It’s November, which typically comes with busy preparations and travel plans for the holidays that will soon be in full swing. You may even be considering starting some holiday shopping or preparing for the madness that is Black Friday. What often gets left out of November is the discussion of thankfulness with our children. In the past few years that I’ve been an active participant in social media I’ve noticed many of my friends participating in thankful posts during the month of November that explain each day another thing or person that they are grateful for in their lives. These are wonderful posts, and I imagine they come with some self-reflection and thought, but I often wonder how often we’re encouraging that same introspection with our children.
Let’s take a lesson from social media, and look to the daily thankful postings as inspiration on how to encourage our children to spend several minutes daily this month learning what it means to be thankful and reflecting on specific things they are thankful for.
Listed below are some great activities that you can do with your children each day this month to encourage gratitude and thankfulness beyond simply saying “Thank You”
Source: The Moffatt Girls
This is a great, easy craft that you can do with your little ones and it makes a cute decoration, too. You can even make them as placecards for Thanksgiving Day, with one for each member of the family attending the meal.
Source: One Artsy Mama
Surely you have a pumpkin or two laying around after Halloween that you can use for this easy activity. All you need is a permanent marker and nightly conversations with your children to create this Thankful Pumpkin.
Source: The Wee Society
Visit the above site to download and print a “thanks book” that your child can create, and work on letter association, at the same time. This is perfect for non-writing children, too, as there is plenty of room for pictures. Want to capture what your children said about being thankful? Write it on the opposite page or on a sticky note and revisit with your child each day. Children love to read books that they helped create!
Source: Real Simple
Writing Thank You notes for gifts after birthdays and holidays can help instill thankfulness in your child. I love these different ideas for making homemade thank you notes that adds a personal touch, as well. Consider having your child think of 5 people that he or she wants to thank. It can be a family member, friend, teacher, or neighbor and then help him write a nice note to them.
Source: Jane Can
This idea of a “thankful jar” is a great one you can adopt for the holiday season and continue throughout the year. Children can add a thankful moment whenever they wish and you can choose to read one or two at dinner each evening.