We are still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. We call it the second wave, with rising of the cases because of the start of fall. This is the new normal, just accepting what has been happening and of course, being very careful every day. With Thanksgiving in the next week ( Canada ) and next month ( US and Brazil ) and some dates in between for other places, we are all encouraged to just be with our families or be in small group gatherings at least, to keep ourselves safe. Staying home doesn’t mean doing nothing and be bored, though. Aside from getting excited preparing and eating your Thanksgiving meal as a family, let me share with you some fun activities for Thanksgiving that you can do with your family, including your special child, for your celebrations to be more meaningful.
By the way, did you know that there are 7 scientifically proven benefits of gratitude? Click the link to read the full post. It is really important for you to know that saying thank you consistently improves your life in general. Thus, by learning these benefits and teaching your kids to be grateful all the time, you know that they will grow as positive, healthy persons when you teach them this virtue early on, not only during Thanksgiving.
Okay, so this Thanksgiving Day, here are activities that you can do as a family, including your special child. You can start preparing for these as early as a few days, or even a week before your celebration.
1. Write thank you letters
Let your kids, including your special child, write a thank you letter to whoever he wants to show appreciation for something that this person has done for him. It could be a letter to you, his parents, to his siblings, friends, teacher, nanny, etc,
This will teach him to be appreciative of all that he has received and all that has been done to him.
If he is still not able to write or compose a letter, but he can express himself, ask him the details of what he wants to write about and to whom. You can write the letter and read to him aloud after. For sure, he will be delighted to hear about his letter.
You can even mail the letter in the post. Or scan it and email to the recipient.
When this becomes a yearly tradition, as your child grows up, it will be a really memorable activity for him.
2. Say thanksgiving prayers
Before eating your Thanksgiving meal, let your family members say a thank you prayer to God for all the blessings and answered prayers.
Make each one say their top ten list of things or people or incidents that they are thankful for.
You can tell them to write these the day or night before, so they are not caught off guard.
This will teach your kids to be always aware of their blessings, be counting them instead of their woes, and not become a grumbling individual.
3. Play board games as a family
Educational board games should be handy. Start looking at your collections or buy new ones.
Playing any board game with your child will build his trust and emotional attachment with you, and of course, this is also a great time for you to teach him about spelling, reading, counting and thinking logically.
Here are five awesome choices. Click the images to check the prices.
4. Watch a movie with a gratitude theme.
After a board game or two, your child or children might want to snuggle with you as you watch a movie together. You could choose from any kids’ movies in Netflix or you might want to buy these DVD movies, too.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (DVD)– a classic, which tells the fun and hilarious get-together of Charlie Brown and his friends for a big turkey party. Kids and grown ups will love this, plus, with a bonus story of the Mayflower Voyagers, the Pilgrims journey to the new world and their adventures.
Room on the Broom– a magical tale about friendship and family. The dragon wants to eat the witch? Find out how and why in this 26 minute film, based on the book of the same title.
5. Start a family gratitude journal
Thanksgiving day is the best time to start this family tradition. Especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, you and your family has a lot to be thankful for.
Writing down daily or weekly the good things that has been happening in your life and in your family is very therapeutic. Or even just occasionally, like on your birthday or during special occasions like Christmas, New Year, or Thanksgiving.
Let your kids start this habit, as well. It will make them realize that they are so blessed and they have to acknowledge that.
It could also be a prayer journal if your family is religious.
If you have started this years before, continue the tradition and let your kids write their notes themselves. However, if your special child is unable to write or still very young, but can express himself, let him dictate to you what he wants to write about.
6. Read books together, especially about gratitude
Reading together is very educational and enhances your child-parent bonding. Especially if your special child is non-verbal or still unable to read on his own.
Make this reading session special by reading some awesome books about Thanksgiving and being grateful.You can read together when you are ready to hit the bed at night or during a nap after lunch.
Borrow books from your nearby library or buy new ones.
Click the images to see the price.
For some monthly excitement, you can start Owl Post Books subscription here. Even if they don’t arrive on Thanksgiving, there are forthcoming holidays throughout the year, like winter holidays, spring break, summer break, or even during regular weekends or even daily at bedtime, that you can enjoy reading with your special child.
7. Color pages or books
For small kids or even adults, coloring is a fun and relaxing activity. It also stimulates their brains to be creative and artistic. If you have two or more kids, you could make this a contest as to who is the most creative, most colorful page, most tidy, etc.
Prepare coloring pages days before by searching in the internet.
Or you can buy some coloring books like these.
8. Do art activities
These activities develop your kids’ creativity, as well their gross and fine motor skills. Aside from excitement, your family bonds as well and develops in your child helping each other as a team.
Grab those materials listed below and click the links where you can follow the procedures.
Handprint family portrait
- This is a true family activity with everybody participating from parents to kids.
- Every year if you repeat this activity on Thanksgiving day, you will be excited how your kids’ hands are growing up.
- Learn the procedures at funlittles.com
- Even your special child can help with painting the color in the gloves
- Plastic Powder-Free Vinyl Gloves
- Balloon Pump
- Acrylic Paint
- Peel and Stick Wiggle Eyes
- Y Construction Paper
- Paint Brushes
Paper bag turkey
- It’s so cute and so easy to make!
- Googly eyes
- Construction Paper
- Paper Bag
- Tacky Glue
- This activity will really teach your kids the virtue of gratitude and appreciation for family and friends who have been there for them and helped them one way or another.
- As well teach them to count their blessings, rather than complain of what is lacking in their lives.
- Learn the procedures at justthesevenofus.com
- Construction paper
Hey, my dear parents, If you would like to let your special child be excited with Craft subscription boxes every month, click this link to subscribe from Cratejoy!
Who said that because of the pandemic, with no Thanksgiving party to attend to, your kids and your family will be bored this Thanksgiving weekend?
No way! Just be creative, plan in advance, prepare your materials, buy them if you need to, and this Thanksgiving weekend will be a blast just like in previous years.
If you have Zoom or messenger or any video call app, you can even say hi to your kids’ grandparents and their cousins anywhere in the world. You can even set up a group activity via zoom or messenger with their cousins, even his friends in school. That way, they will feel like they are still attending your Thanksgiving party together, as extended families.
What activities during Thanksgiving does your special child enjoy every year?