Being grateful requires an awareness of the things you have or as we often hear them called, your blessings. Raising kids to have hearts of gratitude takes being intentional about teaching them to see what they have instead of what they do not.
In a consumer-driven society this can seem like a big task for parents but there are some very simple activities you can do to help teach your kids about gratitude.
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You have likely seen this one on Pinterest. You can either use a real or fake pumpkin. We are using a foam pumpkin. Each day, I ask my son what he is thankful for and then I write it down on the pumpkin
If you are asking younger children, you may have to be a little more specific rather than simply asking what they are thankful for. For example, ask about family members, friends, things, etc. or you can even ask them about what her favorite things and special people are since she may not understand what “thankful” or “grateful” means.
I have a box of blank index size cards with envelopes that I keep on hand for thank you cards and birthday cards. I also keep a box full of stickers for both occasions. For the month of November, we are taking our box of cards a step further and making gratitude cards.
This is something that can be carried on throughout the year but it is really important to me that we focus on our blessings just before Christmas when it’s easy to get off track and focused on other things!
Bucket of Blessings
You can also call this a jar of blessings, depending on what type of container you use. All you need is craft sticks of any size or color (we have color craft sticks, so I stuck with fall colors), a thin sharpie pen and a “bucket” or jar to place the craft sticks in.
On each stick (I used 30 for each day of November) write down a blessing that your child has to be thankful for - family members, friends, community helpers, military, government officials, home, church, school, clothes, food, etc.. I stuck with people that I know are special to my son and community helpers (police officer, fire fighters, etc.) because we are using our bucket of blessings to choose people to make and send our gratitude cards to.
You can draw a stick a day and talk about being thankful for the person or thing that is written down, you could also combine it like we are doing with the gratitude cards, call or text the person or if you are a person of faith, you can pray a prayer of thanksgiving.
This is not only a great way to teach your child to be grateful but you can also turn it into a craft and decorate your jar or bucket. My son had fun placing stickers on his bucket. It was extremely easy and fun!
I hope you enjoy doing these simple activities with your child and that it helps you both recognize all of the things you have to be thankful for.
About the Author
Hi! I'm Inez, the owner and content creator of For the Love of Mom, a website dedicated to helping moms thrive in motherhood by offering helpful advice, tips and resources.