What are children thankful for during a pandemic?
Moms and dads.
Not getting COVID-19.
We can relate.
In 2020, we feel a deeper appreciation — even a sense of wonder — for the things we took for granted in 2019. Things like being able to go to school and work every day and walking around without masks and, yes, having enough toilet paper.
In the midst of a pandemic, we are also more thankful than ever to the first-graders who answered our annual Thanksgiving gratitude question.
And a big thank you to the teachers and families who helped get these entries to us — especially when many of you are juggling distance learning along with everything else on your plates.
This year, we’re presenting these first-grade thank yous a bit differently: We’re offering them up as a poem of gratitude, suitable for reading aloud at your Thanksgiving table. Or perhaps this mash-up will inspire you to write your own thank-you list to light up the darkness of these strange times.
The kids find light in Xboxes and Spiderman and Applebee’s. How about you?
Note: Some of the responses were lightly edited, including for spelling. Multiple thank yous were sometimes separated for this format.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. We are thankful for all of our readers, especially the littlest ones.
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?
The whole class not having COVID-19.
When my family can eat together.
Tony. Tony is my hamster.
My family. Because they feed me.
My brother. His name is Adam Schultz.
Ice cream. It is the best.
Being at school. And Ms. Pommer.
iPads. Everyone can do distance learning.
My baby sister. Because I love her.
My grandma because she lets me cook with her.
Target. They have toys and games
My family because they are special to me.
Water because it helps you when you are thirsty.
My dad signed me up for hockey.
My parents because they play football with me.
When I can cook with my dad.
I can go to Jiu-Jitsu.
Delicious food on Thanksgiving.
My new home because it is beautiful.
All the people who protect our country and our world.
Mom giving snacks.
Doctors because they save lives.
Having a Mom and Dad because I like them and I like Cooper and Grayson and papa and grandma. I love my family.
Hamilton the musical. I love the music. It makes me happy.
Penguins because they are my favorite.
My family. We play ball tag.
My mom because she kisses and hugs me a lot.
My sister because she plays with me every day.
Fun. It is good for you.
My mama because she takes good care of me.
Mrs. Kemna because I wouldn’t have an awesome teacher without her.
My mom and dad because they help me get up when I fall down.
St. Thomas More because I have a school to go to.
My teachers because they help me learn.
My parents Steve and Sara because they are the best parents.
My mom and dad because they gave me life.
My house because my house is cool.
My brother Jason and my friends Gavin and Addie. We play Minecraft.
My mom and the earth.
Golf because it is fun and I am good at it.
Fishing because it’s really fun to fight the fish.
Cats because they are cute and fluffy.
Mom and Dad because they take me to Rainbow Ridge Farm.
My dog Piper because she gives me kisses.
Gymnastics because it is fun and I love to Dance!
My dog, Sven, because he burrows in the snow. I’m in charge of picking up his poop.
Minecraft. I see Creepers!
Pants! Because if you didn’t have pants that would be weird.
My mom because she is my favorite.
The spirit of God.
My guardian angel dog, Kirby.
My family. And my food. And my home. And my room. And my backyard. And my phone. And my bed. And my toys!!
My dad because he is a surgeon. He fixes hips and knees.
My toy because I love it! It is called Santa’s Helper. I feel I can talk to Santa.
My brown cat. I like to have him chase the ball.
My parents, because when I was sick my parents took good care of me. They gave me medicine and good healthy food.
Christmas presents, electronics, Austin and Charlie my friends, heaven and Jesus.
My mom and dad. They are nice to me and buy me candy.
My dad because he is nice and helps me. We build LEGOs.
My baby cousins Carley and Jacob. They laugh when I tickle them.
My dad. He took me to a beach.
Food. If spaghetti was not a food I would be very sad.
My friends. Some people don’t have friends.
I am thankful that I have a family because I am not alone.
My teacher because she loves me.
My skin because it is protecting me from ladybugs.
My brother because he plays video games with me.
My family because they care about me because I am the littlest.
Pokemon. Because I like to play it.
My BIRTHDAY! Because it makes me grow up.
My dog. Because it helps me when I am sad.
My dad because he makes good meat.
Books because you can hear awesome stories.
Turkey because I like it.
My bed because it makes me fall asleep.
My house because it gives me a home.
My family because I love them.
New York City.
