Typically, when parents start addressing their children’s feelings, they mostly teach them how to be polite, act in front of people, and treat their pets. However, parents often forget that it’s essential to give children a taste of what gratitude feels like and how to show it because it’ll benefit them later on.
Gratitude activities are science-based practices that’ll teach your kid how to show appreciation for the big and small things in life. They benefit your children in so many different ways: feeling happier, developing social intelligence, and passing kindness on to others.
Since we all know how fast children can get bored, we’ve made a list of different activities that you can do with your kid with minimum effort and maximum benefit. So, read on to know how you can teach your child to be grateful in a fun way!
Due to the current pandemic, we have to spend much more time at home than before. But that shouldn’t stop you from doing beneficial learning activities with your child. To illustrate, there are many different indoor gratitude games that you can organise in just a few minutes.
The gratitude jar is one of the easiest and most practical activities that you can do with your child. You just need a jar, pieces of paper, and a sticky label with the word ‘gratitude’ written on it.
Then, each day, tell your kid to write something they’re grateful for. For instance, they can write about how you’ve cooked their favourite meal today or that the neighbour’s kid came over and they had a good time.
At the end of each month, you can empty the jar and give your child the pieces of paper to read. First of all, they’re going to feel happy and rewarded with how their month went. Second of all, they’re going to look for different words to write for the following month, meaning that they’ll pay attention to more pleasant stuff.
This activity can help build your child’s character, as they’ll grow to learn that they should look at life through an optimistic lens and notice the positive aspects before the negative ones.
Practicing gratitude yoga from such a young age will teach your kid about gratitude for their healthy body and the importance of physical activity. For an easy routine, you can hang a poster with different yoga movements that are suitable for children somewhere in your house where they can easily see it.
As a starting point, you can encourage your child to spend 15 minutes every day doing different yoga poses. Children, by nature, seek validation from their parents, so make sure to reward them when they do the activity correctly. This reward system will motivate them to learn new poses and show you their progress.
Accordingly, gratitude yoga will in still a sense of appreciating one’s health in your child. This will increase their self-confidence and improve their physique. You can also do yoga with your kid to further encourage them.
Merely hang a similar poster but with moves suitable for adults. Joining your kid will strengthen your parental bond, and you’ll also benefit from practicing yoga.
The gratitude tree practice is actually meant for thanksgiving. It teaches children the importance of being grateful, but you can easily incorporate it into your kid’s weekly activities.
To start with, you’ll need a poster of a tree, pieces of paper cut out to be leaves, and tape. Start by hanging the poster in a visible and easily reachable spot in your house. Then, tell your kid to write an event that they’re thankful for this week, even if it’s as simple as getting a hug from their grandparent or coincidentally running into a schoolmate.
Consequently, this activity will carve many good memories in your kid’s mind, and they’ll learn to appreciate people’s presence. Not to mention, they can read the words on the tree poster each time they stick a paper to it. So, they’ll be reminded constantly of the joyous moments in life. This will do wonders for their mood and overall happiness.
If you want to teach your kid about journaling from a young age, you’ll appreciate the gratitude journal activity. It’ll improve your kid’s motor skills and ability to notice the details that make them happy.
You can either buy a ready-made journal or make your own. To create the perfect journal, you can buy a standard journal and separate it into sections. For example, specify a section for daily small happy notes, a section for monthly events like birthdays and tea parties, and finally, a section for life-changing events like getting a new sibling, for example.
Also, be sure to use bright colours. Kids care about the visual appeal of objects, and they’ll love the journal more if it looks cartoonish.
Consequently, when your child gets used to writing down the happy moments in their life, they’ll grow to love and appreciate them. Also, if you notice your kid feeling down, you can open the journal and read them a few notes to get their happiness level up again.
If your child gets bored quickly and loves going out, you can easily incorporate gratitude activities in daily walks and outings. Those outdoor gratitude activities will ensure that every fun moment out there can also be beneficial.
Gratitude Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are some of the most enjoyable games that kids love. As a bonus point, you can include some learning tips while playing.
