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Do you want to bring a focus of thankfulness and gratitude to your November? Teaching kids to recognize the good things in their life is so important. Do this thankfulness paper chain activity every day with your kids and as a bonus, you’ll be able to use it as a Christmas countdown too!

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What is Thankfulness?

Young kids might not fully understand what thankfulness and gratitude even mean. So you’ll need to start by explaining it to them.

When I explained it to my 4 year old, I told him it was the feeling he gets when someone gives him a gift he really wants.

Then I explained that we can get this feeling about many things and gave examples. Then he got it and was able to tell me all kinds of things he’s thankful for.

2 image collage of boys cutting paper strips to make a Thankfulness Paper Chain

Make a Thankfulness Paper Chain

Start by getting construction paper in whatever colors you choose, we went for a variety of colors. Then have the kids cut the paper into 10 strips. Each kid will need 3 papers to make 30 strips.

Get a basket or something to hold all of the paper strips.

Hanging basket with strips of colorful paper in it.

On each paper strip your kids will be writing 1 thing they are thankful for. Have your kids fill out one paper strip per day through the month of November. You can write for the young kids.

You could do it at breakfast, morning basket, or dinner time. Just pick a time of day and stick to it.

Boy writing what he's thankful for on paper to make a thankfulness paper chain.

Each day you will keep adding to your paper chain. You can choose to do it all month or stop after Thanksgiving.

THEN you can use the paper chain as a countdown to Christmas! Every day you’ll take off a link and read what was written on it which helps draw kids attention back to being thankful throughout the Christmas season too.

Thankfulness Prompts

If your kids struggle to come up with things they’re thankful you can use these prompts to help them!

  1. A person
  2. Something a sibling or friend does for you
  3. An activity
  4. A family tradition
  5. Something in your bedroom
  6. Your favorite food
  7. Your favorite thing about yourself
  8. A time when someone helped you
  9. Your favorite book
  10. Your favorite movie
  11. A Pet
  12. A Toy
  13. Something a parent does for you
  14. Something you’ve learned
  15. Place you’ve been
  16. A Song
  17. A holiday
  18. Something small
  19. Something big
  20. A Field Trip
  21. Something you use everyday
  22. Favorite art or craft project
  23. Favorite subject to learn about
  24. Something in nature
  25. Something that happened today
  26. Favorite Technology
  27. Something funny
  28. A favorite memory
  29. A family member
  30. TV show

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Enjoy making this Thankfulness Paper Chain with your kids! And I’d encourage you to keep a journal or list of things that you are thankful for throughout the month as well!

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Thankfulness Paper Chain Activity for kids, picture of 2 paper chains and basket with paper strips in it.