How good is your family at expressing your gratitude to God for His many blessings? Now, how good is your family at expressing gratitude to those around them? There’s a fun activity you can do to help you and your kids be more observant of those deserving your thanks and make it more likely you and your kids will express their gratitude.
Start by having your kids design a gratitude “card”. Make it small enough so you can print several to a sheet of paper, but large enough so your kids can write a sentence on the back of the design. You may want to print on card stock to make them more sturdy, but regular paper works fine, too. If you don’t own a printer, your kids will just need to produce multiple versions of their artwork!
Now comes the fun part! Brainstorm a list of people they can thank. Maybe a neighbor who always asks them how they are doing in school. Or the mail person for bringing them their favorite magazine. Your list can be as long and creative as you would like. Then on the back of each card, you can write, “Thank you for…” and complete the sentence. For pre-writers, you can write the sentence and have them illustrate it.
Then deliver them! Afterwards, talk with your kids about the responses you got. Point out that these people didn’t necessarily expect thanks, but were so pleased and encouraged when they were appreciated for their efforts.
Make it a habit for each of you to carry some of these cards with you wherever you go. Fill them out in real time and give them as soon as someone does something simple for you. You can even make it a fun “competition” and see who in your family can thank the most people in a day or week. Over time, your family will get in the habit of noticing the things others do for you and thanking them for it.