This blog is here for you to find fun learning activities to do with your children. We share great ideas we find and love on the Internet, as well as ideas we come up with on our own! We also like to share resources we find helpful.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Thankful Place Mat

I like to take any opportunity I can to get my children to focus on what they are thankful for. I think the idea of being "thankful" is abstract and quite against the nature of all people, including children. But we can learn to be grateful for what we have. The easiest way I have found to be grateful for my blessings is to think about them consistently. The thankful place mat can help your child do that.

Old enough to draw. If you are doing this with a pre-toddler (ages 12-18 months), it would be a good idea for you to offer lots of help and draw things on the place mat for your child (but let her color, too). No matter the age of your child, she will love it if you join in and do one of your own.

  • Poster board (I was going to buy a piece and then cut it up, but I found a package of pre-cut poster board at Dollar Tree for the same price as one sheet).
  • Crayons/markers/paint...whatever you want to use. You could even use old magazines and cut and glue things you are thankful for.
  • Contact paper


  1. Give your child the poster board.
  2. Have her color things she is thankful for. I think it is a good idea to talk about what thankful means and give her some ideas. This is where you doing it with her is helpful; she will watch you and learn by example.
  3. When you are done, cover the place mat with contact paper.
  4. Use it at your meals! This could be a fun Thanksgiving dinner activity. Everyone could make their place mat and then talk about what they are thankful for before the meal starts.


This idea is found in both The Toddlers Busy Book and Preschooler's Busy Book.

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