There are many facets to being a parent. It is rewarding but has it challenges. One of our biggest challenges is teaching the children to appreciate the things they have. We live in a world that is made up of marketers (myself included) that always put the newest, and shiniest things in front and center! The children are not immune, they are enamored just as much as we as adults are. All the more reason why we need to work so hard to make sure we are teaching toddlers thankfulness.
To put things in perspective for the kids, I try to make sure they understand that we are truly blessed. We don’t have as much as many others but we have way more than we truly need. We are not wanting for anything but they can always think of more “things” they would love to have! If you have little ones, you know exactly what I am talking about.
Rather than focus on what we want, be are taking the time to focus on what we have. That is where the idea of the “Thankful Tree” came in.
After discussing all the basic things we have that so many do not, I let the children come up with their own ideas of things they were happy and thankful to have. Some of the things they choose might have seemed silly to me but they had their reasons. Each of them meant something to the children. It was precious to have them explain just why they were so happy to have each one, including each other.
They didn’t even know they were being taught a lesson. To the children, they were crafting but I was working on molding their hearts in the process. Why not take 30 minutes out of your busy day to see what your child is thankful for, it just might surprise you!
You only need a few simple things and a little time.
- Colored paper
- Thankful Tree printable
- Glue stick
- Pencil or Pen
We choose colored paper the kids liked and then used a circle cutter for our shapes. You can use a paper punch or freehand any shape.
Then I had the children write the names of what they were thankful for.
After they were finished, I went over the pencil with pen to make the names darker but I tried to keep it as close to their own handwriting as possible.
Then the children glued them onto their tree wherever they felt was right.
I had planned to frame them but the kids wanted them to be placed on the frig for now. I think we will add them onto a piece of burlap to hang.
If you are like me and working on teaching your toddler thankfulness, be sure to check out the latest Sam’s Club Healthy Living Made Simple Magazine #SimplyHealthy. The latest edition has a great article on Teaching Thankfulness to Toddlers. You can find it by downloading the Healthy Living Made Simple App available for Apple products.