The Meaning of Thanksgiving: A Hat Full of Thankful! Activity

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Updated on Nov 19, 2015

The meaning of Thanksgiving can sometimes get lost among the fun of food and family! Big dinners, family get-togethers, pumpkin pie, and pilgrim talk are all important aspects of Thanksgiving, but it's also necessary to discuss the sometimes hard-to-grasp meaning of Thanksgiving with kids and adults at your holiday celebration.

Here's a fun way to include thanks in your Thanksgiving. Even the youngest children can participate with this easy project, which we've dubbed "A Hat Full of Thankful!"

What You Need:

  • A structured hat, one that holds its shape
  • Index cards or note paper
  • Pens or something to write with

What You Do:

  1. Think of the hat as a thought-collector of sorts. Find your stiffest head topper—bowler, cowboy, top hat—any hat will do as long as it's not too soft.
  2. Place it upside-down on a table in the entryway of your home and surround it with a stack of index cards and a cluster of colored pens.
  3. As each guest arrives, take their coats and point them towards the hat. Ask them to write down at least one thing for which they're thankful. Younger kids may need a little bit of help, but anyone is old enough to know what makes them happy.
  4. Once everyone has finished collect the hat. Then at some point during dinner, pass it around the table and have each person reach in for a card and read it aloud. Listen up. We guarantee some of the things will surprise you!

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