A Reggio-Inspired Thanksgiving Tradition

Growing Gratitude Trees: A Reggio-Inspired Thanksgiving Tradition

As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving in the US, and as the holiday season approaches, young families begin to create meaningful traditions with families. Some inherited from previous generations, and some newly forged traditions. 

As you begin to imagine setting up your Thanksgiving table, imagine a centerpiece that is not only beautiful, but meaningfully child-made, inviting our children to reflect on what it means to be truly thankful.

In keeping with a Reggio-inspired approach and the hundred languages of children, this invitation to create is grounded in a process-art approach: no set, cookie-cutter outcome is expected of your child.

Rather, the invitation unfolds with dialogue about gratitude, some beautiful picture books about giving thanks, as well as a watercolor exploration and sculptural loose parts tree where their gratitude grows in the form of watercolor leaves.

What is Gratitude? A Word...

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A Reggio-Inspired Gratitude Project

 

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.

 

 

Why TEACH gratitude?

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...

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Teach Gratitude through Art {and a great booklist too!}

 

A Reggio-Inspired Invitation to explore Gratitude

Gratitude is an abstract concept for many children, but books and art make it so much more concrete and experiential. The following is a booklist to support your children's examination of what it means to be grateful, and the video includes a beautiful art invitation through the language of clay. 

There’s an old adage that says if the only prayer you say in your life is Thank You it will be enough. As a child I remember my grandpa standing at the head of a long table, 30+ people waiting to eat, waxing eloquent about his full heart and giving thanks that each of us kept showing up.  Now, as an adult, I am constantly looking for ways to teach my young children about such an abstract concept as gratitude. 

What does gratitude look like? How do we best show it? And more importantly, when does teaching basic manners like “please” and “thank you” translate to helping children have full...

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