Thanksgiving Table Talk: Expressing Gratitude DIY

Sitting around the Thanksgiving dinner table is the perfect time to ask open-ended questions that can help your children practice gratitude. Answering the basic question, “What are you thankful for?” might be hard for kids at first. Creating a conversation jar can be a fun way to break the ice. These questions make it easy for kids to identify and discover the things and people they really appreciate. In turn, a conversation jar also gives you the chance to inspire by example and express your own gratitude.

Use these questions as an example or write your own.

  • Who was the best teacher you ever had?
  • What is the best part of being a part of our family?
  • What is one of your favorite memories from a family vacation?
  • What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
  • What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend or after school?
  • What’s your favorite thing to do with your grandparents, aunts or uncles?
  • What is something someone did to help you today?
  • What’s your favorite thing about dinner tonight?
  • What is your favorite part about living in our town?
  • Who is your best friend in school? Why?
  • What book is your favorite to read before bed?
  • Who is the most generous person you know? Why?

Creating a conversation jar is a fun DIY to craft with your family. Turn these questions into conversations. When your child responds, make sure to point out how lucky they are to have those experiences, items and family members. Point out that not everyone in the world has access those things.

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to get kids to talk about what they are thankful for, and help them acknowledge and cultivate a feeling of gratitude and gratefulness. 



  • Glass Jar
  • Wooden Sticks
  • Sharpies
  • Ribbon
  • Burlap
  • Super Glue or Hot Glue
  • Scissors
  • #TableTalk printable
  • Puffy Paint (optional)


Step 1:

Cut a 4” wide piece of burlap to wrap around the jar.

Use a hot glue gun or super glue to attach the burlap to the jar.

Cut a 2” wide piece of ribbon to wrap over the burlap. Glue to fasten.


Step 2:

Print out the tabletalks-printable.

Cut out and glue to center of the jar.

Or use puffy paint and markers to decorate ribbon.


Step 3:

Write your “Gratitude” questions onto the wooden sticks with a marker.


Step 4:

Insert sticks into jar, and enjoy engaging Thanksgiving conversation starters with your family!



Emergency Disaster Plan – Is Your Family Prepared?

emergency disaster plan

Recently, the Ad Council released a humorous family disaster preparedness PSA that went viral. The 60-second spot on behalf of FEMA’s disaster readiness program raises awareness about disaster prep. It features a family discussing an ironic un-disaster-plan. The family discusses the things they will contribute in the case of a disaster, including a duffle bag full of things that aren’t helpful, a generator without gas, cell phones that don’t work and more. It’s funny and definitely has caught some attention.

“And, who’s going to handle supplies?” Mom asks.

“I can forget to do a list for us,” the teen son answers.

“Well, I think we couldn’t be any less prepared,” Dad says. “I’m proud of you guys.”

According to a CNN article, the Ad Council surveyed 800 adults across the nation about emergency preparedness. “Six out of 10 American families said they did not have a family emergency plan,” the article states. “Only 19 percent felt they were ‘very prepared’ for a disaster.”

September is National Preparedness Month. What better time is there to create a family disaster plan?

It’s currently hurricane season in the south and in a few months and it will be blizzard season in the north. But disasters can strike at any time, in any place, to anyone. It’s important for families to prepare how they will handle disasters when they happen.

The MamaBear team spends a great deal of time and energy keeping parents informed and children safe while using of the MamaBear Family Safety App which can prove to be helpful during a disaster.

Creating a family preparedness plan doesn’t take long and will provide each family member with peace of mind knowing a plan of action is agreed upon during an emergency situation. Here are some things to consider:

1. A Family Affair

According to FEMA’s website, “preparing for emergencies shouldn’t fall on your shoulders alone. Young children and teens alike need to be part of the process — for their own safety and sense of empowerment.”

What does preparedness involve? It involves sitting down and talking about a disaster communications plan. Certain questions should be answered at that family meeting. For example, who calls whom in the case of an emergency? What are all the contacts – home, school, work – where family members can be reached during an average day?

At the meeting, your family can also build an emergency kit that includes key emergency necessities like food, water and first aid supplies.

2. Imagining Disaster

In addition to discussing a plan, compiling crucial contact information and creating an emergency kit, you can also prepare by role playing what you would do during a disaster. Who takes on what tasks? Hold fire drills in your house so everyone knows how to escape safely in the event of a fire or other disaster.

These things might seem silly, but acting out a disaster can bring a family together in a fun way while helping everyone to imagine how to behave in an emergency situation.

3. Helpful Resources

“Before an emergency happens,” says FEMA, “have a family discussion to determine who would be your out-of-state point of contact, and where you would meet away from your home — both in the neighborhood and within your town.” FEMA helps families do this by offering a useful family communication plan form that can be printed, filled out here and kept in the home for referral in the event of an emergency.

FEMA’s site is an excellent resource with details on how to prepare for a disaster as a family. offers another disaster preparedness site that includes specific information on how to prepare for hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, and fires.

Hopefully, your family will be spared from disaster. But if something terrible does happen, having a family disaster plan will empower each member of your family to take action and stay safe.

Share with us in the comments below your family’s emergency disaster plan.

The Benefits of a Family Locator App like MamaBear

family locator app

A family locator app may sound pretty simple. It should be an easy to use app that uses global positioning satellites (GPS) and a smartphone to give parents up-to-date information about their child’s location. In actuality, the idea of instantaneous tracking of a child’s whereabouts is fairly complex; as is the wide range of options it can offer parents. Monitoring a child’s location can be an invaluable parenting tool, and can go far beyond simple tracking. A family locator app gives parents a means to ensure children have been and are where they are supposed to be.

Family tracking apps can be used with a few intentions – safety, accountability and parental peace of mind. It offers families a life-saving technological innovation in the case of an emergency. In addition, a family locator app like MamaBear can let kids explore geographical boundaries allowing a parent to gauge where an intervention is necessary.

On the most basic level, a family locator app serves the basic function of tracking a child. With social location sharing and the utility of so many apps today, acceptance of the MamaBear app from our children shouldn’t be so uncommon. In addition, they may come to understand we’ll feel more comfortable allowing our kids to do a wider range of activities we may have otherwise found ‘too far’ or ‘too scary’ with the use of a family locator app. Knowing where our kids are when they’re camping, at an amusement park or on a day trip with friends can free up both sides of a parent and child’s relationship.

Upon the parent’s discretion, it can be a two-way street. The parent has the option of sharing their location with their children when they choose. This allows an easy way for kids to find their way to meet up with mom or dad. In addition, a quick press of the check-in or come get me button from the the child communicates immediately with the parent.

The times a family locator app like MamaBear can be the most invaluable are often the hardest ones for us as parents to consider, let alone discuss. In an emergency, a family tracking app can give parents and authorities an answer to a child’s current and recent location.

A family locator app like MamaBear gives parents options and reassures our trust. MamaBear can give us the reassurance we need to let our kids live a little, and can protect their lives in the worst case scenario. With availability on Android and iOS enabled smartphones, MamaBear represents a flexible alternative to family monitoring.

To learn more about the MamaBear family locator app watch the video below:

Download the MamaBear family locator app for Iphone

Download the MamaBear family locator app for Android