Gratitude activities for kids are essential. To teach children gratitude, you need to get down on their level. You have a tremendous opportunity to teach gratitude to your little girl right here, in the moment. What's wonderful is that you can make it a family affair. Sydney So Sweet has put together a list of gratitude games and activities that will captivate your daughter. She'll learn the joy of appreciating all the blessings that touch her life, from tutus to loving family and friends. Better still, she'll learn how to identify them with your help.
Show Gratitude on the Daily
Teaching gratitude begins at home. As you come up with gratitude activities for kids, remember that you need to participate, too. In fact, the lessons stick much better when you have the entire family involved. What's better than embarking on a new activity as a family?
Showing gratitude every day may seem hard in the beginning. It's a new task, but in no time at all, it will turn into a habit, especially if you make it fun. One way to do that is with a Gratitude Jar. All you need is a Mason jar, one of those nifty glass jars with the lid attached, or even a ceramic vase. The style is up to you. Why not ask your little girl to decorate it before you get started?
Once the jar is ready, the premise is simple. Place the jar in a prominent place, such as the kitchen island or the dining room table. Everyone in the family should be able to see it—and reach it. Every day, each person in the household should jot down something that makes them feel thankful or grateful, then drop it in the jar. You can either read them together at dinner or save them to read during hard days. Use your judgment!
You can also create a Tree of Thanks. Fetch a large, lovely branch from the yard, or make a tree out of art supplies, such as pipe cleaners. Have your child cut out leaves from construction paper. With this activity, everyone writes down what they're grateful for onto a leaf. You can then attach the leaves to the branch(es) of the tree. Again, read the messages once a day, or save them for a day when your little girl needs to be reminded of her blessings.
From the beginning, remind your daughter that she doesn't have to write down anything monumental. Gratitude isn't always about the big things. She might be grateful for a beautiful sunset, a fun day at school, or a pretty new dress. Those are all valid blessings. Do your part to teach her that there is plenty of joy to be found in the small things.
Turn Donation into Something Fun
Sometimes, you need to be reminded of what you have. Donating old books, clothes, and toys is a wonderful way to give back. Donations can also be a gratitude game that teaches your daughter to be thankful for all that she has.
Little girls outgrow their clothing, games, and toys quickly. Once or twice a year, ask your daughter to go through her closets, drawers, and toy boxes to pick out the items she no longer uses. Kids don't always enjoy giving up their possessions. Spotting a toy they haven't seen in a while can inspire them to want it that much more. That's why you need to turn this into a game.
First of all, let your child know that her items will ultimately make lots of other little girls very happy. As she selects dress-up clothes and dolls that she no longer enjoys, invite her to come up with life stories about the girls who will receive her things.
You need to get your child involved in all aspects of the donation, however. Giving away her things, even the clothes she doesn't wear, can feel a bit like a punishment unless she fully understands that she's in a position to make another little girl happy. Before you pick out a recipient for the donation, research all the different charities in your area. Together, you and your daughter can decide where her donation will go.
Create a Book of Gratitude
It's beneficial to incorporate gratitude activities for kids that include the whole family. A Book of Gratitude is a stellar place to start. It's different from a Tree of Thanks or a Gratitude Jar because the family does it together. It begins with a book. Empty photo albums or scrapbooks are best. Decorate it as a family, too, and ensure that everybody contributes to its creation.
The terrific part about this gratitude game is that you wind up with a book full of family memories. Everyone gets to put in something that makes them feel grateful for and about the family. It goes beyond little scraps of paper. Instead of notes on gratitude, the family can put in mementos from activities and trips, drawings, and photographs, too. Of course, letters expressing gratitude are perfect, as well.
Additional gratitude activities for kids include reading books about gratitude, encouraging your daughter to send thank-you notes when she receives gifts, and teaching her how to share. Giving her a new outfit or toy is rewarding once she understands how to express her thanks. Keep reading the Sydney So Sweet blog for more helpful tips!