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This annual thanksgiving tablecloth was first shared in 2014, but it’s still one of my favorite Thanksgiving tradition ideas – & one that I want to share with you.¬† It’s the perfect way to remember what we are grateful for though the years.¬†

Annual thankful tablecloth

“Mom, my hands are as big as yours.” ¬† Yep. ¬†Those are the words that my son said today. ¬†It was true. ¬†As we held our hands up next to one another, his fingertips reached the top of mine. ¬† His shoes are officially bigger than mine and he is just about as tall as me. ¬† Time keeps pushing on…

I want to remember every moment of their little lives. ¬†Every handprint that they paint for me, every necklace that they lace for me, ¬†every note that they write for me… ¬†I know that I can’t, so I do things like this tablecloth, instead.
Every year our family loves to look at our DIY Thankful Hands Tablecloth.  It is an easy activity that you build on year after year.

DIY thankful tablecloth

This Tablecloth isn’t just a regular tablecloth‚Ķ no, it’s special. ¬†It’s a tradition. ¬†It’s a look back on their years passed and a hope for their future.

Every year you are going to add to this and in 10 years, you are going to look back in amazement at how your children have grown.  In 20 years, you will have new little handprints on it, as your children begin to have children.


Every year, just move to a new section on the tablecloth. ¬†Change the color of the paint on your kid’s hands, adding any new hands (new babies) onto the tablecloth.

Read what everyone was thankful for LAST year and then write what you are thankful for in THIS year.


How do you get started?

1. Find a tablecloth (we bought this one at Wal-mart for $5).

2. Find paint that is NOT going to wash over when you throw this into the washing machine.

3. Put on old clothes or a painters apron when you are painting (do the same with the kids).

4. Put something UNDER your tablecloth so that the paint does not get on the table (learn from my mistake!)
5. Have a chair ready, at the kitchen sink, with the water running (for washing hands)


Getting the kids involved:

(We have four children, but I also invited our niece and nephew to do this with us)
1.  Take each child, one at a time, to the tablecloth.
2. Place their hand in the paint and then immediately onto the tablecloth.
3. You are going to make a cluster, so plan accordingly.
4. Take  the first child to the sink to wash his/her hands.
5. Take child #2 and repeat…
6. Do this with each child.

Let it dry overnight.

Take a sharpie and write what each child is thankful for‚Ķ ¬†Try to ask them separately to get the best, most personal answers. ¬†(ps- its really hard to see the writing with my sharpie- so I”m adding it in here so you can see it)

Write the year in the middle of your circle or cluster of hands.

You could add some Why I am Thankful {Free} printouts for everyone to fill out.

MORE posts you might like:

A calendar with text written on each day.

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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