When learning about abstract concepts like gratitude I like to try and make it more concrete for little learners. Of course, as kids get older we want them to develop a habit of showing gratitude , but in the beginning they sometimes need to “see” the impact.
Helping Kids Learn About Gratitude
My little ones love to collect flowers, and we always talk about how this brightens my day. That reminded me of an activity I used to do in my classroom. When students did something kind for a friend I would place a flower in a vase. Later we would talk about the flowers that were added and how that kindness made both friends feel. As the week went on the kids loved seeing the bouquet grow, and it gave us a great opportunity to talk about kindness.
This week I am doing a similar activity at home with my kids. Every time one of them shows gratitude to me or someone else in the house, we are placing a flower in the vase. We are talking a lot about how a simple “thank you” or thoughtful comment can really brighten someone’s day (just like a flower in the vase brightens everyone’s day), and the kids are having fun seeing the impact of their actions.
To expand on the idea a little bit, we also talked about ways to show gratitude other than just saying “thank you.” I have really been emphasizing showing gratitude to one another, because sometimes I see that they are much more habitual about saying thank you to me than they are to each other.
And it’s working! Yesterday I heard, “That was nice of you to help me pick up the toys” and a few other sweet comments to each other that I haven’t heard enough. I am excited to continue this activity even beyond Thanksgiving.
Turkey Note Cards
We also worked on showing gratitude to others by taking a little time to make these adorable thumbprint turkey notes. We are going to share them with the friends and family we see on Thanksgiving Day. I will ask Lovey to tell me something she is thankful for about each person, and I will write her message on the front of the card. Then she will sign her name. On the back of the card she will draw a picture to go with the message. I know she is going to love drawing the pictures, and I can’t wait to see the hugs and joy that will come when she shares them Thursday.
Looking for more ways to encourage gratitude in your children year round? Learn more about the Thanksgiving Heart eBook from Stacie at Motherhood On A Dime.
As we get closer to Thanksgiving, I just want to say thank you! It has only been a month since this blog was started, and I am already feeling so welcomed and encouraged by all of you reading and responding to my posts. It means so much to me, and I appreciate you joining me on this journey.
This will be my last post (I think) until next week. I am going to enjoy spending this long weekend with my family. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Hands-On Holidays eBook
Less stress, more connecting this holiday season? Yes, PLEASE!
From the arrival of fall to Halloween to Thanksgiving and Christmas, the last four months of the year can be a wonderful opportunity for making family memories and spending time together, but they can also be stressful as we try to collect ideas, recipes, and activities to try together.
Stephanie Morgan, founder of Modern Parents Messy Kids, a site that’s been voted Best Craft Blog in Parents Magazine and one of babble.com’s Top 50 Craft Mom Blogs, recently released a new eBook to help us have a little less stress and more time to connect with family this year.
Stephanie’s goal is to make it easier on all of us to enjoy the holidays with our kids. Hands-On Holidays is 100 pages full of her family’s very favorite ways to connect as a family over the holiday season. I love the convenience of having so many ideas in one place, and most of them are simple enough for even my toddler to participate in.
The book includes picture book suggestions, DIY decor, activities, and treats. Bonus sections also offer even more ideas to enjoy. Click here to view more details.
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