Thanksgiving is celebrated on a great scale and with great festivity in Canada and the United States of America. In Canada, the Thanksgiving tradition began with the explorer Martin Frobisher who offered gratitude for surviving the long voyage from England in the 16th century. The tradition in the United States began in the 17th century at a celebration in Plymouth. The history, traditions and rituals of Thanksgiving can be taught even to your kids if you use the following creative and easy methods:
1. Through Thanksgiving charity
It would be a good idea to get the children involved into the practical aspects of Thanksgiving. To be able to give gratitude, the child must be aware of the numerous blessings that it has received in life. And the best way to make it aware of the blessings is to meet up with the less fortunate. This can be accomplished by charity work. There will be plenty of opportunities and options for volunteering services of your kid. you can begin with things as simple as sharing food with the hungry and impoverished. You could also try out something novel as adopting a child for a holiday. It will be an amazing experience, both, for your child and the child adopted. You could also try out family charitable activities in your area.
The important thing is to realize how blessed one’s life is. The act of charity must develop the feeling of empathy in the kid and also make charity a part of its life.
2. Through Thanksgiving books
The history of Thanksgiving is the most important aspect of the day. And you do not have to worry about telling it to your children in the most engaging manner possible, thanks to many wonderful books. These books are very interesting and are very inexpensive too. For instance, the 32 pages book entitled, The Pilgrims’ First Thanksgiving will be a very good buy for children of ages 4 to 6.
Michelle Medlock Adams has written a very engrossing board book entitled, What Is Thanksgiving?, and it is wonderful for it is written in rhyme format. The rhyme makes it easy to remember as well for younger kids. It is also good because rather than concentrating only on the story, the book goes by the spirit of Thanksgiving which is gratitude. The book by Katherine Ross and Caroline Croll with the title, The Story of the Pilgrims, is also a good buy.
3. Through Thanksgiving crafts
Crafts are fine and fun things to do for children. Combining fun with learning is the best way to teach kids. You can set projects with Thanksgiving themes like cornucopia centerpieces, pilgrim hats and pinecone turkeys. The internet is a wonderful resource to download tons of DIY craft projects for children. You will also find many coloring pages for free download on the internet. You can take them and give them to the children to color. You can cut it and paste it on hardboard. The children’s art wok can be laminated to be used as Thanksgiving mats or table decoration. It becomes an easy task for you to narrate the stories of Thanksgiving and relive the history as these crafts are being made. And since the learning happens at a time of creativity and fun, there is greater probability of retention.
4. Through the process of giving thanks
The process of giving thanks or offering gratitude has been found to be very powerful. It is a sure shot way to attract many more blessings for it is a real positive and powerful force. As a practice, you could make a list of all the things you and the kid are grateful about. You can write this down in a journal and keep adding to it, year after year.
Or you could go creative! Get a white tablecloth for the Thanksgiving feast. And as you eat or finish eating, write down all the things in life that you are grateful about. This cloth could be used every year and it will serve as a reminder of all the wonderful things you have in life. If this attitude of gratitude is imbibed by the child, it could be the best gift your child could get on Thanksgiving.