The Season of Gratefulness
The holiday season is a time when gratefulness is especially on people’s hearts and minds, but as we know, we should express gratefulness all through the year. Rather than sitting down with your kids and having a lesson on gratefulness, make gratefulness a part of your everyday life, and incorporate little lessons into your daily routine.
Some ideas for teaching gratefulness
- Teach kids to say thank you by doing it yourself. If I tell my child to set the table or take out the trash, I say thank you when it’s done. They hear me thank the clerk at the store, a representative on the phone, and others. At a very young age, kids can be taught to say thank you, and if they know that they are expected to do it, and if they are thanked regularly themselves, you won’t have to remind them (Tell Grandma thank you)–they’ll just do it.
- Teach kids to write thank you notes when they receive gifts, when they attend a field trip, and when they are treated to a special event. This is also a wonderful way to practice writing skills. Thank you notes are becoming a lost art, but taking a few minutes to write and send one not only shows others you care, but it also reinforces the feelings of gratitude you feel when you take the time to think about and express it. Click here for tips on creating homemade thank you cards.
- Do community service projects together. When kids help others through donating items, money, or time, they will uncover the true secret of gratitude: volunteering to deliver Meals on Wheels, working to help with toy drives or Operation Christmas Child, sending packages to deployed military service members, cleaning out their closet and donating toys, even helping to bake brownies to deliver to a neighbor or fire station
- Take time to appreciate the world around you. Go outside and experience all the beautiful things God has provided us in nature–Simply looking at the moon, a colorful butterfly, a beautiful flower–or discovering a vegetable growing in the garden. We regularly draw and write in our nature journals, and this process increases the gratitude we feel for life as we marvel at the wonders around us.
- Of course, incorporating books with the theme of gratefulness into your read aloud time is also a great way to teach kids gratefulness. Check out our suggestions below.
Click here or on the image above to download a free printable library checklist and activity–learn how to write a thank you note.
Books About Gratefulness
We love the book Thankful by Eileen Spinelli and Archie Preston for teaching thankfulness. This sweetly illustrated book features rhyming text about a family expressing gratitude during their normal daily routines.
My son can’t get enough of this book, and he loves to study each detailed page and find new surprises each time we read it. The scenes in the book remind us so much of our own home! From the traveler to the dancer to the chef and the crafter, each expression of gratitude is both simple and profound. Thankful is a not-to-be-missed picture book for teaching gratitude and celebrating everyday blessings.
Gratefulness books for kids
- The Gift of Nothing
- A Present for Toot
- A Gracious Plenty
- The Berenstain Bears Thanksgiving Blessings (Berenstain Bears/Living Lights)
- Our Tree Named Steve
- A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever
- Being Thankful (Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter)
- Peanuts: Be Thankful
Last week’s most popular linked post:
- Leave Your Worries Behind: Fall Into a Book! from Gypsy Road
And now for the link up!
Our hosts will still share a themed selection each week, but our link up will be for anything literature related and family friendly – always.
If you’d like to join us as a co-host in the new year, please contact Anne.
This list has our book themes, but you don’t have to stick to that to link up–any family-friendly posts are welcome. So, come on! Join in the fun!
If you’d like to link back to What to Read Wednesday, here is a pretty button for you!
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