Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thanksgiving Count Calendar!

Ok, I've decided to change things up a little bit and do something other than a paper chain. Here it is! We are doing a Thanksgiving Count Calendar! I always hated the question on Thanksgiving, in front of all your family, "What are you Thankful for?" I mean, I'm thankful for a lot, I just don't know what to say when put on the spot! Also, I want to get my kids thinking about being thankful more than one day of the year so I decided to make this cute calendar! Everyday we will be thinking of just one thing we were thankful for and place it in the days number. Here is what you will need:

  • Small white envelops (as many days till Thanksgiving)
  • Ribbon
  • Hot glue gun
  • scissors
  • markers/crayons/colored pencils
  • a couple sheets of colored construction paper
  • Tacks to hang up the calendar on the wall (you can choose to do it a different way)
I bought some note cards in the dollar section at Michael's. Buy as many packs as you need envelopes, one per day of the countdown. I pulled out only the envelopes and licked them shut.
Then cut one side off so now the envelop is a pouch!
This next step was so much fun! We basically had a family craft night decorating each number pouch! I drew numbers 1-24 on the front with the opening facing up and then we decorated around them. Another reason I came up with this is the number practice for my son. I am trying to find ways to get him to recognize and memorize what each number looks like and it's also good practice for younger siblings!
Then I got a bunch of different ribbon and cut them in two inch strips, folded them in half, and then hot glued them in a little loop.
Then I hot glued the loop to the front flap of my pouch, directly in the center. 
Here are all of our pouches with loops on top in numerical order. Now I chose to do a Thanksgiving count but you can also make this a countdown till Thanksgiving. I just chose it to do it this way because we were starting on the first of November. Since today is November first and you probably cant start this today, maybe you will choose to do a countdown to Thanksgiving from whenever you can get your calendar made! =)
We then strung a longer piece of ribbon through each loop and I hot glued each pouch in place on the ribbon.
I then tacked each side of the ribbon to the wall. 
Each person in our family chose a color to be what they write what they are thankful for on so we don't have to always write names. I cut long strips that would be long enough to stick out of the top of the pouch. 24 strips for each day on the count calendar.
Here is what Brenden, Keaten, and I wrote on our strips for today. Brenden is blue, Keaten is red, and I'm yellow! Jason didn't write his yet because he is at work.
This is what it looks like once your thankful strips are in. Then On Thanksgiving, you don't have to come up with anything you are thankful for! Just pull your strips out of your Count Calendar and read what people said!
Here is the fun twist to the calendar that I came up with when I was talking with a friend yesterday. What do you do with ALL of your Halloween candy that you have in your house? How do you get them not go crazy with eating all that candy? I had my kids pick out 24 of their favorite pieces of candy. I labeled a B on Brenden's candy so they don't fight over which piece of candy was supposed to be theirs.
Then they got to put a piece of candy in each pouch! Great way to spread out all that candy. Then after Mom and Dad pull out all their favorites, throw away the rest! =) This prevents your child sneaking their Halloween bucket into their room and chowing down on a handful of candy before you find them in their bed with wrappers everywhere and chocolate all over their face. Yep this happened to me TODAY, with my three year old, right before we were going to put our candy in the pouches. 
Another idea you could do with this is in the days count you could add a special activity for that day that you are going to do with you kids. Some examples could be, Bake some cookies and share them with your neighbor, make up a song of things you are thankful for, or sit in a circle with everyone in the family and give each other back rubs at the same time! Get creative! They can be as simple or as complex as you would like!
I reposted our calendar again for 2012! I made it into a COUNTDOWN calendar.
Click HERE to see the post!


  1. I already have a countdown calendar with pockets that can be for anything. I use it to count down to school, parties, and birthdays - though I already have a special calendar for Halloween and Christmas. I always put in notes with an activity to do that day, but I LOVE your idea of putting in candy AND what we're thankful for!!! So Awesome!!! After doing a month of activities for Halloween, followed by a month we'll do for Christmas, I've been wanting a new way to count down to Thanksgiving and your ideas are pefect! I'm getting out my calendar right now to set it up! Thanks for posting this awesome idea!!!

  2. Yeah Sara!!! I'm glad to help! I love that you are taking the idea and making it your own! That's what I wanted people to do when reading my ideas! =]

  3. Really like this post/idea. Not as on top of it as you were, but I'm going to start it today and do a week countdown. Going to hang the envelopes from jute and then string it across my window panes. Thanks for the inspiration!


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