This time of year is so special, or at least it can be. In the middle of all the hustle to get dinner on the table. Trying to keeping up with the ever-increasing to do list, especially during the holiday season. And of course just trying not to lose your sanity! I am very mindful of how my hurried attitude effects not only my well-being, but that of my kids. So, for Thanksgiving, one simple thing I do each year, no matter the number of people at the table, is make a Thankful Jar.
A Thankful jar is the perfect way to get a little creative. It is a simple craft that your older kids who can handle scissors can help you with and your younger ones can help with the glue!
A Thankful Jar is a pretty simple idea. It is a way for everyone at the table at Thanksgiving to write down what they are thankful or grateful for. Take a clean mason jar. Then, cut out one of the pre-made labels. You can check them out below. Finally, use tape to affix the label to the jar.
Depending on the number of people, depends on the number of jars I make. If there is all my extended family, I make two jars. If you are doing this for a church group or a senior citizens home, I would make 4 or 5 jars.
Once I have the jars completed, I print out the Write-ins which already have the key phrase included at the front. I cut each strip out and place some pens, pencils or even crayons for the kids. You can have the kids help you glue each write-in on a large Popsicle stick. Then place the write-ins near the jars. I always make double the write-in, or two per person. That way people can share multiple reasons that are grateful this Thanksgiving.
Finally, depending on your preferred method, I take the jar or jars to the table during dinner and pass it around to each person. I have each person pull out one reason from the Thankful Jar and read it out loud. You can help the younger kids so they can be a part of the activity too! Then we guess who the write-in belongs too. It makes it a very fun and memorable way to discuss why we are so grateful for what we have. I continue on with each person reading one and the table guessing until all the write-ins have been read.
Fun For the Whole Family
In my family this activity takes a bit longer as we eat and talk at the same time. The jar slowly makes its way around the table as each person reads a write-in. Everyone gets a turn or two. That way no one is left out. The kids get to see first hand how the adults feel and what they care most about. I believe that this is key, because in our day-to-day lives we often hurry through and forget to say thanks for all we have.
Putting It all Together
- Wide Mouth Mason Jar (or any clean glass jar) – 16 oz size recommended at a minimum
- Clear Tape (optional)
- Jumbo Popsicle Sticks (optional)
- Glue / Glue Stick
- Pen / Pencil / Marker / Crayon
Step 1: Print out the Thankful Jar Printable for Thanksgiving and Always. You can find the link below.
Step 2: Find a clean glass jar (I used a wide mouth 16 oz mason jar) and remove the lid.
Step 3. Cut out the labels you prefer to use and a page or two of the write-ins. If you are planning on gluing the write-ins to a jumbo Popsicle stick, use the tags especially designed for that.
Step 4: Glue or tape the label on the jar. I used Tape and recommend it if you want to reuse the jar for something else in the future.
Step 5: Glue the write-ins on the jumbo Popsicle sticks (optional) using a glue stick. I purchased a bag at the dollar store near me.
Step 6: Find easy to use pens, pencils, markers, or crayons and place them on the table with the jar and write-ins.
Step 7: Write down what you are thankful for on one of the write-in sticks and place it in the jar.
Step 8: once everyone is all done writing down what they are grateful for, take the jar to where you are gathering and have each person pick a write-in stick out of the jar and read it. Go around the table and give everyone a turn or two.
Step 9: Enjoy being and feeling thankful together! Added bonus, write the name and date of everyone on the back of the jumbo Popsicle stick and keep it in your kids keepsake boxes. It is fun to collect them over the years to see what they say. I am keeping my entire families write-ins. When they are older I will make it into wall art.
Get your Free Thankful Jar Printable: Joyful Jar Mason Jar- printable
With this free printable you get 2 types of Thankful Jar labels and 2 pages of Thankful Jar Write-ins as shown below.
Here is what the write-ins look like. Have the older kids who are comfortable using scissors cut them out for you and help to glue them on jumbo Popsicle sticks, or just cut them out. The printable comes with two pages for each type of write in. Two pages for use with jumbo Popsicle sticks and two pages for use without. But you can always print out more! The number you will need depends on the group size. A good rule of thumb is 2 per person.
Looking for that free printable? The download link is below!
FREE THANKFUL JAR PRINTABLE: Joyful Jar Mason Jar- printable
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If you love the idea of a Thankful Jar, then check out 10 ways to teach kids to be Thankful. It is a great way to share with your kids the joy of being thankful.