Teaching Kids About Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks for what someone has in life. It is also a day built around family and tradition. It is important that children understand why this holiday celebrated and why it is an important day in the United States. There are many things you can do to explain this to children in a way that they will both enjoy and understand.
Thanksgiving is about being thankful and reflecting upon everything good that has happened throughout the year. You can explain this to children and then do a thankfulness activity to reinforce it. Get out the art supplies and let the kids draw and write about the things that they are thankful for. Then, before dinner everyone can go around the table and discuss what they want to give thanks for, including the children.
THE FIRST THANKSGIVING
Children love stories and the story of the first Thanksgiving is certainly a memorable one. Share with them the story about how the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in 1621. Tell them about how the Pilgrims and Indians came together to share in the first Thanksgiving feast. In fact, it is thought that if it were not for the Indians that the Pilgrims may not have made it here. The Indians shared their food and taught them how to support themselves.
By 1777, all 13 colonies in the United States were celebrating Thanksgiving. At this time, this holiday was spread out over eight days and was celebrated in October. It was not until 1789 that Thanksgiving was declared to be celebrated on November 26, and President George Washington made this change.
DO A FOOD DRIVE
Many food pantries are bare during the holiday season and can use anything that they can get to help struggling families have a meal on Thanksgiving. To help reinforce the meaning of this holiday, you can host a food drive and have all of your children help. You want to do this at least a week in advance of Thanksgiving so that needy families have time to get what they need. You can put up flyers and go around the neighborhood to pick up donations. On the last day of the drive you will take all of the collected donations to a food pantry in your area. Make sure that your kids understand why you did this and why it is important to be thankful for all that they have in life.
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Correction: the Pilgrims landed in 1620 and the feast was held in 1621.
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