Learning gratitude, to be grateful and say “thank you” isn’t always the easiest lesson to teach–or learn. In a season that often seems to focus on over-indulgence, being thankful for the things we already have can be left by the wayside. This week, explore some ways to help your children–and yourself–slow down, take stock, and practice and express gratitude, right into the new year! Explore these ideas and cultivate a whole season of gratitude.
Focus on the Family addresses a culture of entitlement in their “Gratitude” series, and offers tips for teaching gratitude to children–no matter how young–who sometimes do not realize how much they have to be grateful for.
This gratitude scavenger hunt from Let’s Get Together is a lovely way to explore your surroundings and share your unique blessings. This is a great activity to incorporate into your Thanksgiving celebrations. If you’re connecting with friends or family virtually, this is also a fun activity to share ahead of time, then let each family or participant share their findings with the group.
The Gratitude Game from Teach Beside Me is a sweet, low-key family game to play after dinner. If you have a game of pick-up sticks already, you can use it as is. If not, coloring or painting wooden skewers or sticks will make a fun project for younger kids.
But what if your look back at this past year isn’t all rosy? This year especially has been filled with uncertainty, fear, and loneliness for many people. Cancelled plans, lost opportunities, and missed time with friends and family can make it hard to focus on and express gratitude. How do you help your children–and yourself–cultivate a heart of gratitude in difficult and unhappy situations?
The author of this blog post includes a list of Bible verses to read, write, and remember in times of hardship and fear.
This “Thankfulness No Matter What” lesson plan from Ministry to Children draws on the story of Jehoshaphat from 2 Chronicles to demonstrate God’s enduring love, and includes a Bible reading, application lesson, and craft.
A gorgeous gratitude tree is a lovely way to display a reminder of everything your family has to be thankful for.
This simple leaf catcher from Handmade Charlotte is a beautiful way to encourage a spirit of gratitude and collect all of the moments your family is thankful for.