When the holidays come around, it’s easy to forget that your little ones might not know the real story of Thanksgiving; many schools do not include Thanksgiving as a social studies subject anymore. Make this a fun learning experience with crafts and fun facts, and your preschooler will enjoy the holiday on a deeper level.
Stay Historically Accurate
The story of the “First Thanksgiving” has become slightly fictionalized in American culture, and it’s important when telling your child about the founding of the Plymouth Foundation and Native Americans to remain accurate and respectful of all cultures. Teach your children about how many cultures have celebrated holidays for years and years where they give thanks for what they have, and why we as Americans do it today. Discuss what a Pilgrim is—someone fleeing and searching for freedom. Talk about Native Americans respectfully, as intelligent and diverse friends to the Pilgrims.
Focus on Key Themes
The message of Thanksgiving is that of gratitude and diverse groups of people coming together as one. Ask your child what they are thankful for and talk about the importance of putting aside differences.
Make It Applicable
What is your family’s culture and tradition? Is there meaning behind the food you eat every year? Do you have a special tradition or deeper meaning to what you’re thankful for? Tell your preschooler about not only America’s history, but your family’s as well.
Of course, you can’t teach children about Thanksgiving without some arts and crafts. Have your child decorate a hand turkey and write down something that they’re thankful for on it.
However in depth you want to get with teaching your little one about Thanksgiving, remember that it’s always important to be educational and positive. Your child is never too young to learn about expressing gratitude and the importance of one’s freedom.
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