A Week of Gratitude with Kids and Disney+

In anticipation of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday with the kids I decided to do one of my favorite things – lesson plan! (I’m a teacher and I love having an inspiration and a plan… even at home with the kids.) The obvious inspiration for the week is gratitude so our week will revolve around the things for which the kids are (or should be) most grateful. I also wanted to incorporate our new subscription to Disney Plus without us becoming tv zombies while we’re home for the week. I will be updating this post as we actually complete our days of gratitude but I wanted to share the plan in case any of you were looking for ideas on how to spend the week with the kids home from school!

My choices for gratitude topics align with what I think a three and five year old can process being grateful for. There are definitely some bigger things that I will emphasize in the future, but my goal here is to really encourage the kids to be thankful for what they have… especially in the season of lists for Santa and goodies galore.

I’ll be adding pictures and more detail as we get into our week, but I have linked the inspiration activities and snacks so you don’t have to wait for my updates.

Gratitude Focus: Family

Outing/Activity: Share a meal with extended family

The Sunday before Thanksgiving is always our time to spend with Rob’s mom’s side of the family. This gathering was extra special today because our super strong Noni has been recovering from being sick and was still able to be here as the matriarch of this huge, awesome family!

Craft: Family Gratitude Turkeys (Each turkey we make will be for a different family member and on the feathers we will write why we are most thankful for that person. We will give them out on Thanksgiving ❤️. )

Here is how our first ones turned out. We have a big stack of family turkeys left, and will be working on them through the week because getting a 3 and 5 year old to focus on why they’re grateful before they get super silly only lasts for 20 minutes max… but I think it is still a good start! 🙂

Movie Snack: Kid-made Mini Hawaiian Pizzas

The Hawaiian pizzas were really fun for the kids and super easy to set up. The kids made all of our pizzas and I threw together a bagged Asian salad mix and used the rest of the pineapple on the side. Dinner done!
For the pizzas: We tried both English muffins and King’s Hawaiian hamburger buns for the crust. Both were good but I think the English muffins were better as pizza crust. The kids topped them with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pineapple, and ham, then bake on 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Easy peasy and we all enjoyed eating a dinner they made.

Watch: Lilo and Stitch (also great… Meet the Robinsons or Coco)

Gratitude Focus: Nature

Outing/Activity: Anywhere outside (we went to the San Joaquin Fish Hatchery)

We absolutely love the San Joaquin Fish Hatchery and Small Fry Children’s Trail. This place is the perfect combination of nature and creative play space… and the fall colors are just beautiful right now.

I love how nature and the inspiration of nature is used to create the playground. And what is more fun than a twirling pussy willow?

Even Gogo had to get in on the fun!

After our fun morning outside, we escaped the wind and relaxed inside with a snack and a movie!
Snack: Animal Tracks Snacks

This snack was a little time consuming but the kids LOVED it while watching Bambi.

Watch: Bambi

Craft: Nature Out of Nature Craft

We made our nature craft the following day. I just let them glue without any specific shape in mind but the link above has lots of cute ideas.

Gratitude Focus: Home

Outing/Activity: Clean our house

Today we spent the day at home talking about how lucky we are to have a warm, comfortable place to be together and why we need to take care of it. This then allowed me to get (a little) help from the kids in cleaning up the house. I also used the incentive of building “gingerbread” houses at the end of the day if they were helpful and didn’t add to the mess I was currently trying to clean up. All in all, it was a success and they earn the candy houses!

Watch: Up

Snack: Cracker Construction

To get our focus on gratitude for our home started we watched Up while eating/constructing homes out of our lunch makings!

The kids had a ton of fun playing with their lunches and toothpicks while watching Up! Construction was limited but they enjoyed it and ate well. I’ll take that as win!
For the construction materials I cut the sandwich bread, meat, and cheese into buildable shapes and then loaded them up with hummus, cheese spread, chips, seaweed, and fruit and veggies. (I really just went through the kitchen and found things they liked that might work in constructing a food house.) Then I gave them each a little stack of toothpicks and let them play. Like I said, there weren’t any major architectural masterpieces, but they had a lot of fun!

Craft: Gingerbread Houses
After a day of cleaning and being good helpers we headed to Target to pick up some fun candy house makings! I have to admit, I was excited to make one to. (I had planned to use the kits from Trader Joe’s but they didn’t have them on our last trip to the store so we decided to get our own materials.)

We used graham crackers, frosting in bags, a few different types of candy, and Lucky Charms cereal.
Rob even had fun making a house after work!

This really was a fun day… and though I don’t think the kids truly grasp the blessing of a home, I think that we laid the foundation. 😉

Gratitude Focus: Friends

Despite the hesitant look on Kellan’s face, these two are pretty good buddies… when they aren’t fighting at least. 😝

Outing/Activity: Time with friends (being the day before Thanksgiving our friends were all busy so we focused on the friendship between the siblings).
Craft: Friendship bracelets OR Friendship Ornaments

The kids and I really enjoyed coloring these together while we watched our movie.

These awesome shrink ornaments that we found in the Target Dollar Bins to give to the kids’ friends at school we’re super easy and fun!

Ready to be shrunk in the oven!
Kellan’s ornaments for his friends.

Watch: The Fox and the Hound

Snack: Sunbutter Muddy Buddies

Gratitude Focus: Food

Outing/Activity: Thanksgiving with Family
Watch: Ratatouille (between Thanksgiving celebrations)
Movie Snack: Veggies, Cheese, and Crackers

Gratitude Focus: Toys

Outing/Activity: Cleaned playroom and played with toys at home

We worked together to clean up their disaster of a playroom and talked about the importance of taking care of our toys and being grateful for what we have. After cleaning the kids actually enjoyed playing with some things that they hadn’t in a while and then cleaned up.

Watch: Toy Story

Movie Snack: Alien Jello

Craft: Toy Story coloring

Gratitude Journal

At the end of each day we will discuss what we are thankful for regarding the daily focus and all of the reasons we are grateful. After dinner I will have the kids fill in a page of their gratitude journal that I purchased on Amazon (there are a ton to choose from) or you could easily make one too!

Thanks for reading! I am grateful for you! I’d love you to leave a comment and tell me how your gratitude week goes if you decide to join us!