Gratitude has many benefits from improving overall outlook on life to increasing confidence and helping us sleep better. Starting a gratitude practice with your kids is a great way to bond over something powerful and positive.
This Is Your Brain on Gratitude: 9 Benefits of Practicing Gratitude
Not sure how to get the kids on board?
Try these three easy peasy activities to get your kids practicing gratitude in a fun and simple way!
3 Fun Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your Kids:
1. Light a Gratitude Candle
Pick a specific time of day for this gratitude practice, for example breakfast or dinnertime. It’s ideal to do this when the whole family can be together.
Light a candle and put it in the middle of the table, this will be your gratitude candle. While the candle is lit, everyone at the table takes turns saying the things they are grateful for that day. After the last person goes, you end the practice by blowing out the candle.
This short and simple gratitude practice takes very little time and effort but has huge benefits. This is such an easy way to introduce your kids to expressing gratitude and cultivating mindfulness without asking a whole lot of them. There isn’t much to object to!
15 Fantastic Ways to Teach Mindfulness to Kids
Practicing gratitude daily helps it become more of a habit for kids, and helps them adopt a mind-set they are more likely to slip into at other times on their own. The lighting of the candle helps to mark the start and the end of the practice and adds nice ambiance, too!
2. Blessings in a Bag
This gratitude practice can start out as an arts and crafts project that then becomes a daily gratitude practice.
Give your children a brown paper bag, the blessings bag, to decorate any way they wish with crayons, stickers and anything else they want. Give them enough time to really create a beautiful masterpiece.
Once their bag is beautified, give them strips of paper to write or draw their blessings on. Explain to them that blessings are what they are grateful and happy to have in their lives. It can be people, places, feelings, things, etc.
As they complete a strip of paper they fold it up and place it in the blessings bag.
Practicing gratitude daily helps it become more of a habit, and helps kids to adopt a mind-set they are more likely to slip into at other times on their own.
As a one-time project, your kids can hang on to their blessings bags and look through them from time to time.
To turn this into a daily activity, choose a time of day (I find right before bed to be a great time to reflect on the day’s blessings) to have your child create a new blessing card to place in the bag.
Whether you do this once, or make it a daily gratitude practice, the bag can then be used during times of celebration and happiness or even sadness and chaos to look through and be reminded of all we have to be grateful for.
This Is the Secret to Raising Grounded, Healthy Kids (From a Psychologist)
3. The Top 5
This is a fun gratitude game even the youngest of your children will enjoy playing.
Ask your child to quickly name the top five foods they are grateful for and let them come up with them as quickly as possible. Then move onto a new topic such as the top five places they have visited, the top five feelings, even top five TV shows.
You can get silly with it, asking them for the top five toothpaste flavors, shoe colors or bones in the body! Let them get silly and creative in asking you for your top five as well.
Next time you notice the kid’s energy is low or you’re feeling an overall negative vibe in the house, start playing without any introduction. “Kids! Quick! Name your top five…”
This game is a super good energy shifter and mood lifter that will help with your most challenging of times.
If Your Child Has Anxiety, Try These 5 Soothing Affirmations for Kids
Practicing Gratitude With Your Kids Is Fun and Rewarding
Starting a gratitude practice doesn’t have to be a daunting task. And don’t think that because your kids are little they are too young to start!
Gratitude is something that can be taught and practiced with even the youngest or your kids, and with these three activities you’ll be off to a great start!