The season of giving is upon us! November is a reminder to express gratitude and thankfulness to friends, family, and all the influential and important people who make a difference in our lives, but how do you teach such complex concepts to kids?
Through day-to-day action and practice!
Keep reading for ways to highlight gratitude and thankfulness through activities this Thanksgiving season:
Talk about it
Modeling gratitude out loud is simple. Just take a moment and outwardly appreciate things. Like, “I’m so glad we have this fluffy coat to keep us warm today,” or “your big smile makes me so happy.” Take a gratitude walk and talk about things you’re grateful for like, the sound of the wind blowing through the trees, the beautiful colors of the leaves changing, your friendly neighbors, and cars to drive.
It’s important to highlight the positive things we appreciate to help our kids take notice. Say things out loud and get them thinking. Ask how those things make them feel, and what they can do to express their appreciation.
Use visual effects
Not only should you talk about the things you’re grateful for but read, draw, and write about them too! Reading is the best way to teach children about core values and morals. They also provide a visual aid that can help some kids understand and relate to things more easily. Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree is a touching interpretation of the gift of giving, friendship, and gratitude.
Another great visual aid for teaching gratitude and thankfulness is creating a gratitude jar or tree. Each day of November, have everyone write down one thing they’re thankful for and put it in a jar. If you have younger children, you can get crafty and make a tree by writing your gratitude notes on paper leaves and creating a Thankful tree on an empty wall. Once the notes begin to pile up, you get a powerful image of all the wonderful things to be grateful for, and it’s a great way for the whole family to reflect on what’s important to one another.
Donate with your kids
Help your kids go through their things and set aside items that could make another kid or family who is less fortunate, happy. Donating out-grown items such as toys and clothes, or even your time to volunteer somewhere is a great way to inspire empathy for others. Make sure to include the kids in every step of the donating process, from what you’re donating and why to where it’s going and who will benefit from it. This will help give your children a sense of togetherness.
Family Gratitude Night
Quality time with the whole family strengthens bonds and creates new memories for your kids to be thankful for, so plan a fun night out at the Family Fun Center and make gratitude the theme of the evening. There’s no shortage of activities to be grateful for at Family Fun Center. We have TONS of arcade games from old-school games to new-age, Adventure Golf, laser tag and so much more. Before playing a new game or starting a new attraction, ask your kids to list something they’re thankful for!
Spend more time with family to appreciate one another and have fun this Thanksgiving season and start planning your trip today!