You’ve Been Thanked!

You've Been Thanked! - Parenting Like HannahWant a fun project to do with your children over Thanksgiving, which will also teach them real appreciation? Have your children draw a turkey on a sheet of paper – they can use their handprints to make the turkey or draw one from scratch.

After the turkey is beautiful, it is time for some fun. Brainstorm with your children to think of people who have been helpful to your family or your child this year. It may be a neighbor, friend or family member, but you need to know where they live.

Write a note on the turkey drawing to tell the person why you are thankful for them. Make the note personal and heartfelt. It is up to you whether or not you want to sign your name or make it a surprise. Attach it to a bag and fill it with little goodies to thank them. If you are leaving it anonymously, you may want to put in a box of cocoa, wrapped candies or a small gift card. If you sign it, you can leave home baked goodies and more personal, rather than store bought items.

When it starts to get dark, sneak up to the door with your children and set the bag on the person’s front porch. Ring the bell, run like crazy and hide if you want to see the reaction. This allows your children to have some “sneaky”, good fun and teaches them the value of doing service in secret (or not so secret!). It also removes that awkward moment when you thank someone and they try to downplay what they did.

Leave several thank you turkeys around your town. Just for fun, don’t do like the “booings” and leave instructions to pass it on to others. Just let your thank you stand for itself and see if we can get it to sweep the country with gratefulness. Teaching our children to be thankful in everything is a vital part of their spiritual training. So get your kids drawing turkeys and let me know what happens!

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Thereasa Winnett

Thereasa Winnett is the founder of Teach One Reach One and blogger at Parenting Like Hannah. She holds a BA in education from the College of William and Mary. She has served in all areas of ministry to children and teens for more than thirty years and regularly leads workshops for ministries and churches. She has conducted numerous workshops, including sessions at Points of Light’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the National Urban Ministry Conference, Pepperdine Bible Lectures, and Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration. Thereasa lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Greg, where she enjoys reading, knitting, traveling and cooking.

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