Most nights, after Little G and I read books we take turns expressing something we are grateful for. I often use the practice to highlight something special relating to her: coloring together, something funny she did that made me laugh, or recognizing a positive risk she took. Recently though, I’ve been expanding the conversation to express gratitude for bigger concepts in life and my experiences outside of her.
Thankful by Eileen Spinelli is a wonderful book to read year-round to your older preschool to early elementary school-aged child. The book highlights a variety of people in our community, ranging from gardeners to artists to pastors, and briefly describes their different perspectives of gratitude. This book helps us consider others’ unique values and helps us “go bigger” by recognizing that there is so much to be thankful for outside of our immediate relationships and homes.
In November, Little G and I made a “gratitude garland” where we wrote little notes about what we were thankful for on colorful paper leaves. We asked other members of our family to write their own notes and then strung them all together to make our family’s gratitude garland. Doing this activity together allowed Little G to broaden her understanding of gratitude.