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Teaching Your Kids about Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Although your kids probably know that the day is filled with family get-togethers and delicious food, do they really know the meaning behind the holiday? Here are some simple ways you can use to help your kids understand why we celebrate Thanksgiving.

Role Play

How can you get your kids to have a deeper understanding of the holidays? Try setting up a play for your kids. You can give your kids different parts to act out. By taking on the role of the first pilgrims or of the Indians, your kids will learn about Thanksgiving through experience and interaction. You could even have your little pilgrims and Indians sit down for a first Thanksgiving meal.

Visit a Museum

To give your kids a visual of the time, you could plan a family trip to a local museum. Even if they don’t have a Thanksgiving display, you can point out different features of the era. Let your children know that the pilgrims didn’t have electricity or refrigerators, so they were limited on how long they could keep certain foods. The more your kids know about the time, the easier it will be to understand why Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for what you have.

Have a Craft Day

Kids love crafts, so use this to your advantage. Plan a few Thanksgiving crafts to complete during the weeks leading up to the holiday. Use each craft to teach a mini-lesson on the holiday. For example, if you make handprint turkeys, you can talk about why turkey is a traditional food of this holiday. You can also make a Mayflower replica and use the craft to teach about the first pilgrims.

Read Books

If you want your kids to understand what Thanksgiving is all about, you’ll want to read some books. You can definitely reading some non-fiction books that go over the history of the first Thanksgiving, but don’t be afraid to read some historical fiction books as well. Fiction books are generally easier for kids to understand and connect to, so even if the characters aren’t real, your kids will still get an inside look into an important historical event.

Thanksgiving is all about showing others what we’re thankful for.

What are some ways you’ve used to help teach your kids about Thanksgiving?

Annmarie John
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  1. Books always worked well for us. I feel like they tell a better story than I could come up with off the top of my head.

  2. Thanksgiving for us is a little different we don't celebrate the whole Mayflower and the pilgrims and Indians but we do celebrate family and friends and being thankful for all the blessings bestowed on our lives!

  3. My kids could use a lesson on why we celebrate Thanksgiving. Thank you for the thoughtful ideas!

  4. Great ideas/ Love using books to teach kids.

  5. This post is well-timed for me! My 5th grade daughter came home from school the other day with an assignment to write about The Wampanoag. I had NO idea what that was...I was thinking some ficitonal fairytale creature from a book they were reading maybe? No, how about that is the Indian tribe that was at the First Thanksgiving (or what was considered the First Thanksgiving). She knew more about it than I did!

  6. I love the craft day idea! I like the idea of reading books too. There are tons of great ones available!

  7. I think the preschools we attended did a great job about this when my kids were young, they were christian based.

  8. I love using books for anything, and they're especially great for teaching about the holidays in a fun way.

  9. These are some great ideas! I think my daughter would really enjoy the having a "craft day" since she loves art and getting creative.

  10. Great tips! It is so important to teach our kids about holidays so they understand the reason for the holiday and the traditions.

  11. Books are such a great idea. Do you have any kid-friendly suggestions?

    1. Rebecca I actually do. There is a toddler one that mommy brought for me. "What Is Thanksgiving? by Michelle Medlock Adams". It's a board book and perfect for toddlers.

  12. Role play! That's such a great idea with Scarlet, although I don't think Des will understand it much this year. Maybe next! And a museum is a great idea.
    She gets a lot of crafts and books at school, but I'm happy to do it here too.

  13. Love the idea to visit a museum and really delve into the history of it!

  14. We use the day as an opportunity to relfect on our blessing and talk about how we can be a blessing to others along with Good for and hanging out with family and friends!
    Thanks for linking up! #SHINEbloghop

  15. I love all of these ideas. Crafting is definitely our favorite!

  16. My son is super excited about Thanksgiving this year. He is already talking about Christmas and the New Year thanks to school.

  17. Those are all great idea. We have quite a few museums in NY, would be nice to also get out the house.


[name=AnnMarie John] [img=] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook= (instagram= (twitter= (pinterest= (

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