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My favorite craft we've made.  It's incredibly easy and the finished product looks less like a children's craft project.  We discussed what it means to "give thanks" and who we should be thanking while we glued the beans.

Materials:
4.5 x 6.5 textured cardstock
White glue
Beans
Cotton Twine
Tape

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  1. Decide on the message you want the banner to display.  We chose "Give Thanks"
  2. Choose a variety of colored paper; one piece per letter.
  3. Cut off the lower corners so bottom end of each paper comes to a point. (Make a template and use it to mark where to cut each piece so the papers are consistent)
  4. Decide how you want to order the colors

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5.   Write each letter on the appropriate piece of paper.  I recommend doing this
      in pencil.

6.   Trace over each letter with a thick layer of glue.

7.   Place beans along glue to make the letter.  Let dry.  (This is the best part for
      kids to help with.)

8.   Measure twine based on where the banner will hang.  Allow for the amount of
      draping you desire.  I measured a second piece of twine with a little more
      draping so I could have 2 lines to my banner.

9.   Place each letter on the twine and secure the twine to the backside using strong tape.

10.  Hang banner and let it be a reminder to give thanks in all situations.

Education tip: Take time to identify letters, review sounds the letters make, learn the chosen word(s)

Placemats

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Placemats add festive decoration to the table and provide opportunity to talk about how we celebrate thanksgiving and, more importantly, why.  If all the materials are prepped prior to beginning, this can be a relaxing project with everyone sitting around the table weaving and talking.

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  1. Fold a piece of construction paper in half (one per person) and cut slits stopping 1/2 inch from edge.  I cut slits close together for the adults and wider slits for the kids.
  2. Cut strips of various colored construction paper from the shorter side of the paper.  Again, I cut wider strips for the kids.

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3.   Choose strips of paper and weave through the slits going over, 
       under for the first strip and then under, over for the next strip. 
       Slide each strip over as close to the previous strip as possible, 
       before adding new strip. Continue to alternate until you have 
       filled the placemat.


Education tip: Discuss patterns: color patterns you could make; over/under

Cornucopia- filled with thankfulness

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This traditional symbol for thanksgiving isn't filled with fruits and vegetables, but rather things we are thankful for.  When your family finishes this craft, you will have a true "horn of plenty" filled with all the goodness in your life


  1. Cut a cornucopia shape out of cardboard. (We cut the circle and the horn separately and then glued them together)
  2. Cover the horn with orange construction paper and decorate the edges of the circle with glitter.
  3. Choose photos and magazine cutouts to show people/things you are thankful for.  Glue them in the round "opening" of the cornucopia.
  4. Write the word of each person/thing you are thankful for on the horn.  We wrote ours in lines curving across the horn to look like bands.
  5. You can complete this craft in one sitting or add one everyday leading up to Thanksgiving.  We do this craft as an ongoing project on thankfulness and add to it each day (hence the unfinished product in the picture)



 
 
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If asked whether or not my kids have a grateful heart, I would have responded with yes.  They are thankful for what they have. They offer up a thank you when served a meal, assisted with a task, offered a compliment or given an item.  You know...basic good manners.  I felt like my husband and I were well on our way to developing grateful children.  

   Then the toy catalogs from all the major stores started arriving at our house (just in time for all the holiday shopping, of course).  Already, at age 2 and 3, they are masters at materialism.  As they perused catalogs or walked through shops, I heard their chorus of "I want that!" and "I can get this!"  I realized as the world unfolds before them and they begin to look beyond our little family, the task of fostering a thankful heart has only just begun.  We have a laid a good foundation, but we must continue to help grow thankfulness through modeling, discussions, expectations and opportunity.

       Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 
                                                                                                                                        Colossians 3:15

   November is a natural time to focus on thankfulness with greater intensity, but it can't stop once the Thanksgiving holiday passes.  We all must learn to meet each day with gratitude that extends beyond the materialistic.  We have just begun the journey of embracing the life God has given us with gratitude.  I can't share every conversation, prayer and object lesson we have with our children, but I will share some of the ways we are building thankful hearts this month.  

   How do you foster thankfulness with your family?
      

 
 
I've crossed the point of no return.  Blogging has been on my mind for a year now.  I started jotting down ideas 6 months ago. Then, a month ago, I opened my account on Weebly and have been working up the courage (and searching for time) to bite the bullet and hit publish. 

My goal is to build a blog that is interesting, practical and encouraging.  Please stop in regularly to see what's new and don't hesitate to leave comments!

Check back soon to read my first full blog entry!
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My inspiration for writing, ironically, is the greatest factor in what prevents me from writing. I love my family!