Gratitude: It’s a tricky one. It’s vitally important to one’s happiness, but it is very, very easy to get caught up in our daily lives and woes and forget to be grateful for what we have. And if it is hard for adults to remember to be grateful for their blessings, then it should come as no surprise that kids often end up acting infuriatingly entitled. So, how does one go about teaching kids about gratitude? First and foremost, they need to see their parents and the adults around them modeling an attitude of gratitude! I need to work on that. Secondly, we can talk to them about it, but in my experience as a former elementary school teacher I have found that kids always learn better by DOING. They need to DO something and get messy or active or artistic or silly in order to have something really sink in. And that, my friends, is why I have put together this roundup today of twenty ideas from around the web for teaching kids gratitude through activities and fun.
The first idea is one that we do each year for Family Home Evening (family night) the Monday prior to Thanksgiving. We simply trace our hands, turn them into turkeys, and write down something for which we are grateful on each finger and thumb. I save them year after year, and it’s really fun to go back and look at what we placed in our top 5 things the prior year or so. Sadly, I put them away in a safe place, and it is SO safe that I now can’t find them anywhere. I know they are in this house….but I have not a clue as to where. Ah, well, c’est la vie. Here are the turkeys that I made for my daughter and myself this morning while my son was at preschool, just so you could get a visual image of our tradition. I shouldn’t have used neon orange paper, because it looks weird in the picture, but that is actually very irrelevant to this post…just a sidenote.
This year we also started the gratitude turkey jar tradition, which is shown below. I hope that you take the time to browse these ideas and to incorporate a bit of extra attitude of gratitude into your families and lives. I will be striving to do the same!
Turkey Gratitude Jar from Bombshell Bling
Celebrate Gratitude – 5 Ideas to Teach Gratitude to Kids From Crazy Little Projects
Thanksgiving Handprint Tree Craft from Crafts by Amanda
My ABC’s of Thanksgiving from This Reading Mama
Thanksgiving Time Capsule from PBS Parents
Teaching Your Children the Importance of Gratitude from Family Share
Giving Thanks Station: A Family Tradition from Balancing Home
Gratitude Pumpkins from The Joys of Boys
Family Thankful Tree from Creative Juice
Family Thanksgiving Journal from Kids Activities Blog
DIY Thankful Board from U Create
Gratitude Activity Jar from Inner Child Fun
Count Your Blessings Tree from Somewhat Simple
6 Activities to Teach Kids Gratitude from Everyday Family
A Thanks & Giving Countdown from Chocolate on my Cranium
9 Ways to Fill November with Joy of Gratitude from Power of Moms
A Runner of Thanks from Finding Home Online
Thanksgiving Styrofoam Turkey from Crafts by Amanda
Garland of Gratitude from Family Fun
I hope that you have a ball doing some of these activities with your little ones! Happy Thanksgiving!