10 Ways to Practice Gratitude with Your Children

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, and the holidays around the corner, we wanted to share some ways you can practice gratitude with your children. Did you know studies show that people determined to be happy also had high feelings of gratitude? And what better way to ring in the season then with the below tips:

Expressing gratitude: Encourage sharing of words like “It was kind of you…,” “It really helped me when…,” even a simple, genuine “thank you” can go a long way.

Pay it forward: It’s so easy this time of year to get caught up in the moment, but by taking an afternoon to volunteer at your church or a local soup kitchen is a great way to give back your time, and be grateful for what you have in your life.

Create a gratitude “gift list,” so after your kids told you what they want materially (or before!), you can ask them to make a list of what they are currently grateful for.

Rose and Thorn Game – When all else fails, games will always win. One night, go around the dinner table, and ask for everyone’s “rose” and “thorn” of the day, week, month or year. Celebrate the roses! It’ll smell so sweet.

ABCs of Gratitude – In a seated position, with your eyes closed, think of something you are grateful for that begins with each letter of the alphabet. A is for Aunt Megan, B is bananas, C is for my cat… etc. Try to get as far as you can!

Bedtime Thank You’s – Just like the habit of reading a bedtime story, ask your kids what they are thankful for each night before bed. It’ll leave them feeling thankful before a restful night’s sleep.

Start a gratitude journal –  This is one for your older kids, but little ones can always give it try! Every day, note three things that you are grateful for. This can be kept private or shared amongst the family – whatever they are most comfortable with.

Best Thing Game – Have them fill in the blanks… The best thing about this _____ is ______.

Make a thankfulness window – Perfect idea to try the day of or before Thanksgiving with your family. Cut out fun turkey hands or leaves, have each child write down what they are thankful for, and have them stick it on the window using painters tape.

Make thankful cards – Write to a loved one, family member, teacher, friend, hey, even your mailman why you are thankful for them. It doesn’t even have to be for something they did for you specifically, but just for being amazing 365 days a year.

One way we are celebrating our gratitude this season? By sharing our thankfulness for you: Our fans, our supporters, our evangelists… we would not be anywhere near where we are today without you! The Surprise Ride family thanks you, and wishes you a happy Thanksgiving!