Family Time Calendar: Get Together - iVillage

Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner, and perhaps you're thinking about what you'll be giving thanks for. But sometimes, being asked what you're thankful for at the dinner table is a bit like having to give an award-acceptance speech on the spot -- there's always something important you forget to mention! So try this: create a garland of paper leaves emblazoned with things everyone is thankful for. For young children, this a great way to introduce the idea of "giving thanks" and is less pressure-filled than being asked the question around the table at dinner. (An added bonus: your older child will not be kicking the little one and hissing "Hurry up already!" as she takes her sweet time thinking of something while the turkey grows cold.) Plus, you can save these leaves year after year, and add onto the garland each Thanksgiving.

What you'll need:

  • Fall leaves, or paper leaf shapes
  • Construction or craft paper in red, yellow, orange and tan
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Gel pens
  • 3 yards of 1/2-inch wide orange grosgrain ribbon

What you'll do:

Have your children (or help them) trace the leaves onto colored paper, and then cut out the paper leaves. Punch a hole in each stem end of the paper leaves. Give each family member four or five paper leaves. On each leaf, using the gel pens, have each person write something for which he's thankful. (If your children are too young to write, have them dictate to you.) When everyone is done, string the leaves onto the grosgrain ribbon, spacing each several inches apart. Hang the garland up in room in which you'll have Thanksgiving dinner or in a prominent place in the house.

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