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
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 ❤️. )
Movie Snack: Kid-made Mini Hawaiian Pizzas
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?
After our fun morning outside, we escaped the wind and relaxed inside with a snack and a movie!
Snack: Animal Tracks Snacks
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!
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!
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.)
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
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
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!
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
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!