My aunt Tina. I got to dance at her wedding.
Trees because they give us oxygen.
My brown dog Dozer because he is cuddly. We cuddle on the couch.
Slides and trampolines.
My good piano. My mom and my dad pay for me to learn piano.
My mom. She makes marshmallow into strawberries!
Dad because he does the best belly flops.
My cousin because I taught him how to do backflips in the water. He’s a great learner.
Recess at Pine Hill.
My cousins because they are lucky to be part of my family.
The big park.
My grandpa because he tells me jokes and he’s my guardian angel.
My family. My mom cooks for me. My dad brings me to stores.
My mom. She always watches movies with me.
My papa’s house. I like to go there and ride his snowmobile.
Mrs. Z my teacher because she faints when we show her how smart we are.
Mrs. Z because she is super crazy with her lipstick.
My markers because without them I cannot color.
Myself. I am the king of doing cannonballs.
Minnesota because (it’s) trying to figure out how to stop the coronavirus.
My baby brother James he was born in 2020.
None of my family member dying because of Covid 19
Distance learning so I can still play with my friends.
Having a home because I need somewhere to live and having food and water and toilet paper.
My radio because I like to listen to music.
Winter. Because I can make a snowman.
Numbers because they help us count.
Birds because they visit my bird feeder.
Thursday because I have burgers on Thursdays.
My four wheeler. It can go fast.
The tree in my yard. It is really tall.
Watercolors. I paint watercolor princesses.
My cat Twinkle.
Helping my dad make mac and cheese.
The mailman because they bring the newspaper to me.
Washing dishes because my mom says so.
Hayden’s smile because it makes me feel happy.
Applebee’s because they have the best food in town.
The earth and trees because without them we wouldn’t exist.
Being at school.
Learning at school.
Living in a free country, sports, my family, I am healthy, shelter, friends.
My Korean school because I was born in Korea.
My dad and dog because they make me happy and make me laugh.
To go to school.
For my mom and dad for bringing me to the dentist.
For my TV and XBox.
For Jesus and God and my best friend and my mom and dad and my brothers and Mrs. Edwards and the earth and family and everything. Thank you God so much.
My friend Chloe. We play together.
Being alive and that God made me.
My dog and my grandparents.
The ocean because of the fishes.
My bird and my house.
My mom playing games with me.
God because he watches over our world.
A house to live in and a family to spend time with and parks to play in too.
A good home and a family to live with, especially my grandparents, uncle and aunt and cousins and lovely dolls to play with.
My baby. Her name is Lainey.
My Blue Nose Pitbull. She is little.
Playing with my mom. We play checkers.
Candy because it is sweet and I like the way it tastes.
My mom and grandma and Rodney.
My cats. I have four cuddly cats.
My family. I love to go on family vacations.
My 3-floor house and Oliver and my mom and dad. I love them. My house protects me.
Target because we can buy food and toys.
My family because we love and take care of each other.
I am thankful for listening to my teacher.
The turkey when it is ready.
My brother and sister taking me to the store.
My house and my bed.
Having a sister.
When my mom doesn’t tell me to feed the dog.
Putting my cat outside.
My family because they are kind, helpful and caring.
My mommy. She helps me with my problems.
My big brown German Shepherd. He’s on the police force and rides in a SWAT van.
I am thankful for all the people working to find a cure for Covid-19.
I am thankful for everything.
Read more responses: We asked children what they are thankful for in 2020 and this is what they said
Thank you to the students and teachers of these schools and more: A homeschooler; Chelsea Heights Elementary School, Cherokee Heights Elementary School, Fernbrook Elementary School, Garlough Environmental Magnet School, Greenleaf Elementary School, Hilltop Elementary School, Holy Spirit School, J.J. Hill Magnet Montessori School, Nuevas Fronteras Spanish Immersion Elementary School, Kaposia Education Center, Lincoln Elementary School, Otter Lake Elementary School, Pine Bend Elementary School, Pine Hill Elementary School, Rice Lake Elementary School, Richardson Elementary School; Royal Oaks Elementary School, St. Ambrose Catholic School, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, St. Thomas More Catholic School, Stillson Elementary School, Transfiguration Catholic School, Vadnais Heights Elementary, Convent of the Visitation School, Wildwood Elementary School, Wyoming Elementary School and more.