About thanksgiving for kids: Thanksgiving – Kids | Britannica Kids

Опубликовано: October 30, 2023 в 5:42 pm


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Fun Facts About Thanksgiving for Kids

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Sometimes what we think we know and what actually happened are two different things.

Check out these Thanksgiving Facts to see if you get them right!

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Thanksgiving Facts

We celebrate Thanksgiving every year on the fourth Thursday of November to give thanks and gratitude. 

What else do we know about this holiday of gratefulness? 

Check out some of these Thanksgiving Day facts!

Thanksgiving Fun Facts for Kids

The First Thanksgiving was in 1621.

The very first Thanksgiving celebration was back in the autumn of 1621. 

A little different than we know it today, the holiday festivities were stretched out over 3 whole days. 

Feasting on food, singing songs, dancing around, and playing games was all part of the merriment.

Wampanoag Natives and Pilgrims Attended the First Thanksgiving

When the Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts, the Wampanoag Natives helped them by teaching them how to grow crops and work the land to survive. 

In addition, an agreement was made to unite against any enemies that should attack their land and life. 

To celebrate and honor their plentiful harvest and newfound friendship, Thanksgiving was started.

Pilgrims Didn’t Wear Buckled Hats

Most historical images depict Pilgrims wearing buckled hats and black and white attire for Thanksgiving. 

Truth is, buckles didn’t even come into fashion until much later. 

It is believed that Pilgrims actually chose more colorful apparel (without buckles) to wear to the Thanksgiving festivities.

Thanksgiving Became A National Holiday More Than Once

While President George Washington declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1761, it only began being celebrated annually in 1863 with the help of President Lincoln.  

Bringing friends and family together once a year, Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful and appreciative. 

Turkey Wasn’t Served at the First Thanksgiving

No one is really sure when turkey began appearing on the Thanksgiving Day menu, but it sure wasn’t at the first celebration. 

The Pilgrims and Indians ate foods such as duck, venison, cod, bread, pumpkins and cranberries. 

Forks Were Not Used to Eat

Back in the day, feasting was mostly done with hands, using knives and spoons only when needed. 

Forks weren’t invented until years later. 

Can you imagine?

Each Year the President Pardons A Turkey

It is said that in 1947, President Truman began the tradition of pardoning a turkey. 

This means that one turkey will be spared and not roasted as a part of the Thanksgiving feast. 

It will spend the rest of its days living it up on a farm instead. 

Thanksgiving Facts

Filled with food, games, song, and dance, we owe this delicious feast of appreciation to the Pilgrims and Native Americans who held the very first Thanksgiving holiday.   

However you celebrate your Thanksgiving holiday, we hope you’ll share some of these fun facts with your family and friends! 


Children’s Books About Thanksgiving

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20 Best Thanksgiving Videos for the Classroom

Thanksgiving can be tricky in today’s classroom. While it’s fun to make turkey crafts and learn about the Pilgrims, there’s a more nuanced story behind this holiday. These Thanksgiving videos can help you share a variety of viewpoints with your students. Learn about the traditional stories and indigenous perspectives, plus find fun songs, facts, and read-alongs. (Be sure to view these videos in advance to make sure they’re appropriate for your audience.)

1. Thanksgiving for Kids

Best for: Pre-K to Early Elementary

This is one of the longer Thanksgiving videos for kids, and it’s full of interesting facts. It touches lightly on the Pilgrims, but also includes information about Thanksgiving in other countries and the lengthy history of days of giving thanks.

2. Turkey Facts for Kids

Best for: Pre-K through Early Elementary

Want to learn a whole lot of turkey facts? Try this video from Homeschool Pop. The narration can get a little silly, but younger kids will love it.

3. History of the Holidays: History of Thanksgiving

Starting with a brief overview of the Thanksgiving celebration at Plymouth and following through to the first parades and football games, this video takes a very traditional look at the holiday.

