Are you looking for some fun ideas to teach your children gratitude?
I want my children to be happy. I really do. I pray for it every night and work toward it every day. The most effective thing I have found for happiness (in children and adults) is gratitude. When we are filled with Gratitude for all we have it is nearly impossible to be unhappy.
I am reminded of the story of Pollyanna. As a small girl, Pollyanna was taught by her father that no matter how hard life can get there is always something to be grateful for. To help her find these blessings her father (who happened to be a humble preacher) taught her to play “The Glad Game” How did it work? It was very simple, you looked for things to be glad about. After the death of her parents Pollyanna now an orphan was sent to live with her single aunt (who was quite wealthy). While living with her aunt she touched the lives of the whole town as one by one she helped each person play the Glad Game to find happiness despite their hard circumstances. From the old widow who thought she was dying to the little orphan who thought he would never have a family.
Like Pollyanna’s wise father I too want to help my children look for the good and find happiness through Gratitude for the many blessings great and small in their lives. I have thought a lot about this especially now that we are in the month of Thanksgiving and have come up with ## activities to teach my children how to be gratitude and not just to say thank you without thinking.
1.Teach and play “The Glad Game” with the kids. (This is especially a good game for when things don’t turn out how they want it to.)
2.Make a Thankful Tree or Garland. (where the children write on paper leaves things they are grateful for. You can get FREE Printable thankful leaves HERE.)
3. Play the Alphabet Thankful game. (Starting with the letter A each person has to name something they are thankful for that starts with that letter. Then you move on to the letter B and repeat all the way till you reach the letter Z)
4.Read Books That Teach About Gratitude. (Kids love books and learn a lot. Click here for my favorite Kids books that teach gratitude)
5.Write a Thank You note to a Serviceman Serving Overseas. (when doing this activity you might consider sending the Thank You Notes with a care package. Operation We are Here is a great site with links and information in how to send out the letters/care packages)
6.Help your kids start a Gratitude Journal. (where every day they write down at least one thing they are grateful for or way they were blessed that day)
7.Have Family Gratitude Prayers. (Gratitude Prayers are special prayers where all you do is give thanks. This is a fun activity to do as a family where you each take turn praying.)
8.Help your children make sunshine Baskets for someone sick or struggling. (It is easy to see how blessed you are as you serve others in need. Serving also helps you to be less self-centered and selfish which opens the wy for a more grateful heart. Get FREE Sunshine Basket Printables HERE)
9.Memorize Scriptures or Quotes on Gratitude/Thankfulness. (There are a bunch of great scriptures and quotes on Gratitude. By memorizing them it allows them to come to your mind as you go about your day reminding you of the importance of being Grateful!)
10.Take your Children on Nature Walks. (This is a great Sunday Activity to go on nature walk and appreciate the beauty of the world God created for us.)
I think the reason activities are the best way to teach Gratitude, is that Gratitude isn’t just a feeling its an expression. As in Gratitude unexpressed isn’t gratitude at all. As we move further into the Thanksgiving season may our efforts in teaching our children the importance of gratitude be successful. And as your children grow in gratitude may they increase in happiness.
What is your favorite Gratitude activity? Is it on this list? If not please share!
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