'Tis the Season for Gratitude
A week to go and life is feeling busy and hectic. How to slow it down and find the meaning in the season? Children as young as 2 can express gratitude by a hug or a smile or saying “Love You”. By age 4, children are able to express what they are grateful for and to understand others feelings. Here are 5 easy and quick ideas to help cultivate gratitude in your children.
- Write thank you notes. Insist that every gift is answered with a thank you note. You are instilling in your children gratitude by asking them to take time to thank others. To make this easier, have some 4 x 6 note cards and envelopes available.
- Work gratitude into your daily conversations. Speak about events and people with gratitude, for example:
- We are so grateful to have our dog Henri, he makes us laugh.
- Look at all this food on our table, our tummies are always full.
- A rainy day makes us appreciate a sunny day.
- Find a goodwill project. You don’t have to go to a soup kitchen to do this. You can bake cookies for neighbors or drop off cards at a senior’s home. Teachers appreciate notes more than the usual gifts. Talk to your children about how happy these small gestures can make those in your community.
- Practice saying ‘no’ to your children. Don’t buy them everything they want! If they have everything they can’t possibly be grateful. Limit gifts to birthdays and Christmas.
- Make a gratitude turkey. Start by tracing your child’s hand on a piece of paper. Cut out ‘feathers’ and ask your child questions, writing the answers on the cut-out feathers. Sample questions include:
- I am thankful I get to spend time………
- Something I thankful someone did for me……..
- Something I can do that I can do that I am grateful for……..
- Something that my mom/dad do for me everyday………
- Something about myself that I am grateful for……..
You might think of others. The more feathers on the turkey make it FULL of gratitude.
Glue the feathers on the turkey and place them on your Thanksgiving table. At the table let your kids talk about their thankful turkeys.
’Tis the season for giving THANKS—share this with your children each and every day.
Curly Clues Club creates activity boxes for kids ages 3-8, focused on social and emotional development. All boxes include original content designed with love by a speech & language pathologist. Buy a box for your kids or donate one to a child in need.