To play, you’ll need a printed piece of paper with points to tick off and a camera. But, of course, if you don’t have a camera, a phone camera will suffice. And the printed piece of paper should include points like something you’re grateful for in nature, something that makes a beautiful sound, something that you look forward to seeing outdoors, etc.
Ultimately, your kid’s mission will be ticking off as many points as possible, but they can only tick it off if they’ve taken a photo of it.
This will make for a nice and fun challenge every time you go out, and your kid will benefit from noticing so many positive points out there in the world. Moreover, they’ll grow to love nature and the many wonders it serves, strengthening their connection to it. They’ll also love being outside, which is known to boost the mood and reduce stress.
Thank You Notes
To introduce your kids to the idea of gratitude, you can begin by using thank you notes in their special events, such as birthday parties. Your kid needs to understand that, while they should be grateful for life in general, they also need to show their gratitude to people. The easiest way to do this is to say thank you.
For instance, when your kid is having a birthday party, you can prepare many thank you notes beforehand and give them out. Then, when they receive a gift or a birthday wish, tell them to hand out the notes. This way, they’ll learn the importance of saying thank you and the happiness it brings to people’s faces.
Kindly note that it’s also essential to teach kids to say thank you in everyday situations, not just in special events. To do this, you can take your child with you grocery shopping and alert them to hand out a thank you note to the person who serves you. They’ll be shy at first, but with some gentle pushing from you, they’ll relax and get used to saying thank you.
Positive feelings are contagious; you can easily spread them in your community and create a high-spirited aura. To teach this to your child, you can use gratitude stones.
To illustrate, you’ll need smooth stones that won’t injure your kid and colour pens. Tell your child to sit and paint little hearts on the rocks. When they’re finished, go for a walk along with them, and leave the coloured stones on your neighbours’ doors. When they see it, they’ll be happy, and you and your kid would’ve created a positive atmosphere around your house.
In addition, this activity is critical because it teaches kids that they can be kind without expecting a reaction. They just know that the neighbours will be ecstatic when they see the stones, but they don’t have solid proof. Also, it’ll in still values of selfless actions and spreading happiness in them.
Also, you can use the stones in different ways. For instance, hide them around your garden and urge your kid to go out and play. The twist here is that you’ll ask them to tell you something they’re grateful for every time they find a stone.
If you’re a teacher, you can try this activity in your classroom. Just gather the kids around, and make them sit in a circle. Then, give a gratitude stone to one kid, and tell them to say something they’re grateful for.
After they finish, tell them to give the stone to the kid next to them. Then, they’ll all say what they’re grateful for by turn, which will create a positive atmosphere in the classroom.
Gratitude Time Capsule
The gratitude time capsule activity is perfect for thanksgiving. To do it right, you’ll need a glass jar, pieces of paper, and pencils. Give the papers and pencils to your kids, and tell them to write a list of things they’re grateful for this year. For example, that can be getting a new pet, having a big birthday party, or going to Disneyland.
Afterward, stack the papers in the glass jar. Then, go outside to your yard with your kid. Start by digging a small hole in the ground, and bury the jar inside. Also, be sure to let your kid help you to reinforce the idea of helping others in their mind.
Leave the jar on the ground till next thanksgiving. Then, dig it out, and give the papers to your kid to read. This activity will avert their attention to the many positive aspects of life, and they’ll learn to appreciate its precious moments. Moreover, they’ll feel more connected to you through the activities you do together.
To Wrap Up
Learning how to enjoy life isn’t hard, but learning how to be thankful for the positive aspects of life may be a bit challenging for children. The activities we’ve mentioned above are an excellent way to teach children gratitude because they include what children love the most: fun!
For creative indoor activities, try crafting a gratitude tree or filling a gratitude jar with happy moments. If your kid is more outgoing and loves playing outside, you can arrange a gratitude scavenger hunt or accompany them as they hand out thank you notes and gratitude stones. We hope you’re excited to try these fun gratitude activities for children now!