4. The First Thanksgiving: What Really Happened

Best for: Middle and High School

Ready to take another look at the first Thanksgiving? This well-researched video provides a dispassionate look at the interactions of the Puritans and local indigenous people.

5. Why These Native Americans Observe a National Day of Mourning …

Best for: High School

If you’re ready to expose your students to a very different point of view, try this honest and plain-spoken explanation of the Day of Mourning. It’s sure to spark conversation in your classroom, which is a good thing.

6. National Day of Mourning

Best for: Middle and High School

Get more details on the National Day of Mourning, and learn stories kids likely haven’t heard before, including the time in 1969 when a group of indigenous people took over Alcatraz island to make their voices heard.


Thanksgiving: One Word

Best for: Middle and High School

As you have continuing conversations with your students about Thanksgiving’s true history, watch this video of indigenous people sharing their thoughts on the holiday. While many celebrate the idea of giving thanks, they know that for those of their ancestry, Thanksgiving itself is a complicated day.

8. Bet You Didn’t Know: Thanksgiving History

Best for: Upper Elementary through High School

Did you know the Plymouth thanksgiving celebration lasted three days and didn’t include turkey or potatoes? Or which president was the first to pardon a turkey? Find out in this fun video.

9. Turkey Hokey Pokey

Best for: Pre-K through Early Elementary

“You put your right wing in, you put your right wing out. …” You know the rest! Add this to your list of Thanksgiving videos to play when kids need to get up and move.

10. Gobble Gobble Turkey Wobble

Best for: Pre-K through Early Elementary

Here’s another fun one when your class is ready for a brain break! We bet your students will beg to do this one more than once.

11. 10 Little Turkeys

Best for: Pre-K through Kindergarten

Count down as each turkey flies away to hide on the advice of the little red hen. This is a cute one to have kids act out as they sing.

12. Thanksgiving Would You Rather?

Best for: Elementary

Here’s another quick brain-break video. Kids choose between options like only eat turkey for a week or only eat pumpkin pie for a week, then perform the motions that match their choice.

13. A Turkey for Thanksgiving

Best for: Pre-K to Early Elementary

Mr. and Mrs. Moose are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving, but where’s the turkey? The sweet ending will surprise little ones!

14. Sesame Street: Thanksgiving Apple Pie

Best for: Pre-K

The Monster Foodies are ready to make apple pie for Thanksgiving, but they’ve only got one apple! Take a trip to the orchard with them to learn more about this favorite fruit.

15. Kids Try 100 Years of Thanksgiving Dishes

Best for: Elementary and Middle School

For many, Thanksgiving is all about the food! These kids try old Thanksgiving favorites from the last 100 years, like pickled walnuts and oyster shooters. Giggle as you watch them try the foods, then talk about what foods your students eat on Thanksgiving.

16. Baby Shark’s Thanksgiving Day

Best for: Pre-K and Kindergarten

You didn’t really think you could get through a list of Thanksgiving videos without a Baby Shark entry, did you? This one’s actually pretty cute, we promise! The members of Baby Shark’s family prepare different dishes for their celebration and give thanks together.

17. Deconstructing History: The Mayflower

Best for: Middle and High School

Looking for some facts about the Mayflower? This video is full of them. Watch it, then see how many of them your students can remember.

18. American Experience: The Pilgrims

Best for: High School

Find out exactly who the Pilgrims were, and why they chanced their lives on such a very dangerous voyage. This is a preview of a longer series, available on PBS.

19. Who Were Samoset, Massasoit, and Squanto?

Best for: Upper Elementary through High School

Find out more about three of the Native Americans who met the Pilgrims upon their arrival. Their true stories don’t exactly match up with what you think you know.

20. The Pilgrims and the Mayflower Compact

Best for: Upper Elementary and Middle School

Learn more details about the Pilgrims, their Mayflower journey, and the early settlement years. This sticks pretty closely to a lot of the traditional Thanksgiving story, but does add a few interesting new details.

