Tips for Teaching Your Child about Gratitude

Create a culture of gratitude in your family by extending this theme throughout the year.

Help your children remember what they have to be grateful for – a loving family, food on the table, caring teachers, music and art, sports and games – whatever brings them joy. Help them notice these things and find ways to express their gratitude – in a drawing, a song, a poem, a hug, or just by looking into the eyes of someone to whom they are grateful and saying “thank you.” Keep a gratitude journal. It’s an incredibly grounding tool that helps reaffirm what’s truly important in life.

Here are some ideas, with a little help from our friends at Sprout, for spending fun times together, creating memories and long-lasting feelings of gratitude:

  1. Wheel Around – Ride together on your family’s favorite set of wheels! Take a family scooter, skate or bike ride … or head to the park for more freewheeling fun. Don’t forget your helmets!
  2. Have a Ball – Bounce, roll, catch, or kick. Play your child’s favorite sport together and watch your energy meter grow! Keep it open-ended, or try a game of hot potato, kickball or lawn bowling.
  3. Feet First – Explore together! As a family, walk to the store, walk your dog, or walk to a friend’s house. Encourage tired little legs with stories, games, conversations about your day, and anticipated landmarks: “Look! There’s your favorite statue!”
  4. Create a Course – Build an obstacle course in your backyard or inside together. Make it challenging with balls, scooters and jump ropes. Or make it silly with toys, pillows and costumes.
  5. Super Snacking – Inspire healthy eating by cooking up something delicious and nutritious as a family. Try out a new recipe together! Or make up a recipe together. How did it taste?
  6. Monkey See – Get active with pretend play. Who in your family can hop like a bunny? Walk like a spider? Stretch like a cat? Slither like a snake? Your laughter and smiles are sure to be remembered for quite some time!
  7. Plant a Seed – You don’t need a trip to the garden store, but you do need a seed. Pull one from an apple or find one outside (try a pinecone or dandelion). Then find a container, some dirt and water, and nurture your seed together. Take pictures of its growth stages. How big do you think it will get?

Here’s wishing you and your family a healthy, joyous holiday season.

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