November 1 begins my two favorite months of the year- Thanksgiving and Christmas! I mean November and December.

I love the fall.

There is a feel in the air of anticipation. The warmth of the colors associated with the holidays adds a layer of charm. The goodness of the food typically only made at this time of year, makes this the beginning of the holiday season for me.

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In our home, this is also when my favorite resources come out of storage, and we do a little more in the arts and crafts department. These are always fun because we can either tie in our history learning or we can just have some fun with paper, scissors, tape, glue, and anything else we can find. If you are looking for ideas for crafts and fun activities, you can follow our Thanksgiving Pinterest board. You can also read more on giving your kids a biblical and historic perspective on Thanksgiving here.

My Favorite Thanksgiving Books

Thanksgiving (A FamilyLife Book): A Time to Remember (Family Life Books) by Rainey, Barbara published by Crossway (2003)  

This is probably my favorite Thanksgiving book. Barbara Rainey has written it with the entire family in mind, and it can grow with your family throughout the years. She has written it to be read one of two ways- the larger print is to be read to preschoolers and younger elementary students, and the entire book to be read to mid elementary and above.

After reading a thorough history of the Pilgrims and their journey to America and understanding the importance of thankfulness, the back of the book has a place where thankfulness can be recorded by the family and revisited year after year. I prefer to write all of the items on the leaves of our Thankful Tree (post coming soon).

Squanto, Friend Of The Pilgrims by Clyde Robert Bulla

If there has ever been a story of God’s sovereignty, it’s the story of Squanto. Sometimes our circumstances seem unfair, yet God can use our past to bring us to the place where he can use us for his glory and the benefit of others. That is the lessons behind the story of Squanto. Although this is not a Christian based book, as a believer, I have used Romans 8:28 while reading this to my children. This is definitely another favorite of mine.

Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas

This book may be a little long for little ones, but the illustrations are beautiful. When a good book seems a little long, we tend to break it up into smaller parts and read it over the course of several days. This book is definitely written from a Christian perspective and is a must for every family library. Squanto’s story is one that my children know well. I believe that they need to know that our stories are not all traveled on smooth paths, but that God can take even the rockiest of paths and use them to further His purposes and for His glory.

Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims by Rush Limbaugh 

We purchased this several years ago and enjoyed the story very much. It is told through time travel as Rush Revere travels back and forth with two of his middle school students on the Mayflower and then to Plymouth, Massachusetts. I learned quite a bit of the history of Plymouth Colony through this story, and my daughter who was six at the time, enjoyed it. It is written more for middle schoolers. However, it is interesting enough that even young children with a solid vocabulary can enjoy it.

My Favorite Thanksgiving Movies

Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale

Have I mentioned how much I love the story of Squanto? After we read our books on the life of Squanto, we sit down for an evening of popcorn and a movie. I believe in having my children exposed to the book form of a story first so they can recognize the inconsistencies in the movie. Although this movie takes some creative license, it does a great job of telling the bigger story of Squanto’s life. It is a tradition that we watch this movie every November.

Mouse on the mayflower 

I remember watching this movie when I was in elementary school. This has always been one of my favorite movies to watch at Thanksgiving. Now it is become a favorite for my littles. It can be purchased as a VHS recording, but we used to watch it on YouTube. It has since been removed. This cartoon is a beautiful retelling of the Pilgrims voyage to America. And although it was secularly made, it is overtly Christian in the message. It isn’t officially Thanksgiving until we have seen this movie.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: The Mayflower Voyagers

Again, this was a childhood favorite of mine that I had to share with my children. Charles Schultz and his Peanuts gang do a wonderful job of retelling the voyage of the Pilgrims with humor and accuracy.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday with a rich story to tell our children. They need to hear of God’s faithfulness to his people. Our children need to understand that although hard times come, God can use them and their experiences to bless others.

Do you have any favorite Thanksgiving resources? Share them with us in the comments.

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  1. Beautiful post and great information for parents to have for their children.

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