How do you teach about Thanksgiving in your classroom? Come share ideas and ask for tips on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, if you liked these Thanksgiving videos, don’t miss our list of Diverse and Thoughtful Thanksgiving Books for the Classroom.

Children’s gratitude – ABC of education

Can children sincerely thank their parents and God? Or does the realization of deep gratitude to neighbors and the Almighty come much later? Should we teach gratitude to children, or should we cultivate this feeling in a child by example?

How often do you hear from parents hurt by the behavior of their children the phrase “Oh, you ungrateful!”, “I raised you (fed and watered you, didn’t sleep at night, etc.), but you”… Why does this happen? What do parents mean by gratitude, appealing to the conscience of children in a fit of emotion?

First, in order to understand the nature of gratitude from a child’s perspective, children should be divided into preschoolers and schoolchildren. Secondly, let’s define what gratitude is. Thirdly, it is necessary to understand who, whom and for what should be grateful.

Gratitude (from “ thank “) – a feeling of gratitude for the good done. Parents buy toys for their children, arrange a variety of leisure activities, take them to various classes, spend a lot of time and money on the safe, in their opinion, and comprehensive development of the child. Are the children thankful for it? At best, the child will say “thank you”. Although this is unlikely, because all of the above has become the norm for children. Why give thanks for something that happens as if by itself? And is it good or good? It’s a lifestyle. Children get everything easily, so they do not feel deep gratitude, but on the contrary, they shout “I want more”, “give me two”, and so on. Toys are easily broken and thrown away, not protected, stored and not inherited. It’s so easy to go to the store and buy a new one. In this way, this bright feeling of gratitude for everything that you have is gradually washed away; from an early age, children are not able to appreciate what they have. But the purchase of a toy includes parental labor, which also depreciates.

Psychologist Yu. Guseva about children’s gratitude:

– “Modern parent tries to give the child as much as possible. Theatres, museums, foreign trips, various clubs, an abundance of toys, expensive clothes, gadgets… All this surrounds an ordinary child. However, it is often possible to hear from parents that the child does not appreciate all this. And the resentment of parents is sometimes connected not only with the fact that the child loses or breaks things, but with the fact that the child takes everything that he has for granted, sometimes devaluing parental care. Parents, who in childhood did not have the opportunities that they provide now to their children, are very upset. It seems to them that if they had what their children have now, they would be just happy.

I wonder why children don’t really appreciate what their parents give them? And should they appreciate it? Maybe we, modern parents, make some mistakes in education? Knowledge of age psychology can help us understand this issue.

A small child is characterized by egocentrism. Egocentrism is the inability or unwillingness of a person to look at what is happening from the point of view of other people, to put himself in the place of another person. The egocentrism of the child is manifested in the fact that the child considers himself the center of the universe, and parents exist only to satisfy his needs. And indeed, if you look at the life of young parents, then it is all subject to the desires and needs of the baby. With the advent of the baby, the whole way of life of the family changes, parents refuse entertainment, forget about their desires. Growing up, the child continues to consider himself the central figure.

In one experiment, a child was asked how many brothers and sisters he had. The children answered correctly. But when the same child was asked how many brothers and sisters his brother (sister) had, in this case he named one less. That is, the child did not consider himself. This is due to the fact that the child could not perceive himself as an “application” (as a brother or sister of someone), he could consider himself only the main, central figure.

Egocentric thinking contributes to the fact that the child considers everything that his parents do for him as completely ordinary and normal. From an early age, parents take care of the child and he takes this care for granted. And that’s okay. You should not expect any special gratitude from the child for what you are doing. Firstly, you are not doing this for the sake of gratitude, but for the love of your own child. Secondly, the child’s thinking is such that he simply cannot yet overcome his own egocentrism, look at the situation from your point of view. That is why the child, unfortunately, does not see that you are tired (although it would seem obvious) and want to relax. His desire right now to read a book or go for a ride on a merry-go-round turns out to be more important for him. That is why the child asks for a new toy, although you have said several times that you do not have the opportunity now. That is why he sings, even though you have a headache and you asked not to make noise. All this the child does not because he is spoiled. Thus, the egocentrism of the child is manifested. Of course, you should ask the child not to make noise and wait for the opportunity to buy a new toy. But you should not expect a complete understanding from the child.

