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Teaching Kids About Gratitude

With November being the month of thankfulness, I can think of no better time for teaching kids about gratitude. Studies have shown that focusing on the good in our lives can have a huge impact on the happiness we feel, the resiliency we display, and the compassion we bestow. For that and for so many more reasons, I believe instilling an attitude of gratitude is a wonderful life lesson to teach our children.

In our house, we start the month of November by adding this aptly named book, The Thankful Book, to our bedtime reading lineup.

The Thankful Book // With November being the month of thankfulness, here are a few things we do to teach our kids about gratitude.

At the end of the book, I ask my kids what they are thankful for. My children are six and {almost} four years old, so their answers are all over the place and their understanding of gratitude is still a work a progress. The youngest thinks the question is a wish list for her birthday while the older seems to be catching on the more times we read. The thing I like best about the book is that it gives a reason — a “because” — for each item that is presented, which forces them to look deeper and seriously consider why they are thankful.

The Thankful Book // With November being the month of thankfulness, here are a few things we do to teach our kids about gratitude.

To reinforce the learning from the book, we also started a Thankful Tree this year. We found a tree branch while out walking the dog. My daughter filled a pot with rocks to keep it stabilized and we set it by the fireplace for all to enjoy.

Our Thankful Tree // With November being the month of thankfulness, here are a few things we do to teach our kids about gratitude.

Each day we write one thing we are thankful for and hang it on the tree. {We also discuss why we are thankful for it even though it’s not written on the tag.} On Thanksgiving, we plan to take all the tags off the tree and review them. The activity is great learning for the kids, but it’s also a good reminder for the Chief and me.

So if you’d like to start a Thankful Tree of your own, here’s a free download of the tags I created for our tree. Print them on white card stock, and then cut and assemble as many as you need.

Thankful Tree Tags // With November being the month of thankfulness, here are a few things we do to teach our kids about gratitude.

For example, there are four people in our family and we started our Thankful Tree on November 3rd, so I made 80 tags (4 people x 20 days). I used a paper cutter, scissors, a hole punch and baker’s twine to assemble the tags. I made all of ours while enjoying a warm fall day and watching my family play in the backyard. Talk about thankful.

Our Thankful Tree // With November being the month of thankfulness, here are a few things we do to teach our kids about gratitude.

I’m looking forward to the Thankful Tree becoming an annual Thanksgiving tradition in our home. Do you have a Thanksgiving tradition? Please share in the comments below.

P.S.  I am thankful for… YOU! Thank you for reading!  — v.

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One Response to Teaching Kids About Gratitude

  1. Lea November 4, 2017 at 4:05 PM #

    What a wonderful tradition to commence in this day where we lack sensitive for the real things we should be thankful for. Thank you for a wonderful ideal I am going to adopt.

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