This year, I wanted to incorporate a Thanksgiving gratitude journal into our holiday festivities. To give it a fun twist, my son and I made a journal, and instead of asking each member to write their gracious remarks inside themselves, my son will interview and record the gratuities of each member of our family in this homemade book. My son really enjoyed making and then decorating the journal, and he can't wait to present it to the family after this year's Thanksgiving feast. Long after all of the leftovers have been eaten, he'll still have a sweet family keepsake to treasure forever, and isn't that what Thanksgiving is really about? Everything you will need to create a Thanksgiving gratitude journal can be found in your home recycling bin, craft closet and backyard. Read on to learn how you and your child can create a Thanksgiving gratitude journal together in a few short steps.
What you will need:
– an old cardboard box or other scrap cardboard
– 2 pieces of brown paper (we used a brown paper bag)
– several loose pieces of paper (we found pieces leftover from another project)
– twine, yarn, string or floss
– hole punch
– natural glue
– a small twig or branch
– markers, colored pencils, or crayons
Step 1: Make the Covers
Cut two equally sized square pieces from a cardboard box to use as your front and back cover. You can make your book as big or as small as you wish. Then if necessary, use natural glue and a brown paper bag to cover any words or graphics that may be printed on the cardboard.
Step 2: Fill the Book
Cut the scrap paper to fit inside of the front and back cover for your journal’s pages. Then, punch holes in the paper and the front and back cover. Use twine to secure the front and back cover to the inside paper. Once it was tied securely, we weaved a small twig into the binding for a nice finishing touch.
Step 3: Decorate!
Let your child use markers, crayons or colored pencils and scrap pieces of paper to design the front and back cover. My son found this to be the best part of the project — my favorite part was when he wrote our names at the bottom.
Step 4: Label the Pages
Inside, label each page with headings for each member of your family: “Mommy is thankful for….,” “Daddy is thankful for….,” etc. Encourage your child to ask each family member what they are thankful for and record it in the Thanksgiving family gratitude journal.
Step 5: Fill the Pages
Now for the fun part: Have you child get in touch with each family member, or ask him to find a moment to chat with everyone in the family before Thanksgiving dinner is served. Each family member should express what they’re grateful for this year and your child can record their answers.
How does your family share their gratitude on Thanksgiving day?