Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. – William Arthur Ward
For Thanksgiving we focused on themes of sharing and caring, community and compassion for each other. We practiced saying ‘thank you’, discussed how we can make each other feel good, tried to remember who helped us with something recently, talked about how good it feels to give and receive help, asked a lot of questions about gratitude and wondered about what we are thankful for. To preserve all these precious memories and to share them with the people we love, we decided to draw and paint what we are thankful for, inspired by our thoughts to the following questions:
“What do you say ‘thank you’ for?”,
“What makes you feel happy and/or what is something someone else did that made you happy?” (people, places, rituals, objects, memories, events),
“What is something someone else helped you with recently?”,
“What would you really miss in your live?”
For all the details on how you can introduce Thanksgiving to your preschoolers or kindergarteners (and more Thanksgiving activities) head over to my other blog post: Celebrating Thanksgiving.
- Canvas fabric (cut in single squares or rectangles)
- Liquid watercolors
- Oil pastels
- Yarn or string
- Wooden dowels
- Glue gun
Step 1: Draw what you are thankful for
Tape down a canvas square for each child which will also create a ‘frame’ for their artwork. Set out oil pastels sorted by colors and invite the children to draw something they are thankful for. After discussing the questions above they should have plenty of ideas. Also remind them that we’ll just draw the outlines and details at this point. No need to color everything in since we will give our canvas a watercolor wash later on.
Step 2: Paint with Watercolors
Mix water and a few drops of liquid watercolors until you like the hue and intensity of the color. Let the children paint right over the oil pastels which repel the watercolors and will shine through (watercolor-resist). We also used watercolor sets and sprinkled glitter in the wet watercolor puddles. The watercolors mix and seep into the fabric beautifully.
Are your hearts melting too? They are so precious!
I’m thankful for my pet dog and my friend Berit!
I’m thankful for the sunshine and all different things in it!
I’m thankful for my house and family!
I’m thankful for my friend Tomas!
I’m thankful for my mommy and snowmen!
I’m thankful for the Thanksgiving Turkey, the grass and the sun!
I’m thankful for the Indian House (… upon asking further he imagined everyone celebrated the good harvest and Thanksgiving Feast at a Indian House and he likes that everyone shared because that’s what good friends do!)
I’m thankful for playing in my hunter house and the Broncos!
I’m thankful for Aeris. I drew her in a circle, I’m thankful for the circle!
I’m thankful for playing pirates, I drew a map!
Step 3: Attach a hanger
Glue a wooden dowel on top of the canvas and attach a string to create a hanger. Also cut the raw edges and thread some beads on your string (sorry, not photos). Alternatively (or if you’re working with older children) you could also create multiple canvas squares with what you are thankful for and make a whole bunting. You can use a long piece of tape to hold your bunting together and attach another one to the back.