Quarterly at my job, I try to equip parents with activities they can do with their children that will instill within them virtues and values.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I am equipping each family with a Gratitude Jar.
They are easy enough to make with what you have around your house: a mason or ball jar, plastic or glass, I’m sure you have something you can use. You can even have your kiddos decorate it and make that an activity you do together.
This Gratitude Jar poses the question: What are you thankful for?
What a great question to ask this time of year, and actually all year long to cultivate a spirit of thankfulness.
You simply have your child/children each take a slip of paper and write what they are thankful for and add it to the jar. I found a few cute activity prompts that you can choose to take one step further and put your thankfulness into action.
You could talk about being thankful for your country and write a letter to a soldier. Another idea is to teach your children how to write thank you notes and thank those people that perhaps never get thanked, like mail carriers, trash collectors, or maybe even your newspaper delivery person. Another idea is to talk about being thankful for our education and donate old books to a little library or have your child make a gift for their teacher and say thank you.
A few more ideas include being thankful for your grandparents and giving them a call to say you love them, or looking at old pictures and remembering special memories that you are thankful for. One last idea that I am planning for my boys is to be thankful for creativity and paint an art canvas of what we are thankful for.
I’m encouraging the parents to fill out the Gratitude Jar every day and then take them out and read them on Thanksgiving as a family.
As long as I can remember, we started our Thanksgiving meal by going around the table and saying what we are most thankful for. This year, we will have a jar full of gratitude to read and ponder all of the things we are thankful for.