Inside: Gratitude can’t just be taught during Thanksgiving. We need to purposefully teach our kids to be grateful and we can use these meaningful year-round gratitude activities to do focus on it.
I offered my daughter a cookie the other day and she immediately counteroffered. “Can I have two cookies?” she asked.
I just stared at her.
She was being offered a cookie, mid-day, for no reason, just because.
But that wasn’t good enough.
Instead of being grateful she was offered a cookie, she immediately wanted more.
Instead of being thankful and happy with one, she felt she could increase her happiness only if she got two cookies.
So I offered her a choice: She could have one cookie or no cookies.
She quickly took the one cookie, smiled, and said, “Thank you, Mama.”
Teaching our kids to be grateful is a year-long endeavor.
We can’t only teach gratitude to our children at Thanksgiving time with cute turkeys and Gratitude Pumpkins. Even though November is the perfect time of the year to focus on gratefulness, one month out of the year to teach our kids to be thankful is not enough.
We have to teach our kids how to be grateful year-round.
Month after month, day after day, cookie after cookie.
We have to purposefully teach them to find joy and be thankful for the things they do have rather than letting them wallow or wish they had more. The extra cookie. More screen time. The shiny new toy that “everyone else has but them.”
We have to help our kids be more thankful and we can do it with these meaningful year-round gratitude activities.
Year-Round Gratitude Activities to Share with Your Kids:
Grateful people are happier people. When we focus on what we’re thankful for, we’re able to switch our focus, our mood and our perspective. We can see all that we do have, we can find the silver linings and this is how we teach our kids to pull themselves up out of “poor me” moods.
But our kids need to be taught how to be more grateful, and since the concept needs to be reinforced often, we need fun and different ideas instead of having to constantly offer up zero cookies or one cookie.
Want a simple way to help our kids be more grateful every day? This one simple trick to remind our kids to be grateful for the simple things in their lives will be a game changer.
Help your kids write meaningful thank you notes with this printable “recipe” for a great thank you note they can use for birthday gifts and holiday gifts.
Send Gratitude Notes to your family, friends and teacher with these printable notecards.
Thank our Essential Workers with this printable thank you coloring activity pages…they’re perfect for grocery store workers, mail carriers, delivery people, garbage/recycling collectors, teachers and of course, medical professionals.
Create this Gratitude Garland from Mosswood Connections and add what you’re grateful for all year long. No need to keep it up only in November!
I am a firm believer that raising grateful kids will actually also make them kinder people. But if you use these five Acts of Kindness from Extremely Good Parenting, the kind acts will lead to more grateful kids. It’s a revolving circle of gratefulness and kindness.
You can make these Kindness Rocks and hide them around your neighborhood or in friends’ yards to let them know how much you appreciate them.
Create these Thankfulness Collage Placements from The Meaningful Mama to help our kids remember what they’re thankful for every time they eat.
Get your kids moving and active as they search for things they’re grateful for around them with this Gratitude Scavenger Hunt from Natural Beach Living.
Discuss being grateful with your kids over family dinner with these Gratitude Conversation Starters from Creative Family Fun.
Is talking about being grateful not enough anymore? When you volunteer as a family, your kids will be more grateful. Use these ideas from Mama Smiles for volunteering ideas that are kid-friendly.
Our kids can thank the educators in their lives and focus on why they’re grateful for them with these Educator Thank You Notes…they’re perfect for teachers, teacher aides, school nurses, custodians, and lunch ladies. No need to wait until Teacher Appreciation Week or the end of the year.
Make these sweet Gratitude Stones from Fireflies and Mudpies and use her 5 ideas to focus on gratitude at the dinner table, at bedtime, and in your community.
Your kids will love this Gratitude Game from Teach Beside Me they can play year-round to focus on what they’re thankful for. They’ll love it!
And you can always read Gratitude Books with Your kids.
These are a few favorites that we have on our shelves:
Or try one of these gratitude journals:
Teaching our kids to be grateful for what they have in their lives is a true gift that will serve them well.
And it will get them more cookies.