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Want to teach your children to be thankful and discuss what that really means? It can be frustrating to teach this to children. We sound like broken records asking for them to “say thank you” while teaching manners. By inspiring them to reflect on what they are thankful for and documenting it, children can learn over time to have a grateful mindset all on their own.That is the purpose of this Thanksgiving book project! A free download and simple steps is all it takes to start the discussion with children preschool-age and older about being thankful and making sure that we are in that mindset each day-no matter the season.

Here are the supplies you need to start:

 construction paper (one color or a variety)
pipe cleaner (other options: staples, ribbon, binder rings, twist ties)
markers, crayons or colored pencils
doo-dads (glitter, sequins, paper pieces, etc…optional)


Here are the steps for your child to create their I Am Thankful book:


1.) Start by downloading and printing this cover page.


Mount it onto a piece of construction paper. Encourage your child to write their name on the line and color/decorate the cover sheet with markers, crayons, and/or other doo-dads that can be glued onto the cover.

Ask your child what they think it means to be thankfulDiscuss that being thankful means recognizing when we have received something and showing that we appreciate having it. For children, it can be easy to start with toys. They usually can relate to how happy they feel when they receive a new toy, or how fun it is to play with their toys. We then talk about how it is important to say ‘thank you’ to the people who give us things that we like or who help us when we need it.


2.) Once each day, ask your child what they are thankful for from that day. They use a piece of construction paper to draw a picture of what they are giving thanks for that day. Your child may need a little prompting to recall all that they did. If they want to draw more than one picture, I say go for it!


3.) Once they have drawn and colored their picture to their liking, write down (on their picture) what it is that they have drawn. (If your child is old enough to do this on their own, encourage them to do so.) I wrote the date as well and numbered the page in the bottom corner as shown in the picture above.


4.) Repeat this each day (or as many days as you remember…yes, we missed a few in our house) and store the completed pictures in a folder until it is time to assemble the book.


5.) At the end of the month-or whatever time frame you choose for ending this project-assemble the pages in order and punch holes in the edges of each page where you will secure them together. I used a piece of pipe cleaner cut into 2-two inch pieces to loop through the holes and just twisted them lightly to stay locked. You can use metal binder rings from an office supply store, or ribbon or yarn from your local craft store.



 Your child’s book is complete!



I love these make-at-home books that allow children to be authors and illustrators. These would be great to read through/share during Thanksgiving dinner gatherings or to give as gifts to the grandparents. 

These types of activities provide children with exposure to writing and literacy/reading exploration of their own making. I hope you enjoy the time helping your child create this “I Am Thankful For” book this Thanksgiving season. For additional Autumn and Thanksgiving themed activities, click here.

I Am Thankful for book for children to make. A simple Thanksgiving activity for kids to encourage being thankful.

Free gifts for subscribers to the Stay-at-home mom survival guide blog.

Take the gratitude and thanks one step further with this Free printable “You’ve Been Gobbled” neighborhood activity for Thanksgiving. Such a fun way to share an act of kindness this Thanksgiving season.

I am thankful book for kids to make with a free printable cover to customize and color as a Thanksgiving project for kids.
Girl smiling holding a thank you sign. Text reads I am thankful book for teaching children gratitude.

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