Thanksgiving is a special holiday: a whole day focused on spending time with loved ones and being thankful. But before you pull up to the table to enjoy your delicious Thanksgiving feast, consider the opportunities this day presents to teach children about the important values of Thanksgiving, such as thankfulness, gratitude, and family.

Here are a few tips to teach and model important Thanksgiving lessons during the holiday:

  • Talk about why we celebrate Thanksgiving. Connect your celebration to the original story of the fall harvest celebration that brought together Native Americans and Pilgrims for a feast.
  • Talk about family traditions and tell stories.If your celebration involves multiple generations or multiple families, talk about traditions, “the good old days,” and your own childhood. Stories teach children about life and history.
  • Talk about your Thanksgiving feast. Talk to the children about where food comes from and how it was prepared. Everyone can share what their favorite food is and why.
  • Be thankful.Focus on the things you are thankful for; ask everyone at the table to say what they are thankful for or make a list of what your family is thankful for.

Family, gratitude, and thankfulness are the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

I hope some of these suggestions will help you bring more understanding of the real meaning of Thanksgiving to the children you serve.