Finishing up the last week of our “10 Ways Kids Can Rock It Healthy” journal, let’s talk about gratitude and giving thanks. As Thanksgiving Day is coming up this week, let’s go beyond how this day began over 400 years ago and teach our children the true meaning of “giving thanks”.
Every day we hear about some kind of injustice in the world and yet we very rarely hear about kindness, gratitude, or generosity. As we approach Thanksgiving Day, it’s easy to just host a big dinner, eat our favorite foods and then end the day stuffed and happy. We go through days of stress preparing for the celebration, but do we really appreciate and understand why we “celebrate” Thanksgiving? While years ago it was meant to give thanks and to join a union between two groups, now, is it really just a grand excuse to indulge on rich foods and watch the parade on TV?
This Thanksgiving, let’s teach our kids to be just a bit more thankful, a bit more appreciative, and a whole lot more giving. With Christmas fast approaching it’s even more crucial for our kids to learn about giving rather than taking. Below I’ve listed 10 ways our kids can show appreciation during Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays. These are fun and easy ideas kids of any age and gender can try. And for some fun and natural crafting ideas for your kids, check out Green Craft Kids (http://www.greenkidcrafts.com/3-upcycled-thanksgiving-crafts/).
10 Ways Kids Can Give Thanks:
– Find a charity that you like and donate what you can this holiday season. If you can volunteer your time, all the better. For more info about charity donations visit: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0074-giving-charity
– For school aged children, show thanks to your teachers by making them handmade cards or gifts they can use and display. While you’re at it, make handmade cards to give to other school staff that you interact with on a regular basis.
– Help clean up around the house without being asked by your parents.
– Help clean up your neighbors front yards. Pick up any leaves or debris that may be on their lawn or front yard.
– Make little “thank you” packs to hand out to the local police station/fire station/military base. You can include items such as healthy candy, a gift card to a coffee shop or restaurant, and other healthy snacks.
– If there are siblings, be extra kind to them. Show them that you appreciate them as much as possible.
– Be kind to nature and the environment. Plant extra flowers and trees to help create cleaner air.
– Make a Gratitude Box. Write down what you are grateful for (could be anything small or big) and put it in the box. Encourage your parents and sibling to do the same. Then, at the end of the week take out all the grateful notes from the box and talk about it as a family.
– Make a Kindness Box. Write down a kindness act you want to do and put it in the box. At the end of the week pull out a kindness note from the box and perform that act the next day or following week, and so forth.
– Be thankful to yourself. Appreciate who you are and what you’ve accomplished in life. Know that you can do great things as you get older.
Being kind, grateful, and compassionate shouldn’t be a hardship nor should it seem like a chore. Children are inherently accepting and kind and we should encourage them.
*Photo courtesy of MarthaStewart.com
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