Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

November 19, 201811 Gratitude Exercises That Kids Can Practice on Thanksgiving and Beyond

Giving thanks will never go out of style, but it is something that parents must be intentional about teaching their kids. Grateful kids are not entitled or selfish; instead, grateful kids are loving and kind. At the end of the day, these are the attributes parents most want their kids to possess.

So, naturally, when Thanksgiving rolls around, parents jump on the opportunity to teach their children to express thankfulness. But, here’s the good news – practicing gratitude doesn’t have to be saved for Thanksgiving! It can be a part of your child’s weekly, or even daily, routine.

Here are 11 activities that will help your child remember what they are thankful for on Thanksgiving and beyond.

Make Gratitude Part of Your Family’s Daily Routine

Kids learn from what they see, so parents must make an effort to express thankfulness in front of their children on a regular basis. A simple way to do so is to make gratitude a part of your family’s daily routine. For example, many families take time to name something they are thankful for as they eat dinner together. Other families make expressing gratitude a part of their bedtime routine. The more often kids hear adults express gratitude, the more likely they will practice gratitude themselves.

Create a Thankful Tree

A lovely visual way to express gratitude is to create a thankful tree. A thankful tree is simply a collection of branches placed together in a vase. Then, paper leaves are cut with strings attached. As kids think of things they are thankful for, they write them down on the paper leaves and string them on the tree. Watch as the tree blooms with gratitude as the seasons change.

Write in a Gratitude Journal

Either independently or as a family, have children write in a gratitude journal. All parents must do is direct them to list the things they are grateful for that happened that day or week. Not only will it get kids into the habit of expressing gratitude, but it will also be a great way to reflect on the many blessings of life as the journal fills.

Have a Family Gratitude Jar

Likewise, place a jar in a central location in your home with scraps of paper and writing pencils beside it. Tell family members to jot down things they are grateful for throughout the year. At the end of the year, read through your gratitude collection together as a family.

Read Books About Gratitude

Books are helpful for teaching little one’s lessons, such as the importance of expressing gratitude. For example, the children’s book Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson does a wonderful job of illustrating this concept for children.

Give to Others

Often, children do not even realize all they have to be thankful for. Like adults, they take for granted the food they have in their bellies, the roof they have over their heads, and the clothes they have on their bodies. Look for opportunities to give and serve those in need in your community as a family. Donating items or your time is a wonderful way to teach children compassion and gratitude.

Send Thank You Notes

As a society, we have gotten away from the practice of writing thank you notes, but it truly is an excellent way to teach your children to practice gratitude. Encourage your children not only to write thank you notes for gifts they receive but also to write thank you notes to those who have done something nice or made them feel special.

Find Ways to Express Thanks to Community Workers

Along those lines, make it a tradition for your family to find ways to express thanks to community workers. Each month choose a different group to thank. For example, in December, take cookies to your local fire station. In January, take homemade fudge to first responders. In February, leave a thank you gift for your mailman. Encourage your kids to think of people who should be thanked and ways your family can do so.

Use Gratitude Prompts in Conversations

If you have trouble getting your kids to say something they are thankful for, try new ways to engage them in these types of conversations. For instance, try using the rose and thorn conversation starter. Ask kids to think about the thorns in their days (the worst part of their days) as well as the roses (the best parts of their days). From this conversation, point out they should be thankful for the roses.

Encourage Kids to Affirm and Thank Others Regularly

By affirming and thanking your kids regularly, they are more likely to extend gratitude to others when they are outside of your presence. Encourage your kids to thank classmates when they do something kind and to look for opportunities to praise their classmates for good deeds.

Design a Book of Gratitude

With Pint Sized Productions, you can create a custom board book of your own that expresses thankfulness. For instance, design a board book where each page gives thanks for a different family member. As kids read the book repeatedly, they will remember who they are thankful for and how to express gratitude.

We hope these ideas inspire and help you teach your family the importance of giving thanks; even when it’s not the Holiday season. Our new My Thankful Board Book is perfect for these gratitude lessons with your little ones.  And be sure to hop over to our Pint Sized Board Book Library or create a custom board book of your own!

November 15, 20189 Thanksgiving Board Book Ideas That All Parents Will Be Thankful For

Whether your Thanksgiving consists of eating an extravagant feast or watching football while eating dinner off tv trays, we bet you love your family’s Thanksgiving traditions. For most Americans, Thanksgiving is a day when we come together, rest, and express our thankfulness. It is also a time when we eat!

As Thanksgiving only happens once a year, it is important to make the most of it. As you spend time with family and friends, you are sure to take numerous photos of your kids playing with their cousins, sitting on grandma’s lap, and eating a giant turkey leg. As you gather up all your photos, you can turn them into a unique board book filled with memories that can be cherished for all the Thanksgivings to come.

Need some inspiration? Here are 9 Thanksgiving board book ideas to help you get started.

A Book of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is all about gratitude. It is the perfect holiday for teaching children how to express thankfulness. Why not design a board book with this idea in mind? Choose photos that represent people and things you are thankful for and fill the board book with words of gratitude.

My First Thanksgiving

Those of you with infants will surely be documenting every Thanksgiving milestone, so turn these pictures into a precious memory book of Baby’s First Thanksgiving. Choose pictures of your little ones in their Thanksgiving duds, being held by loved ones, and “eating” their first Thanksgiving meal.

All About Thanksgiving Dinner

Does your family have an extravagant Thanksgiving feast? Does the host put great care into selecting place settings and centerpieces? Are the meals not only tasty but beautiful to see? Do manners matter? If so, then create a board book that celebrates the dinner itself. Take pictures of the place settings and turn it into an etiquette guide for little ones.

T is for Turkey

Use your family’s Thanksgiving pictures to teach your baby the ABC’s! Bring out your inner wordsmith and create a board book that using Thanksgiving-themed lingo and photos from your family’s celebration. Here’s a few to get you started: A is for Apple Pie. B is for Balloons in the parade. C is for casserole.

Grateful for Family and Friends

Another board book idea that helps kids learn thankfulness is one that shows gratitude for loved ones. A simple board book idea is to have a picture of each family member or friend at Thanksgiving with the line “I am thankful for Grandma” and so on. This will help babies learn their family member’s names, recognize their faces, and express gratitude.

Mom’s Secret Recipes

Board books are not just for kids. Your family will love being gifted with a board book that combines photographs and Mom’s secret recipes. It will be something precious that they hold on to remember Thanksgiving with their mom and a book that can be passed down from one generation to the next.

Food, Family, and Football

For many families, Thanksgiving is a day of leisure. For example, some families watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and football all day long. If this sounds like your family, then design a board book that celebrates your family’s personal Thanksgiving Day traditions. Include pictures of your family enjoying these leisure activities and add in some facts from the year such as the football scores.

Tree Shopping

While it is not technically Thanksgiving-themed, we know a lot of families use Thanksgiving as a springboard for starting their Christmas celebrations. For instance, if your family traditionally goes Christmas Tree shopping over the Thanksgiving holidays, document your tree shopping adventures!

Autumn Recipes

For many families, Thanksgiving is all about the food. You can easily create a board book for your family’s favorite autumn recipes. In addition to including the recipes for your family’s Thanksgiving dishes, you can also include photos of your kids helping cook or simply enjoying the food around the table.

We hope these ideas inspire you and help you design a book that you will be thankful for this Thanksgiving and every Thanksgiving after. If you are ready to begin, check out our new My Thankful Board Book, hop over to our Pint Sized Board Book Library or create a custom board book of your own!