“I am thankful for my family!”
“I am thankful for my friends!”
“I am thankful for my dog Landry!”
Thanksgiving is the time that we express how Thankful we are for people in our lives and more. But this may be a hard skill for our kids with language delays, language disorders, autism, social communication difficulties, ADHD, pragmatic difficulties and more….to Understand what “Thankful” means and to understand what/who they are Thankful for as well as express what they are Thankful for. Here a few different ideas to help your child understand what is means to be “Thankful”:
Start your month by singing a song about “Being Thankful”. Sing this song everyday a few times a day. When I was a therapist in the Early CLASS at UTD we sang this great song: “Say thank you for my family, say thank you for my family, Thanksgiving is the time that we say Thank you for my family!” to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell". This is a great song to sing because you can change up the words. Begin with big concepts like “Family, Friends, Food, House, Pets, etc” then the next week sing about your “Family” and then sing about “mom” and “dad”; sing about “friends” and then pick 1 – 2 friends to sing about; sing about “food” and then pick your child’s favorite food to sing about; etc. Continue singing this song throughout the Month of November. Feel free to get creative and make up your own song! In addition if you pair visuals with this song this will help your child even more:
Next make a book about what your child is Thankful For. Use a simple phrase(s) “Amanda is thankful for her family”. “Amanda is thankful for mom. Amanda loves mom.” “Amanda is thankful for dad. Amanda loves dad.” “Amanda is thankful for pets.” “Amanda is thankful for her dog. Amanda loves Landry.” You can make this book for them or you can make it together. Then read this book each night before you go to bed. **make sure to click the below picture to see an example of the book**
If your child already understands the concept of “Thankful” then a great idea is to think about what/who they are thankful for each day of the month of Thanksgiving. Print out a calendar and each day (at breakfast/at dinner) pull out your Calendar and have them write/draw what/who they are thankful for that day. This is a great activity for the entire family.
If your a child that LOVES being creative then they can make a Thankful Turkey. Each day they will take a leaf. On the back of the leaf they will write what they are "thankful for" using words, pictures or sentences. Then they can turn over the feather and decorate it and then add it to their Turkey. Then on Thanksgiving they can take their Turkey Apart by taking off each feather one at a time and talking about what they are Thankful For. You can also do this activity as a Family by using a Family Turkey or with each Family member having their own turkeys.
If your child already understands the concept of "Thankful" then using Thankful Jars throughout November may be the way to go. Each family member has their own Jar. Each day as a family each person picks 1 thing they are "Thankful for".....you can write it our or drawa picture. Then place it in your jar. If your child needs help thinking of what they are "thankful" for you can give them a "theme" for that day such as "think of a family member", "think of a friend", "think of a teacher", "think of a pet", "think of something in your room", "think of something in the kitchen", and more. Then on the day of Thanksgiving each person can take turns talking about what they are Thankful For using their Thankful Jars. **Be sure to click the pictures below to see all the Thankful Jar examples**
We hope that you all have a wonderful time talking about what each of you are Thankful For throughout the entire month of November.
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