Wallingford mom, blogger shares 6 gratitude activities for children

Looking for ways to teach your children about gratitude? Here are some gratitude activities for kids:

November is the season for giving and GRATEFUL is the word of the month. However the first time I asked a three year old Annabelle to say something she is grateful for, I was met with a blank stare. Teaching someone how to be thankful is not the easiest task. That’s why today I am sharing easy ways to teach gratefulness with gratitude activities for kids (and adults too!).

What is gratitude?

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

How do you teach gratitude?

Children learn best by example, so a parent must actually practice the act of gratitude themselves. By living in a way that shows appreciation for what we have, we naturally foster gratitude in our children. I’ve always been teased for saying, “Thank you” to everyone I encounter in my life. Whether it’s a door held open or the delivery of a package, I let others know I’m thankful for their service.

Children often view holidays as times of receiving – when they’re actually all about celebrating togetherness. If a kid understands the important part of Thanksgiving is to be with family, they will be less likely to look for gifts when Auntie rolls in, knowing the best gift is Auntie being there at all.

The Gratitude Game

Play a game with colorful candies to encourage a conversation where everyone shares things they are grateful for. You can play The Gratitude Game for Kids with Skittles or with M&Ms anytime of the year or at the Thanksgiving Dinner table.

Family Gratitude Jar

This is a fun project for the holidays or anytime. Similar to a gratitude journal, you and your family can benefit from writing down and sharing things for which you’re grateful. You can make one for the entire family or let your kids have their own. Here’s how:

1. Choose a container — a jar, can, box — that has an opening at the top.

2. Decorate the container any way you’d like. It can be themed for the holidays or include quotes about gratitude. Let your creativity run wild.

3. Cut strips of paper for the expressions of gratitude. Place the container, paper strips and a pen in a visible spot in your house.

4. Read and share. Each day (or whenever you choose), have each member of your family write down at least one thing they’re grateful for and put it in the container.

5. At dinner, on Thanksgiving, or at the end of the month, take turns reading aloud a paper from the container. The person who wrote the gratitude statement can share more about what they wrote.

Thankful Turkey

A construction paper turkey with things they are grateful for written on the feathers.

The Thankful Tree

Write things you are thankful for on pre-cut leaves. Display the leaves on a drawing of a tree, or a wall in your home!

Here are more ways to teach gratitude and celebrate thankfulness.

Start a Family Gratitude Journal and record one thing everyone is grateful for daily or weekly.

Give thanks before enjoying a special meal.

Use rewards for hard work to help your children understand not everything will be handed to them in life. Treats and toys are to be earned!

Practice generosity and collect old toys to donate to a local charity.

Teaching kids how to be grateful is a parent’s job

As parents we are responsible for giving our children tools to be successful in this world and teaching the art of being grateful is at the top of the list! Children learn best by example, so a parent must actually practice the act of gratitude themselves. That takes a lot of time and isn’t something that can happen overnight.

Caitlin Houston is a Wallingford blogger and mom of two who loves sharing all of her favorites on the Caitlin Houston Blog. Learn about fun activities at home, family friendly travels, easy recipes and more.

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