When is egocentrism overcome? Does a five or six year old child still consider himself the center of the world? It turns out that egocentrism begins to be overcome at preschool age, but at the same time, as studies show, egocentrism is inherent in children even at the age of 8–10, even 12 years old. By adolescence, the child gradually begins to realize what parents feel and think, learn to listen not only to their own desires, but also to take into account the interests of others. In childhood (up to about 8–10 years old), a child’s love for parents is usually passive (parents are only a source of well-being for him). And only having entered adolescence, the child overcomes his own egocentrism and then there is an active (active) love for mother and father. It was then that a teenager begins to understand that parents have their own feelings, interests and desires, that parents exist not only to satisfy his needs and desires. A teenager begins to realize that parents care not only about themselves, but often deny themselves something for his sake. And then there can be sincere gratitude to parents.0003

It turns out that one should not expect gratitude from a child at all, knowing about the period of egocentrism? Is there any point in teaching this? From the point of view of psychology, maybe this is the case, but parental instinct suggests that you should not let everything take its course and wait for 10 years of age. Yes, it is possible that children really will not be able to fully experience gratitude due to their age and psychological immaturity. But the upbringing of a child should include conversations about gratitude, therapeutic fairy tales, the lives of saints (who were always content with little and were grateful for everything) adapted for childhood, explanations about the feeling itself, putting ingratitude, permissiveness and their consequences as a counterweight. And, of course, a personal example.

Generally speaking, the inability to give thanks entails other inability – to honor and respect parents, for example. And taking goodness for granted can subsequently lead to arrogance, exactingness towards others, pride.

As regards adolescence, the relationship between parents and child is particularly acute and sensitive. And if in this case you say “Oh, you ungrateful”, “I hire tutors for you, pay for sections”, etc., he can simply say “I asked for all this”? If parents try to program their child’s life in their own way, then the software will not work. And instead of gratitude, the teenager will experience alienation. After all, everything was already planned for him, they chose a technical university, signed up for preparatory courses, hired a tutor in physics. And he likes to take pictures and engage in design. What kind of gratitude is that?

Rebellion of adolescence is useless to suppress. An exceptional example of thanksgiving will help the child in the future, when the storm of hormones subsides, to feel that very genuine gratitude to the parents for all their efforts and investments in it.

To be grateful means not only to be able to say a sincere “thank you”. You can express your gratitude in different forms: from a gift (preferably not expensive, but made with your own hands) to helping a person who has done good (the size of the good does not matter).

It is important that a child understands that the ability to give thanks is a great and bright feeling that inspires a person and makes him better.

Thanksgiving and gratitude to God

“Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

The prophet Isaiah says: The ox knows its owner, and the donkey knows its master’s manger (Isaiah 1:3). It turns out that if a person does not have gratitude to God, then it becomes worse than an ox or a donkey, who know their master, know from whose hands they receive food.

Thanksgiving was the very first thing Noah did when danger and hardship were over. What can we say about children, if we, adults, unlike Noah, often forget to thank the Lord for everything. But the liturgy is also called the Eucharist, which in Greek means “Thanksgiving”. And the main theme of common prayers is gratitude to God – for all the “manifest and unmanifested blessings that have been upon us.” These prayers begin with the priest’s call, “We thank the Lord!”

It is important and necessary to speak to children about gratitude to God. Children’s gratitude to God can be expressed through deeds of virtue, the eradication of bad habits, thanksgiving prayers in one’s own words.

