Every November, I find myself looking for ways to teach my kids about gratitude. In the past we have drawn or written about things we are thankful for — but gratitude is such an abstract concept. I have always felt like they needed something more concrete.

That’s why this thankful memory board is such a great craft for November! Especially near Thanksgiving.

Like most families, we have this drawer at our house.  It is filled with all the items that have no place else to go, kind of like a junk drawer. While going through it the other day, I realized that most of the items had found their way in there because of their sentimental value. Ticket Stubs, collected feathers, stickers, small drawings, friends school photos, maps from places we have visited and so on. Each item was connected to a memory, experience or person that we are thankful for.

While these items held memories it also seemed silly to have them taking up valuable drawer space in the kitchen! Looking at these items I realized they could be become the more concrete examples of things for which we are thankful. Exactly what I had been looking for! With the help of my kids, I decided to make a special place just for these memories that would be both pretty and functional. A way to collect and display all the things we have in our life for which we are so grateful!

Thankful Memory Board - (cool) progeny

thankful memory board

materials

  • 6”x9” canvas (these can be purchased at any craft supply store)
  • paint: any kind, watercolor, tempera, acrylic, paint pens, Sharpie markers — whatever you have on hand.
  • rubber bands,approximately 5-8

instructions

Start by letting your child draw or paint whatever they would like on the canvas. Simple designs or patterns will probably work best as some of the image will be covered up but really whatever they want to paint will work.

Let the painting dry fully.

Thankful Memory Board - (cool) progeny

Once the painting has completely dried take the first rubber band and stretch it over one side of the canvas, horizontally creating a line about 1/3 of the way down the canvas.

Next take another rubber band and stitch it over the canvas vertically, making sure to go overlap the first rubber band, about 1/4 of the way into the canvas.

Continue to add rubber bands, alternating between vertical and horizontal and making sure to overlap the rubber bands as you go.

When you are all done you should have created a rubber ban grid on your canvas.

Add your memories or examples of things that you are grateful for to you canvas using the grid of rubber bands to hold them in place.

Display your memory board, it will hang great on a wall or lay flat on a table.

Thankful Memory Board - (cool) progenyThankful Memory Board - (cool) progeny

other ideas

Make this the center piece of your Thanksgiving table and have others share the things for which they are grateful.

Use some other art work your kids have already made and simply glue it on to the canvas — then add the rubber bands! This could be a great kids made present for family or teachers.

Work larger. You could certainly use a bigger canvas, you would just need to find rubber bands that could stretch around your canvas.