For those of you who don’t know, one of my favorite parts of my work with Kids in Service is meeting with the children of my local Kids in Service group. I have run this group for the past 4 year and the last two years we have had a word of the year that acts as our theme. Last year the word of the year was Kindness and this year it is Gratitude. To start off our meeting this month, I read Look and be Grateful by Tomie dePaola. It is a very simple book but a nice quick read for younger children.
After the book, I had all of the kids look closely at the board. It said, “Wall of Gratitude” and I had written each of their names on a star stickie note and placed it on the board. This meeting had children ages 0-12 and the younger children each lit up when they found their name. One little boy, wanted to hold onto his name (and the name of his baby sister), he was so excited. I told them that I was grateful for each and every one of them and that is why their names were on the board.
I gave each family a stack of stickie notes and asked them to brainstorm some things that they were thankful for and place them up on the board. This activity was so sweet to witness and I loved seeing the board grow and grow with gratitude. This is such a simple project but makes such a great visual for younger children.
After finishing our projects for the day (we stuffed 144 Easter eggs for foster children and made 24 dignity bags for a women’s homeless shelter), I gathered the children back on the rug. I had them close their eyes and think about one of the blessings that they put up on the board. Each one of them shared with such pride and enthusiasm. I gave each family a package of stickie notes, so that they could create their own wall of gratitude at home. I encourage you and your family to do the same.
Maybe you place your stickies on a window, the slider, the basement door or on your bedroom doors. If each person writes one thing they are grateful for each day for a month, think of all of the stickie notes that will have collected. If stickie notes are not your thing, share blessings at dinner or bedtime, start a family gratitude journal or give each child their own journal. My children get these gratitude journals in their Easter basket each year. They have space each day for words or pictures (or both) depending on the level of your child.
Daily gratitude is something that EVERYONE should practice as it helps us to be more mindful. Focusing on the things you are grateful for, makes it hard to focus on negative feelings. Help your children to start this daily practice now, so that they will carry it into adulthood. How do you and your family practice gratitude?
The books in this post contain Amazon Affiliate Links. If you click on one of the pictures of the books and choose to purchase a book through this site, 20% of all proceeds will be donated to the Kids in Service charity of the season. This season the charity is Love Does. You can learn more about Love Does HERE.