Tag Archives: thankful

Ways to Teach your Child to be Thankful

10 Nov

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What are you thankful for? Thankfulness is an important attribute for kids to obtain as they learn and grow. Create a positive outlook of life by being grateful for what you have each and every day. We have provided some ways to teach your child the values of gratitude!

Share your Thankfulness

Get the family involved by having each person say something they are thankful for and why. This is a great activity that can take place during family meals, car rides, family gatherings and more! Children can gain a better understanding of thankfulness from various perspectives because everyone has different things they are thankful for.

 

Gratitude Journal

Your child can write down everything they are thankful for on each page of their very own gratitude journal. Kids can get creative and crafty by decorating it however they wish. They can keep adding things everyday as they think of more things to be thankful for. This is an activity your child can do during the holidays or year round. Check out our last blog post on how to create one.

 

Read a book about Thankfulness

Sit down with your child for story time by reading them a book about celebrating all of the things children are grateful for. Encourage your child to express what they are thankful for and why after reading your book. This is a great time for a new learning experience and bonding time.

 

Play Gratitude Games

Add a twist of thankfulness to your child’s favorite games! Create a new rule to your game like saying something you are thankful for before each turn. Turn the “Share your Thankfulness” activity into an exciting game. Each person playing says something they are thankful but in alphabetical order.

Helping Those in Need

An excellent way to teach kids to be thankful is to help others in need! Introduce children to the positive act of giving. A way for your child to give back is to donate toys they do not play with anymore to another child in need that would love to have a new toy. Invite your child to accompany you to local charitable events or charitable organizations and get involved donating their time and service to those who need it most. This is an activity your child can get involved in as they grow and understand the importance of gratitude.

Source: Simple & Fun Ways to Teach Kids About Gratitude

Thanksgiving Projects for Kids

3 Nov

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There is so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! Your child can engage in fun and festive projects that teach them to value the true meaning of Thanksgiving! Celebrate the countdown to Turkey Day with these enjoyable projects and create custom keepsakes that last a lifetime!

Hand Turkey:

Gobble! Gobble! Your child can create a festive masterpiece using finger paint, a handprint, and their imagination.

You will need:

  • Brown, yellow, green, orange, and red Finger Paint
  • Sturdy paper designed for finger painting, canvas, or any other surface you wish

Directions:

Step 1: Paint the brown onto the palm of the hand and thumb for the turkey’s body while the other colors will be painted on the fingers to create the beautiful feathers.

Step 2: Place the hand on the paper or other surface to reveal a colorful turkey handprint.

Step 3: Add any features you would like to your turkey.

Source: Cute Turkey Hand Print + 25 Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids

 

DIY Edible Pumpkin Play Dough:

You will need:

1 16oz Can of Pumpkin

2 cups of Cornstarch

1 TBSP of Cinnamon

Optional: For extra sensory play, you can add pumpkin seeds, chocolate candies or sprinkles.

Directions:

Step 1: Mix Pumpkin and Cinnamon in a medium or large bowl.

Step 2: Gradually add cornstarch until the mixture is doughy and not sticky.

Step 3: Refrigerate the dough until play time.

Step 4: Add the sensory play food into the dough if you wish.

Recipe makes enough dough for six to seven kids.

Source: Edible Pumpkin Play Dough DIY for the Perfect Fall Play Date

Mini Gratitude Journal

You will need:

Mini Composition Notebook or any small notebook

Glue

Watercolor Paper

Watercolor Paints

Black Marker (We recommend you use a permanent marker to prevent smudging)

Optional: Google Eyes, Stickers, Yarn, or anything you desire to customize your notebook.

Directions:

Step 1: Create a thumbprint turkey. Rub the thumb into the watercolor paint to create the turkey’s body.

Step 2: When the thumbprint is dry, take the black marker to draw the legs and feathers of the turkey.

Step 3: Paint the turkey’s feathers and then let dry.

Step 4: Now it is time to customize the cover of your notebook with your turkey painting! You can cut out the turkey painting and glue it to the front of the notebook.

Step 5: Add any other embellishments you wish!

Step 6: You child can now fill the journal with everything they are thankful for!

Source: Mini Gratitude Journals for Kids

The Importance of Raising a Grateful Child

20 Nov

Does your child say thank you when they receive a gift or someone does something nice for them? Or do they complain that it wasn’t what they wanted or say nothing at all? Thankfulness is a common topic in schools and at home this time of the year, but being grateful shouldn’t be something you discuss only during the holidays. A child will never learn the true value of being grateful if it is not reinforced throughout the year. Keep in mind that gratefulness isn’t a skill people have when they are born, so a child’s ability to count their blessings must be taught and nurtured.

Benefits of Being Grateful

In addition to having good manners, children and adults who frequently feel grateful experience numerous benefits. As reported by Melinda Beck in The Wall Street Journal, recent studies have shown that kids who are grateful “tend to be less materialistic, get better grades, set higher goals, complain of fewer headaches and stomach aches and feel more satisfied with their friends, families, and schools” than kids who are not grateful. These findings are great indicators of how important it is to teach children to be grateful, especially since many of the benefits children gain from being grateful carry over into adulthood. In her Wall Street Journal article, Beck also shares how being grateful can positively influence an adult’s health, relationships, and overall success due to the following factors:

  • Grateful adults generally feel happier and have increased energy, optimism, and social connections.
  • They also have a lesser chance of becoming depressed, envious, greedy, or dependent on alcoholic beverages.
  • In addition to these benefits, grateful adults have higher incomes, sleep better, exercise more often, and have better immune systems.

These scientific findings prove that knowing how to say a sincere thank you and being grateful for what you have can positively impact every aspect of your life as a child and as an adult.

Raising a Grateful Child

Helping kids understand the concept of being grateful will be something you need to reinforce through constant practice and nurturing. Children who are young or very shy may be especially reluctant to share their gratitude, which may be frustrating for parents. If children don’t express their thanks when appropriate, say it for them. As you teach children about gratitude, be patient and remember that being grateful is something that both children and adults have difficulty in mastering. Here are five great tips you can use to encourage and teach gratitude in your family:

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1. Be a good role model for your kids. Children learn by example, so make sure you are making an effort to be grateful in your own life. Try to think and talk positively about difficult situations and people you may not like.
2. Practice being grateful as a family. Take time to discuss what each person in the family is grateful for daily or weekly. This is a great reminder of what individual family members and the family as a whole can be thankful for throughout the year.
3. Teach children the value of a sincere thank you. Knowing how to express a sincere thank you will help children make an impression now and in the future. People want to be appreciated for what they do, and acknowledging even the simplest things will help people think more positively of a person.
4. Find alternative ways for children to say thank you. Try to come up with creative and engaging ways to help encourage children to say thank you. Have them draw pictures or do a craft to give someone as a thank you, for example, or teach them to say thank you in sign language or another language.
5. Provide opportunities for children to practice and learn about being grateful. A few of the toys children play with and the books they read should promote thankfulness in some way. Greta the Grateful Goldfish is one example of a children’s book that helps kids learn about being grateful. Also encourage children to say thank you when they pretend play or ask if their favorite toys and stuffed animals know how to say thank you.

Gratitude helps foster charity, so encourage children to give back as you teach them about gratitude. Be on the lookout for our upcoming blog post about teaching children the importance of giving back. We hope you and your family have a happy Thanksgiving!

References

Beck, Melinda. “Thank You. No, Thank You.” The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, Inc., 23 Nov. 2010. Web. 31 Oct. 2013.