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November 22, 2019 2 min read

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  Not only is it the perfect time for gathering with friends and family, but it is also an ideal opportunity to illustrate to your children different ways that reading and writing can be used for a purpose. While your children set the table for your Thanksgiving meal, you can set a literacy table for them by trying some of these festive literacy activities!

  • Involve your children in planning and preparing for the meal:  
      • Let your children help decide on the menu and write it down.  Younger children can draw pictures while you label it for them to trace.  
      • Read the recipes and write down the ingredients you will need on a shopping list. You can make a separate list with pictures for younger kids.
      • Take them to the grocery store with you so that they can help read each item, find it and cross it off the list.  
      • Depending on the age(s) of your children, let them help make one of the dishes by reading the recipe and following the directions. Start with something simple for younger kids like baking rolls or cookies.
      • If you are serving a buffet, children can make cards labeling each food item.  
  • Let children help set the table:
      • Make place cards for each person.
      • Make placemats with drawings of Thanksgiving-related items.  For the kids' table, they can make up fun games (such as a Thanksgiving Word Search or Word Scramble) for guests to complete before or after the meal.  
  • Create a Gratitude Jar:  
      • As guests mingle before the meal, encourage each of them (including the kids) to write down at least one thing that they are grateful for on a piece of paper.  They can either put it in a designated jar or on the table where they are seated. Before or after the meal, take turns reading and sharing what everyone wrote.
  • Play a game:  
  • Instead of gathering in front of the TV or at least before you do, spend some time after the meal to play family games such as Charades or Pictionary. You could even get an older child or relative to read a Thanksgiving story to the younger children.  

As you can see, there are ample ways to involve kids in literacy activities that will help you prepare and make the Thanksgiving meal and also keep them entertained and connected with the family.   We hope you enjoy this special holiday together! 

Any questions?  Please email us at Janice@Neighborhoodlit.com.  Taylor Burke is a teacher and Director of Communications at Neighborhood Lit. and works closely with Janice Migliazza, a Reading Specialist and owner of Neighborhood Lit, Route 34, Colts Neck to bring you this information.

(Image by Kristin Schoeffel from Pixabay)