Happy Thanksgiving week! I hope you and your family are enjoying time together and having fun!
In our house Thanksgiving is a time to show gratitude, to reflect on all we are grateful for and to think about how we can help others and make a difference. It's also about kindness and doing the right thing even when you've been wronged.
My son Teddy (6) is interested in Native American heritage, partly because we have made an effort to expose him to Native American culture. Last year we started to talk a bit more about the history of the holiday. While it is harder, we think it's better to share the crux of the story even if it feels daunting. We explain that the Europeans did not generally treat the Native Americans fairly. But the native Americans responded with kindness providing starving settlers with the food to survive a bad harvest. That is what we celebrate at the Thanksgiving feast - kindness even, or especially, in the face of cruelty. We also use a lot of maps, my Husband, Brian is obsessed. I think it helps bring it to life. It's amazing to watch how kids empathize and understand.
History teaches us many lessons and kids have an amazing ability to naturally empathize, and for me, there is no better holiday to celebrate this.
First, here's some great episodes of shows we recommend on Beanstalk. These are handpicked by myself and our staff of education and early-childhood experts. If you've got some suggestions, please join the Beanstalk community and share them with us as well!
Daniel Tiger is the gold standard in developmentally appropriate kids TV. We all know it and love it and I hope you and your family enjoy this holiday episode as much as we do!
Another fun sing-a-long that will surely delight everyone. You can also go to the Story Bot home page and download a Thanksgiving activity book. Teddy loves it!
We all know and love Peppa Pig. This is a fun way to celebrate with your favorite characters. The Molk family loves to make pretend muddy puddles in our living room and jump in them! 🙂 You should try it!
Here's some products I have found that capture the Thanksgiving spirit of family, gratitude, and, of course, food:
The Thank You Book - Mo Willems is a brilliant children's author and I just love his characters, Piggy and Gerald. Piggy is outgoing and idealistic; Gerald is cautious and thoughtful. Together they are the perfect pair and this book explores gratitude and inclusion. I also love this series because the books are great for new readers.
Do You Really Know Your Family - This is a fun game that everyone can play! It's a great way to bond and allow your kids to learn new things about you, and you them. I love having this around throughout the holidays as family and close friends come together.
The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs - During the holidays I love to bake and cook with my kids. Baking with kids helps them learn how to be self sufficient, how to follow set by step directions, and you can easily incorporate a few math lessons!