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Young Children and the Joy of Thank-you

This year’s Thanksgiving will look much different in our homes and our classrooms, as we keep ourselves, children, and families safe by avoiding large gatherings. One aspect of Thanksgiving that will remain the same is the opportunity it offers us to remember and celebrate the practices of gratitude and appreciation.

Showing children the joy of thank you is a great place to start…after all, being thanked and thanking others feels good at every age!

Children are often taught to say “thank you” when someone shares or gives them a gift. We can help children discover lots of ways to enjoy thanking others.  For example, when someone shares, we can say, “Wow! That was so nice of your friend to share her markers with you! Doesn’t that make you feel happy? You can tell her thank you to let her know how good that made you feel.”

We can model gratitude by looking at the child who shared and say something like, “Thank you so much for sharing with your friend. That was very kind of you.” This encourages generosity, as well as appreciation for the child who was sharing and the child who was shared with.

Fun Thank-you Activities

Whether you are working with children in-person, or doing virtual learning sessions, the following songs and books can be enjoyed with young children to introduce conversations about thankfulness. We have also included a few craft activities that are great for in-person learning.

We hope you enjoy these “Thanksgiving” activities all year long!

Children’s Videos

Children’s Books

More Activity Ideas

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