Gratitude is having a real moment in the spotlight lately, thanks to research showing that giving thanks can make you happier. Of all the cultural trends that come and go, this is one of the best. I hope it’s here to stay!
As Christians, we don’t just give thanks because it makes us happy. We practice gratitude because we believe “It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give [God] thanks.”
We know that gratitude has many benefits, both spiritual and psychological, so we might wonder how we can teach this virtue to our children. The prospect can seem daunting.
How can we encourage our children to have grateful, humble hearts in a world that seems to cheer for self-centered entitlement?
One simple but powerful way is to model gratitude ourselves. Children learn best by imitation, so let’s take time to share things we are thankful for with them. For example, many families have a daily practice of thanking God for his blessings.
This is the perfect time of year to set aside time for giving thanks. Here are 5 easy crafts you can do at home today to get in the right spirit for the holiday. (But of course, if you’re short on time, don’t forget that a craft is not really necessary: Simply giving thanks together is meaningful enough!)
What you need to create this eye-catching Thankful Jar is the following:
- An empty mason jar
- Tissue paper
- Mod Podge or liquid glue
It’s a great craft for kids to make themselves. Check out the full tutorial at Buggy and Buddy!
These smooth and sturdy Gratitude Stones are a tangible symbol of thankfulness. Here’s what you’ll need to make them:
- Stones (washed and dried)
- Tissue paper
- Glossy Mod Podge
Check out the tutorial, as well as 5 meaningful ways to use the stones, over at Fireflies and Mud Pies.
3Garland of Gratitude
This sweet craft makes a beautiful fall decoration as well as a reminder of God’s blessings! Simply cut paper into leaf shapes, write a reason to be thankful on each one, and attach each one to a string. You’ll need these materials:
- Hole punch or clothespins
- Yarn or string
An even prettier option is to use coffee filters instead of paper: The effect is like stained glass. This is the gratitude craft I want to make with my kids Thanksgiving weekend! Just wait until they’re dry to write on them.
These little pumpkins make a darling centerpiece! And putting them together is a fun and mess-free activity to keep little ones occupied before the Thanksgiving meal. You’ll need the following:
- Orange and green construction paper or cardstock
- Toilet paper or paper towel cardboard tubes
This charming Thanksgiving wreath helps your child focus on the things they’re grateful for all year, and it looks lovely hanging on the wall or door! You’ll need these materials:
- Construction paper (red, yellow, and orange)
- Leaf templates
- Glue sticks
- Thin cardboard
Find the tutorial at Hands On As We Grow.