a month of thanksgiving

November is such a beautiful month!  I love the cooler weather, brilliant blue skies, and golden everything.  I love the cool, wet days where we stay inside and feel cozy.  This year I've been working on incorporating learning projects and traditions to help us celebrate Thanksgiving, and it has been wonderful!  I feel like sometimes Thanksgiving is overlooked, and I want it to be something special in our home. 

Above all, I want my children to grow seeing and feeling God's hand in all things. 

Here are some things we've done and are doing this year:

  • We've been reading The Mayflower This books shares some great detail about the voyage the Pilgrims made--filled with difficulty. I learned much from reading it! And it has great photographs. We painted the Mayflower and the storms they went through to arrive in the Americas. Their voyage and their lives were filled with difficulty, but they were able to do it because they knew God was leading them.

  • Do you know your family roots and your family stories? I think November is a great month to look at family history. My sixth great grandfather is Governor Thomas Dudley (second governor of Massachusetts). I loved reading stories about him. He was a man of faith and service! Regardless of your lineage, I feel like there's so much joy in learning of their challenges, triumphs, and lives. Many of our ancestors sacrificed much to provide greater opportunities for us (their posterity). Knowing your roots can provide a great opportunity to be thankful for what those who have gone before did out of love and faith, and I feel it's so important for children to hear those stories. We had a great talk with our boys about this, and it's something I want to continue as they grow. I'm also planning a simple art project for them with this.

  • I love The Small Seed's Give with Thanks daily service challenge. What better way to help children feel God's love than to serve others?! 

  • We had a great time preparing some of the foods that people ate on the first Thanksgiving for dinner one night. Matthew was shocked they didn't eat pumpkin pie (his favorite).  

  • I came across this story of Squanto that I love. It articulates so well that God's hand is in all things, including the founding of America.  I love how it talks about God making something good out of a difficult thing (I think we all face that one way or another) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WbDF5l_qOMI

  • We loved reading the book Sarah Gives Thanks.  It is the story of Sarah Josepha Hale who dedicated her life to make Thanksgiving a National holiday--inspiring for many reasons.

  • And a fun book my boys loved because they both adore firetrucks, A Firefighters' Thanksgiving

Also, I love to incorporate art into almost everything we do. I believe expressing something creatively provides a great opportunity to really internalize whatever we're learning. Plus, I believe we all need to take time to create regularly! Children of all ages create beautifully. My 21 month old loves using many different mediums and takes pride in his work (aren't children amazing)?! 

I would love to hear any ideas from you on how you make November/Thanksgiving a meaningful experience in your home.