When talking about gratitude, it is better to omit the instructive tone, and use forms accessible to children – fairy tales, poems, games. For example, when putting to bed, talk with your child about what good happened to him today, maybe someone helped him in something, or did a good deed, gave something. It would not be superfluous to simply thank God for the day, for the sun or rain, for relatives and friends, for the fact that no one gets sick.

In conclusion, I would like to add that the feeling of gratitude , along with the other senses, is easiest to teach by example. If parents say “Thank you” and “Thank God for everything”, then the children themselves will not notice how thanksgiving will become an important word and action in his life.

Oh God! I thank you

for the morning and dawn,

for the bright day, for the good hour,

for the evening that has already gone out,

for the night, for the stars, for the moon,

for the Earth! For my country,

For white light! Huge light!

In an instant and in the course of years. number of golden domes

And the kindness of your saints.

I look at the blue sky –

Oh, God! I thank … (T. Shiposhina)

Download the game “Bird of gratitude”

“Say thanks!” Is it possible to instill gratitude in children?

We try so hard – take care of children, satisfy any need, choose the best. Should a child appreciate these efforts, be able to thank for them? Why the ability to be grateful is so important and how to pass it on to children, we are discussing with psychologist Anna Skavitina.

Anna Skavitina, psychologist, analyst, member of the IAAP (International Association of Analytical Psychology), supervisor of the ROAP and the Jung Institute (Zurich), expert of the Psychology journal

Is my child an egoist?

Most parents try to give their children the best of what they have. They buy delicious food, expensive gadgets, take them to theaters and restaurants, enroll in various circles and sports sections. Many parents get so involved in caring for their children that they completely forget about their own needs and desires! But we often hear that in this world of consumption, children, nevertheless, grow up ungrateful, take everything around for granted, demanding more and more toys, sweets and phones. The child does not appreciate what he has, does not notice the efforts that parents make in caring for him. “I didn’t ask them to give birth to me? Let them now do what they must! Let them work, why should I have something worse than other children? It means that the parents do not work well!” one 10-year-old girl told me. Parents who did not have such opportunities in their childhood are now trying to give their children what they themselves once needed, trying to close all the needs of the child and satisfy his wishes. It seems that if they had all this in childhood, then they would definitely be happy. What is going on?

Why don’t children feel happy and appreciate parental efforts? And should they appreciate it? Should we give thanks?
Young children are self-centered: they believe that the whole world should revolve around them. They are not able to look at their actions from the outside or put themselves in the place of another person. Therefore, they don’t understand that you are tired when you come home from work and right now you don’t have the strength to play with them, they don’t understand where you spend the money you earn if he doesn’t have a new phone. The argument that you don’t have this doesn’t work very well, because what do you have to do with it if they don’t have it. From their birth, the world revolves around them, taking care of their survival and well-being. For a child, such care from adults is natural and normal. But we, parents, take care of the child not in order to receive gratitude, but because we love him and are ready to sincerely give, receiving in return not only fatigue, but also pleasure from the very process of caring.

According to research, up to 8-10 years old, a child perceives parents only as a source of his personal well-being. And it is not until the onset of pre-adolescence or even adolescence that children begin to realize on a deeper level that parents are people too. People with their desires, needs, experiences. And only at this age can a child deeply feel gratitude for the fact that parents do so much for him, often even limiting himself in some way. What does this mean? Do we have to sit and wait for the child to grow up and then he will appreciate everything and be grateful? Alas, that doesn’t happen either. Gratitude is one of the healthiest human emotions, which is not innate, but acquired.

Why do we need gratitude?

Before discussing how to acquire the ability to be grateful and pass it on to children, let me give you a few bonuses that it gives.

— The 2008 Journal of School Psychology n 2 states that grateful children (ages 11 to 13) tend to be happier, more optimistic, and have more friends. They are more satisfied with their schools, families, communities, friends, and themselves. Grateful children also tend to provide more social support to other people.

