Thanksgiving will soon be here. The day is busy, fun, and filled with loved ones and great food. I often feel as though the day passes too quickly and I wonder if I even remembered to feel grateful for all I have.
This fun activity can be done with kids and adults alike. It is a helpful way to remember to thank someone in our life everyday and it is a fun way to countdown to Thanksgiving Day. This is meant for a two-week countdown but you can adjust the number of days you would like to do the activity. Make your own turkey like I did or use our printable below.
Here is what I did to make my Thankful Turkey:
- Cut out a turkey from construction paper.
- Cut out 14 Feathers from one color Construction Paper and write a name or relation of someone you want to thank. I wrote generic names like teacher, sister, cousin. But you can also write specific names of people you want to thank.
- Cut out 14 feathers from another color of construction paper and write ways to say thank you on them. Below is a list of ways we thought of or you can come up with your own.
- Stick the feathers on the body of the turkey with something removable, I used mounting putty.
- If there are ways of saying thank you that you know will work better with certain people you can pair them together and remove the feathers in order. For example; if you have ‘Restaurant Worker’ and ‘Call them on the Phone,’ you may not be able to call the restaurant worker so you may want to put that one with grandma or grandpa.
- Each day, remove one feather of each color. That day you will thank the person on the feather in the way listed on the other feather.
- By Thanksgiving morning you will have one set of feathers left.
- Print the turkey and feathers from the files below. Print them on colored paper or color them yourself.
- Decorate a mason jar or other container like a turkey body and color large craft sticks two different colors and write with the names and ways to thank on the sticks. Put inside the container. Each day of the countdown take one stick of each color out.
- I chose to have the writing on the back so we won’t know which one we are picking but you can do it on the front so that you choose two that are doable that day.
Saying a heartfelt thank you will mean more to the person than just saying thanks. Make sure you mean it. It is also a good idea to say why you are thanking the person. Whether it is for something they did, for being a positive influence, or another reason, they need to hear why you are thankful for them.
To print: click the pop-out symbol in the top right corner of each image.
People to Thank: print these feathers on one color paper, then choose which feathers you will use for your count down.
Ways to Thank: print these feathers on a different color paper and choose which ones you will use for your count down.
People to Thank:
- Restaurant Worker
- Retail Worker
- Garbage Man
- Bus Driver
- Crossing Guard
- Someone you don’t always get along with
- Church Leaders
- Hair Dresser
- Members of the Military
- Law Enforcement
- Bank Teller
- Tech Support
Ways to Thank Someone:
- Shout it!
- Draw a picture
- Make a treat
- Share something with them
- Tell them a story
- Sing a song
- Whisper it
- With a smile/hug
- With a high five
- Write a letter
- Phone call
- Do a chore for them
- Do an act of service
- Give a gift
- Make a card
- Take a selfie holding a thank you sign
- Say thank you in a different language
- Write it on a post it note
- Send an Ecard
- Write an email
- Send a thoughtful text
- Post it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram
Why This is Important:
This particular countdown activity is a tool to help yourself or others (including children) learn not only about being grateful, but about expressing gratitude. Both feeling thankful and expressing it take effort. Identifying things we’re grateful for lift us up and changes the way we look at life. But expressing gratitude goes a few steps further. As we put words to our gratitude we clarify our feelings and therefore strengthen and solidify that new positive perspective. And as we express gratitude to another person we lift them up and strengthen our relationship with them. It doesn’t matter if it’s with family or connecting with other members of the human family, as we strengthen our relationships we will feel more united. That is a powerful feeling.
Created by: Shanna