Gratitude is an abstract concept, particularly with young children. So how can we make the concept concrete so that our children practice an attitude of gratitude? These Reggio-inspired, hands-on invitations to create for kindergarteners and early learners are a beautiful way to teach and practice gratitude this Thanksgiving, and throughout the year.
Gratitude feels good! When we feel good, we do good! Having a positive outlook is good for our spirit, body and mind.
Gratitude helps create a positive chain reaction, minimizing our negative perspective: worry, overwhelm, anxiety. When we focus on the good, the good grows! What we magnify with our thoughts and feelings GROWS! Gratitude also builds resilience in us: when we look for the silver lining in dark clouds, when we can find the good - even amongst the negative circumstances (like a cancelled birthday party!), we are able to build a resilient foundation that will serve us when life throws a curveball.
Gratitude builds deeper and stronger connections and bonds to those we love. We're more apt to show appreciation and kindness to others when we focus on the good and kindness of others.
And finally, reciprocity! When we experience acts of kindness from others, we are more likely to do good unto others.
Picture books are a great way to bring abstract concepts like gratitude to life. This simple collection is a beautiful way to explore the concept, and plant seeds in our children's brains - tapping into their prior knowledge about gratitude.
One way to invite dialogue and reflection about gratitude as a family is to create a gratitude jar. After reading one of the books from the booklist (I love starting with Todd Parr's The Thankful Book, begin by brainstorming things and people we're grateful for. Take all of your child's responses. Next, write those down on popsicle sticks. To create your jar, simply tear pieces of tissue paper, and layer onto a glass jar with watered down glue or Mod Podge.
A gratitude book is a fine way to get your child involved in some writing. A simple frame, like "I am grateful for..." with three or four different ideas and pictures to match is a great way to publish a book, and to honour your child as a writer and artist.
Gratitude art cards are a beautiful gift to give to others, especially at a Thanksgiving celebration. I love placing these into tiny jewelry boxes to make them even more special and gift-worthy. (These also make great place-cards! Invite your child to fill in the inside with a note of gratitude).
I hope you've enjoyed these simple ideas to learn about gratitude.
If you love this style of learning, you'll love our InspirEd at Home Art + Play Based Enrichment Classes (live weekly, AND instant access to a growing replay library!)
Download your gratitude bundle here.