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November is the most underrated month, as it is the calm before the bustling holiday season and a time for us to come together with our families. Because of Thanksgiving, it is also a time for counting our blessings and giving thanks for all the blessings in our lives.
As grandmas, we have a unique opportunity to instill a sense of gratitude in our grandkids, which is a quality that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives. Here are 12 easy ways to teach our grandkids to be thankful this month:
1. Whisper thanks to the wind
Take your grandkids outside on a windy November day and tell them each to whisper something they’re thankful for into the wind. When they do this, they are sending gratitude out into the world in the most gentle and unassuming of ways!
2. Gratitude stones
Collect smooth stones and have the kids paint them with images or words of gratitude. Once finished, you can place these gratitude stones around the house or garden as happy reminders. (Believe me, seeing these on a bad day can genuinely make things better.)
3. Thankful morning messages
This is one that I like to do, and our grandkids can easily do it, too! Start each day by writing a simple thankful message on a sticky note and then stick it on the fridge or their bedroom door to inspire a day started with gratitude.
4. Bake with love
Whip up some homemade treats together for neighbors or friends. (I have lots of fun and easy recipes you can make together!) While you bake or after you deliver these goodies, you can discuss how sharing and giving are forms of thankfulness for the people in our lives.
5. The gratitude game
During family time, play a game where you roll a dice, and, depending on the number, everyone shares something they’re thankful for, from something small to something big. If you like, you can even play this at the Thanksgiving dinner table!
6. Memory book of blessings
Create a scrapbook filled with photos and mementos of the year, and discuss how each memory brought joy and something to be thankful for. (Need I mention that scrapbooking with your grandkids is an excellent activity and hobby that you will both enjoy?)
7. Family tree of thanks
Craft a family tree where each leaf carries a family member’s name and something you’re all thankful for about them. Like the gratitude game, this is something you can do during Thanksgiving dinner, or if you do it beforehand, it can even serve as your table centerpiece.
8. Thankful bedtime tales
End the day with a story that emphasizes thankfulness – this can be a personal anecdote or read aloud from a cozy storybook. Let the quiet of bedtime carry the day’s gratitude into peaceful dreams. Good night!
9. Charity coin collection
Decorate a jar with your grandkids, and every day, add any spare change to it. At the end of the month (or whichever time frame you allot), donate it to a cause that matters to them, demonstrating thankfulness through giving.
10. Thanksgiving countdown chain
Did you and your kids used to make countdown chains? Me, too, and I also love doing it with my grandbabies! For this one, you will want to craft a paper chain with the days left until Thanksgiving, and on each link, write down something you’re grateful for, creating a visual representation of gratitude.
11. Appreciation awards
Make ‘appreciation awards’ for family members. To do this, have your grandkids consider why they are thankful for each person and present the awards during your Thanksgiving gathering. (Believe me: Your guests will love receiving an “award,” especially one that reflects their personality and kindness!)
12. Gratefulness garland
Together with your grandkids, cut out paper leaves or any autumn-themed shapes. Then, each day, write down something they’re thankful for on a leaf and string it onto a garland. By Thanksgiving, you’ll have a decorative reminder of a month’s worth of blessings to display.
Who knew that teaching gratitude and thankfulness could be so fun? I hope you enjoy these little tips and tricks and that you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving! God bless.