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Activities to Teach Your Kids About Being Thankful and Grateful

posted: 11/16/16
by: Amanda Mushro
Family With Grandparents Enjoying Thanksgiving Meal At Table
iStock

Thanksgiving isn't just a day for us to overeat turkey and pumpkin pie, but a holiday to think about what we are thankful and grateful for in our lives, and the same goes for our kids. So before we sit down with friends and family at the Thanksgiving table, here are simple activities that will help encourage and teach your kids to be grateful and thankful all year.

Encourage Thank You Notes- While thank you notes tend to come after a party or celebration, encourage your kids to send thank you notes, pictures, or short videos to friends and family for other occasions. So even if they are too young to write, they can still send a message of being thankful. If grandma sends a package to your kids in the mail, use your phone to have your kids make a quick thank you video. If they had fun at a play date, have them color a picture to share with their friends. These are such easy gestures, but they are making a lasting impression on your children on how they think about and share their gratitude.

Mind Your Manners- Encouraging and modeling good manners helps your children understand the importance of using your words to show you are thankful and grateful. So the next time your little one gives you a big hug, tell them "Thank you for that wonderful hug!" and when you're at dinner and they want you to pass the fruit, encourage them to say "please pass the fruit." If you're already doing this every day, give yourself a high five, and give your kids a high five when you catch them using good manners.

Volunteer Together- Find an activity that you and your children can do together that helps others. It can be helping out an elderly neighbor, making donations to an animal shelter, or taking part in a community project. When your kids seeing you doing good things for others, they will learn to do the same as they get older.

Grateful Turkey- This one is an oldie but a goodie. The grateful turkey is so simple to make and is perfect for this time of year. To change up this easy craft, make sure the entire family makes one. Start by tracing everyone's hand on construction paper, cutting out the shape, and before Thanksgiving dinner, have everyone write what they are thankful for on each finger. When you share this during Thanksgiving dinner, your kids can hear all of the wonderful things, big and small, that their family and friends are thankful for this year. Use these ideas to continue the discussions with your kids about all they have to be thankful for and how important it is to show gratitude.