For many people, Thanksgiving means big family gatherings and deep traditions. In my experience, after getting married and adding another family’s traditions into the mix, it takes awhile to figure out what you’re going to keep doing and what will fall by the wayside. My husband and I have been married for almost ten years and we’re still working to carve our path and decide what’s best for our family. It can be a source of conflict, but it can also be a chance to start new traditions.
Here’s a fun activity for kids that could become a Thanksgiving tradition in your family using your Stuffies® and their seven secret pockets. Or if your kids don’t have Stuffies®, they can still play this game using a bag or some kind of container.
Before the big Turkey day, ask your kids to gather up small things representing what they’re thankful for. These items can be pictures of people, places, or things; they can be notes written or typed on paper; they can be actual objects they’re thankful for or objects that represent something they’re thankful for; or they can be anything else that will fit inside the pockets.
Whether you’re staying in town or traveling, have the kids bring their Stuffies®, stuffed with the things they’re thankful for, and take turns sharing with the family! For a variation, theme the “stuffing” based on the pocket. Have them put people and things that are close to their heart in the big pocket, foods they’re thankful for in the mouth, things they do with their hands in the paw pockets, and so forth.
Why Kids Should Practice Gratitude
Not only can this become a fun family tradition, it’s also one way to practice gratitude. Research shows that practicing gratitude has social, physical, and psychological benefits for both kids and adults, according to research compiled at the University of Berkeley’s Greater Good website. Here are a few of the benefits outlined:
- Increases happiness and satisfaction with life
- Reduces anxiety and depression
- Improves our health and encourages us to take better care of it
- Leads to better sleep
- Strengthens relationships and community
This Thanksgiving, encourage kids to practice gratitude with our Thanksgiving Stuffing Game or through another method.
And don’t forget, if you’re traveling out of town, Stuffies® make great travel companions! See more: 5 Ways to Survive Road Trips with Kids.
Tip: Practicing gratitude has social, physical, and psychological benefits for kids and adults.