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Five ways to get your kids involved in 'thanks' and 'giving'

It really is a wonderful time of the year. Thanksgiving is just that - a time to give thanks and a time to do some giving. It's a time when you can stop and think about all that you have to be thankful for. A time to reflect on years past, and wonder about what is to come. It's a time to show your family and friends how much you love them.

Let's be honest: During the rest of the year, life can sort of get in the way of that mushy stuff.

I know there are many folks who may not have much to be thankful for. That's where the rest of us come in. We can all help to lift up those in need, help when and where we can. Not only is it a way to feel good about yourself, it is a great life-lesson for our children.

Here are five things to do with your kids this Thanksgiving that will help them feel grateful and understand what the holiday is all about.

This was taken at Response to Love Center a few years ago. Photo Courtesy: Response to Love Center

This was taken at Response to Love Center a few years ago. (Photo courtesy: Response to Love Center)

  • Take them to a food pantry. There are a few to choose from including the Buffalo City Mission. We've gone to Response to Love Center many times over the years. You can drop off food or gently used clothing, or you can stick around and help serve those in need.
  • Get out the paper and markers and let your kids make place mats showing what they are happy about. My kids love doing this. Help when they need it, but let them color, draw and write what is in their heart. It does a heart good to give thanks. Anything and everything goes.
  • Let the kids help you cook. I know, you're busy and the kitchen is a bit crazy, but let them help with something. Maybe the rolls or the pumpkin pie. Kids love to feel like they are a part of things. It'll also make everything taste just a bit better. Guaranteed.
  • Do the corny "What are you most thankful for?" thing. One by one, go around the table and ask everyone that all-important question. I'm always surprised and amazed with their answers.
  • Invite someone who might otherwise be alone, to spend dinner with your family. You'll feel great and so will your company. This year, our friend from Cleveland and her little sweetie will be joining our family. Their family is all going out of town and they would have been alone. It's going to make our day so much brighter and our kids get it. Win-win.

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