How to Practice Gratitude with Your Kids

November is a month to be cognizant of practicing gratitude. While we all know this is something we should exercise all year long, life often gets busy, and well, we forget. So, with the holidays catapulting us into our busiest season yet, it’s important to try to be mindful of all of our blessings in life. So, here at Mid-Michigan Moms, we are encouraging you to take part in a 30-day challenge using the hashtag #thankfulmittenmama giving our readers {and contributors} the opportunity to give thanks every day during the month of  November.

My goal is to give you some ideas to get your kids on the thankful train, too.

Grateful kids are happier kids.

As a mom of two, I find that this is even more important as we head into the spoiling season. My kids are the only grandkids on my family’s side. They get beyond spoiled during Christmas {sigh}, but I do my darndest to ensure that they don’t become ungrateful. I’ll be honest, the mountain is steep, but it’s a climb I’m willing to hike despite all of the boulders that seem to get in our way. So, here are some ideas that you and your family can practice this November {and all year long} to teach your children how to exercise thankfulness.

  1. A Gratitude Jar: Simply grab a jar or a vase and place it in a central place in your house—a place your family regularly convenes together. We place ours in the center of our dinner table. So, your family members take turns stating {and writing if your child is able} what they’re thankful for and dropping it into the jar. Encourage creativity and have fun with it, even if they’re thankful for Daniel Tiger.
  2. A Thankful Chain: Cut long strips of construction paper about 1-2 inches thick. Kids can help you cut. Each day, family members can write down one thing they are thankful for on one of the strips. From here, you staple the strips together to make a circle and then staple them together, making a chain. You can place the chain anywhere in your house: streaming on the fireplace mantle, in the kitchen, in the doorway, and more. Kids, especially preschool-aged, love watching the chain grow.
  3. Sticky Notes on Doors: This one is the easiest. Just grab some sticky notes {or if you’re really crafty, you can cut out leaves to match your fall decor}. Each day, choose a different family member. Let’s say the first day your family chooses Little Sister. On her day, everyone will write down one thing they are thankful for about Little Sister and stick it on her bedroom door. By the end of the month, each door should have many sticky notes boosting everyone’s self-esteem and gratitude.
  4. Gratitude Wreath: This one is for the crafty moms and kids. Trace some leaves on construction paper and have your children cut them out. Next, cut a circle out of a paper plate or poster board and then cut the middle out so it looks like a wreath. Each child could do their own or you could have one large wreath for the entire family—either works just fine. Each day, write down something you’re thankful for onto a leaf and glue or tape the leaf onto the wreath. By the end of the month, you’ll have a gratitude wreath showcasing all that your family is grateful for. Now, what could be more beautiful than that?
  5. Gratitude Tree: This one is similar to the wreath. For this craft, simply cut out smaller leaves and draw or paint a large tree on a poster board. So, instead of pasting leaves onto a wreath, you’ll use a tree. At the start of the month, your tree will be bare, with no leaves on the branches. But by the end of the month, leaves will cover the tree showing all of your family’s gratitude.

I hope one of these ideas works for your family. Let us know! Post pictures of your family exercising gratitude and then type #thankfulmittenmama. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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