— Another study in 2012 found that grateful people experienced less pain and discomfort than others and generally lived healthier and longer lives.

– The quality of sleep is better for those who use the gratitude diary method, writing or saying things they are grateful for. Especially if you record right before bed (a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-being).

— Gratitude can help survivors of trauma and PTSD.

— A 2018 study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology n 5 found that grateful adults are happier and more hopeful. Gratitude was a better predictor of feelings of hope and happiness now and in the future than other constructs such as forgiveness, patience, and even self-control.

How to teach a child to feel gratitude?

Of course, grateful parents raise grateful children. Even a large study was done about it, although this is understandable even without research. Therefore, we carefully look at ourselves: how often do we thank others, and especially in the presence of children, how often do we thank the children themselves – or do we treat everything that they do as they should?

Many parents try to teach their children to say “thank you” and “please,” but is that enough to teach them to feel gratitude? Polite words are important, but even more important are the feelings behind them. A child may know when to say “thank you,” but that doesn’t mean they really feel grateful. Words that are spoken without sincere gratitude are needed to keep up appearances. The parent of a polite child makes a favorable impression on others. Although learning polite words can be seen as the first step towards expressing gratitude, and if this stage is mastered, then you can go further.

In order for children to grow up to be empathic, attentive, and able to take care of themselves and others, we need to help them recognize and name their own feelings, help them stop for a second and see how another person has taken care of them.

We need to stimulate in children the desire to take care of others. The ability to care is activated when a child feels cared for. He wants to do the same. Just by teaching him to speak the right words, we will not teach him to do caring things.

What gratitude is made of

Researchers at UNC Chapel Hill have done a whole project called Raising Grateful Children. They showed that gratitude has four parts:

1. Notice. Recognize things to be grateful for.
2. Think. Think about why you were given these things (gifts) or this concern.
3. Feel. Name the emotions you experience as a result of what you have received.
4. Do. Find a way to show your appreciation.

Researchers have found that most parents focus primarily on what their children do to express their gratitude. 85% of parents said they teach their children to say “thank you”, and only 39% of them encouraged their children to express gratitude in other words and ways that go beyond formal politeness. Only a third of parents ask their children how they felt when they received a gift, and only 22% ask their children why they think someone gave them a gift.

Try asking your child these questions:

1. What are you grateful for today and in your life? Are there things to be thankful for besides the gifts you have received? Are you grateful to any of your relatives or friends?

2. What do you think of this gift? What do you think, is it worth saying something or giving it to the one who gave it to you? Do you think you did something to receive such a gift? Do you think this person gave you a gift because he thought he should, or because he wanted to?

3. Do you feel happy or satisfied when you receive this gift? What is it like inside? What makes you happy about this gift?

4. Is there a way to show how you feel about this gift? Do you want to share this feeling?

Make it clear that there are many ways to show people that you appreciate them for everything they do. Talk to the child, telling what the meaning of gifts is: this is one of the ways – material – to take care of another, the desire to please another. Therefore, it is so important not only to receive a gift, but also to feel that the person really thought about you, tried to understand what you might like. We may feel joy and gratitude, and we may want to say something kind and good in return. We can express our gratitude and help to another person.

Some create their own family rituals in which they express gratitude to people, the world for what they have and what happened to them. Someone discusses this at every Sunday lunch or dinner, others write notes with thanks and put them in a special jar to read the notes at some festive moment or, conversely, when the soul is very sad.

Of course, there will be times when children will seem ungrateful to you. However, this does not mean that you have already missed everything in their upbringing. Sometimes it’s okay for kids. You can keep in mind that this is not a reason to get angry and despair, but rather think about how else you can teach children to experience and express gratitude, and gradually you will probably see how moments of gratitude will appear. Especially if the children understand that this is a bright and pleasant feeling that inspires both the one who is thanked and the one who expresses gratitude.