Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year when many families celebrate annual traditions, gather together, and enjoy a lavish meal, but the root of Thanksgiving is about giving thanks — historically for the blessing of the harvest. Today, we more commonly see individuals giving thanks for family, friends, health, happiness, and so much more.
Does your preschooler express gratefulness? In the spirit of this season of gratitude, we have decided to share some helpful tips to teach your child about showing their appreciation and giving thanks, not just on Thanksgiving Day, but all year long. Get started with these 4 tips:
Model Grateful Behavior
Preschool children learn best by example. What are you doing — or not doing — to show your preschooler gratitude? You can easily start modeling grateful behavior by simply saying, “please” and “thank you.” On top of using your manners, make an effort to regularly express what you are grateful for; whether it’s during dinner, on the car ride to sports events, or right before bed.
Acknowledge Gestures Of Gratitude
When you model grateful behavior, chances are your child will pick up on your behavior and begin to show grateful behavior as well. When your child demonstrates gratitude, make sure to let them know that you recognize their appreciation and that you are proud of their behavior. This positive attention will reinforce their grateful behavior so they don’t just show grateful behavior around Thanksgiving, but rather all year long.
Hands-on activities are one of the best ways to teach preschool children about giving thanks. Preschool children love a good craft where they can use their imaginations, get their hands messy, and create a masterpiece all on their own. Teachers and parents love crafts because they are not just having fun, but they are also learning by doing. Simply Google, “teaching gratitude crafts” for a wide range of crafts and activities for you and your preschooler to enjoy completing together.
Give To Others
Gratefulness should not only be about receiving, but also about giving. Help cultivate a feeling of gratefulness in your child by creating opportunities for them to give back to others. A great way you can do this is by going through your child’s items and creating a pile of items to donate, collecting cans for a local food drive, or purchasing a gift for a family in need.
Bonus Tip: Make Gratitude The “Norm”
While giving thanks is more commonly recognized during Thanksgiving, it’s important to model, acknowledge, and teach gratitude year-round to truly instill this behavior into your child’s everyday life. Whether you are simply saying thank you or you are out giving to those less fortunate than you, practice gratitude regularly — not just during the Thanksgiving season.
It’s never too early or too late to teach your child about gratitude. We hope these tips give you some ideas on how to implant gratitude into your young child’s mind and foster grateful behavior all year long.
Interested in our DUMBO preschool education program? Contact us today to learn more.