I have seen Thanksgiving Story Bracelets all over the web.
You can peek at a few of them here, here and here.
So far, all of the ones I have found use colored pony beads.
I (obviously) LOVE the idea of a bracelet designed to help children remember and retell the Thanksgiving story.
However, these versions will not work for my Kylie.
For young children or for those who experience Autism (literal thinkers- see this post for more info), colored pony beads are just too abstract. There is no identifying information to them.
So, I set out to find a solution to this problem and ended up finding the most wonderful thing!!
Oriental Trading (one of my FAVORITE online stores) sells these fabulous foam beads (a few different fall styles. You can find the different styles here, here, here and here).
So, I have modified the Thanksgiving bracelet idea (which, due to the size of the beads, will now be a necklace) to the following representations (scroll down even further to print my FREE Thanksgiving Necklace Story Cards):
1. Pilgrim Bead:
The Pilgrims left England on September 6, 1620. A ship called the Mayflower took them across the ocean. They traveled for 3 months in terrible weather. It was very cold and stormy.
2. Green Cross Bead:
The Pilgrims left England because they wanted to worship God freely. They prayed to God many times on their journey. The Pilgrims arrived at the new world on December 11, 1620
3. Hat Bead:
The Pilgrims did not have enough warm clothing or a house for the winter. Many of the people got very sick and many died.
4. Yellow Cross Bead:
The Pilgrims prayed to God asking for help. They needed someone to rescue them because they were far, far from the safety of England. They were cold, hungry and needed a warm place to sleep.
5. Two Native American Beads:
In March of 1621 (spring time), God answered the Pilgrim's prayers and sent 2 Native Americans: Samoset and Squanto to the Pilgrim's camp. Samoset and Squanto could even speak English!!
6. Purple Cross Bead:
The Pilgrims thanked God for taking care of them and for sending a Native American who could speak English.
7. Three Candy Corn Beads:
Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to plant a garden. He told them to put a fish and three kernels of corn under the dirt and to plant many rows just like this in their garden.
8. Red, Green and Yellow Leaf Beads:
In the fall, the garden was ready to be harvested. They cut down all the vegetables and brought them into the barns.
9. Corn Bead:
There was so much corn and other food that the Pilgrims invited the Native Americans for a GREAT feast to give Thanks to God.
The Native Americans walked for 2 days in order to come to the big dinner and brought wild turkeys for meat
11. Pumpkin Bead
The Pilgrims brought pumpkins and other fruits and vegetables.
12. Cornucopia Bead
There was a cornucopia of food. This means that they had plenty to eat. Everyone ate until they were full.
13. "Give Thanks" Bead
The Pilgrims and the Native Americans gave thanks together. They were now Friends.
14. Orange Cross Bead
God took care of the Pilgrims and supplied their needs.
15. Orange Star Bead
Just like the Pilgrims, I am thankful for...(Have child fill in the blank)
16. Green Star Bead
Just like the Native Americans, I am thankful for...(Have child fill in the blank)
17. "Shine with the Light of Jesus" Pumpkin Bead
When I am thankful I "Shine with the Light of Jesus"
And here is the finished product!!
I also made Story Cards that share what each bead stands for and laminated them. I also attached sample beads to The Story Cards (you could print pictures too). That way, Kylie can look to the paper for prompts. It will also assist anyone that she is trying to communicate the story to (Kids who experience Autism often have speech difficulties as well).
Click on the following pictures to print the Story Cards (be sure to select full page for paper size)...
Little Ones will LOVE telling you the story of their Thanksgiving Necklace!!
Enjoy!! and Happy Thanksgiving!!