5 Ways to Teach Your Kids Thanks {10 Days of Gratitude Challenge}

image This morning I was in great company with a room of Moms, doing a little talk on teaching our kids to be thankful.

I stacked a pile of things from home at the front door  to use this morning and my husband said after loading the car, "Baby - next time you teach one of these things, instead of bringing the house, just invite them all over!" He's right, I love to bring my home with me.

I want Moms to know that they don't have to go buy stuff to create a cozy space and they don't have to be a Pinterest expert to do an activity with their toddlers. Just normal stuff can usher in a thankful heart.

I shared this quote by Ann Voskamp that speaks of the importance of gratitude and how Jesus showed us that giving thanks always precedes the miracle, like in the loaves of bread story.

"Jesus embraces His not enough... He gives thanks... and there is more than enough!" - Ann Voskamp

Living a life that thanks God really can lead to a heart that has enough. I love how Psalm 9:1 from the Message puts it.

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Take a few minutes in the holiday hustle and write down some of the wonders in the life of your family. Use one of these simple ideas  with your people to get started.

  1. Home Scavenger Hunt: Make a list with your toddlers of 10 things in their home that they love. Use that list as a scavenger hunt that day, or spread it out the whole week. Have your kids run and find the things on the list and display them somewhere special. If they love it, do it every day!
  2. Picture Memory Lists: Have your older kids of any age pull out the picture books from family vacations or years past. Have them flip through memories and make a list of their top 10 favorites to be thankful for.
  3. Nature Collection Jars: If you have a nature lover who happens to collect everything on every walk you've ever taken.. display their collections of feathers, acorns, rocks, shells, cotton, sand, and sticks in jars. Set them out during Thanksgiving week!
  4. Sidewalk Chalk Thanks: Spend the weeks outside time filling the driveway with thankful drawings and words. This will not work for my Alaskan friends who have snow already - but y'all can do dry erase on the bathroom mirror!
  5. Thankful Tags: You can use shipping tags for this or sticky notes! Go around the house and label the things you need and love with a few words of thanks.

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Maybe this season can be one where we find a little more contentment with our own lives first. Our kids will catch on if they see us recognizing gifts and taking time to write down wonders.

~ Jenny