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Teaching gratitude and thankfulness to young children is not always easy. As we approach Thanksgiving, your children may have questions (lots of them) about who the pilgrims were, what are we thankful for, etc. Below are some of our favorite reads to explain Thanksgiving and teach thankfulness to children.
The Story of Thanksgiving by Nancy J. Skarmeas
We have these board books for several holidays and love them all. Through beautiful illustrations and simple short stories, they explain the holiday in a way a young child can understand while being fun to look at and easy to hold for even the youngest members of the family.
While my four-year-old daughter still doesn’t quite understand the significance of history, she has been asking questions about pilgrims and native Americans non stop in an apparent quest to wrap her arms around this holiday and it’s accompanying imagery. I was thrilled when I came across these two books which provide a historically accurate and balanced view of a day in the life of two young people in colonial times.
We followed Sarah Morton, who happened to be a real child in colonial times not just a character in a book, as she dressed in her many layers, did chores, played with her friend, shared her fears and connected with her parents. Then we learned about Tapenum and his quest to become a warrior by building his determination, strength, endurance and spiritual wisdom. Both books provide a unique picture of these two very different lives and add a richness to our understanding of Thanksgiving. I will add that these books include vocabulary, specifically Wampanoag words, that were at times difficult to pronounce and the length of these books makes them more appropriate for a child who is older or more capable of sitting through longer books.
The Secret of Saying Thanks
by Douglas Wood
While not specifically a Thanksgiving book, it is a favorite of ours for teaching thankfulness. From Amazon, “Greg Shed’s stunning portraits of the natural world tenderly portray all of the many ways in which we can say thanks for the wonders we sometimes take granted in life.” This is a great book to teach kids as young as 3 & 4 to be thankful for all the wonders around them beyond just saying thank you.
Does your family have any favorite Thanksgiving, or Thankfulness books? Please share them in the comments.
Find more book suggestions on our Bookshelf!
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