Gratitude is one of the best attributes parents can instill in their children as early as possible. It can bring joy in even the simplest situation. Raising your child to be grateful doesn’t just make them polite person – it can also set them up for a happy life in the future.
Most parents start teaching their child at a young age to say “thank you” when they receive something. However, gratitude for kids does not just mean being thankful for material blessings. Parents should teach their children a deeper sense of gratitude for the blessings they receive daily. Kids who are more grateful tend to be less envious of others, less materialistic, and less depressed.
Your preschoolers are never too young to learn to be thankful. It’s never too early or too late to create a habit. Everything starts at home, and it is best to teach gratitude to your kids even in infancy. Here are some simple activities to teach gratitude to kids:
Thank You Postcards
This is basically saying thank you to every person you are thankful for. You can get blank postcards from the post office or any craft store. Each day, ask your child to choose one person they are grateful for. Then, you and your child can pick out one postcard and decorate it. You can have it personalized based on the character of the person. This activity is better done in the morning. The idea of starting a day with a positive attitude makes the rest of the day more meaningful. Plus, you will definitely make someone else’s day when they receive your thank you postcard.
Family Gratitude Book
Create a family gratitude book regularly. It can be done weekly or once a month during a family meeting.
Keep a “giving thanks” or gratitude jar on the kitchen table or in the living area. Dedicate or decorate a jar (if you are feeling creative), and have pieces of paper beside it. Every day, inform everyone to write down what they are grateful for and put it in the jar. Make it a daily routine or just let anyone drop notes as they wish with something they are thankful for. Once a week, or at a specified time you all agree upon, have a sit down with the family and read the notes together.
Thankfulness Tree or Gratitude Wreath
Create a make-shift tree and cut out leaves. Write what you are thankful for on the leaves. Being thankful is a reminder of how beautiful life is and it fills our soul. The same feeling is felt each time you and your child add leaves to the Thankfulness Tree. You can also create a wreath and add leaves to it.
“What Would You Feel Without It” Game
This is a gratitude activity for preschoolers that can be done at any time of the day. It’s a question and answer game. Simply ask your child what they would feel if they did not have certain items. They will be shocked to know how different their life would be without a few of the things they consider “normal” to have. This can also be a way of starting a discussion with them about how others are still living without those items. Through this game, they can remember to appreciate the things that they normally take for granted.
Thanksgiving Time Capsule
Get a jar and let everyone write what they are thankful for on strips of paper. Place these papers in the jar and bury it in the backyard. On the next Thanksgiving, dig the jar up and read what everyone was thankful last year.
Just like any other habits or skills, developing a sense of gratitude takes effort and practice. There are many gratitude activities for kids that you can try and incorporate in your daily routine. Remember, the more gratitude practice and activities your give your preschoolers, the more natural it will be for them to be thankful for every blessing they receive. Being grateful will eventually become part of their character and you will have a child who is not just polite but really happy and contented.
At Wee Care Preschool, your child is taught how to show gratitude even to the littlest blessing they receive. Contact Wee Care Preschool to learn more!