the frame:
First, cut the colored construction paper into small strips. Have your child draw small leaf shapes on the first strip of paper.
If your child has had a lot of practice with cutting, stack 2 or 3 strips of paper on top of one another and then cut out a few leaves at a time. Otherwise, cut one leaf at a time. Once you have a pile of fall colored leaves it’s time to begin gluing.
Squirt some glue onto a plastic plate or other container. Use the paintbrush to add glue to the picture frame and paste the leaves to the frame. We happened to use a heart shaped frame, but a rectangle opening would look great too! Cover the whole frame with fall leaves.
Once all the leaves are on the frame, paint over the leaves with glue once more and let it dry.
Find a photo of your child and cut out a speech bubble related to giving thanks. Tape the speech bubble onto the photo. I wrote, “This year I have a lot to be thankful for…” which seemed fitting. Place the photo inside the frame.
Prepare the hanging items:
Next, use the remainder of construction paper to draw four large leaves to a page. Have your child cut the big leaves out.
Begin to have the conversation with your child of people in their life they are thankful for. Be patient, this could take some prompting and some examples. This year was unique and exciting because my son had an easier time expressing who he was thankful for and why, on his own. As your child grows and practices this exercise and other thankful activities it will become easier for your child too.
Now use the large leaves to write down your child’s words of who he is thankful for and why. Also, print photos of these special people. Hole punch a hole in the top and bottom of each photo and leaf.
Cut long pieces of yarn and tape the yarn to the bottom back of the frame. Use one piece of yarn to string on a photo of a person your child is thankful for and the leaf (the reason they are thankful for him/her). Use a seperate piece of yarn for each person (photo and leaf). When you string on a photo or leaf, make a knot below each item so they will stay in place.
Now, your Thankful Mobile is complete! After completing this activity with my son, I too, felt thankful that he has really begun to understand the meaning of being grateful.