With Fall comes cooler winds and fantastic colours as well as Thanksgiving. J is my highly active, headstrong and curious preschooler. One of the things that I have included on her fall activities for preschoolers list is to be deliberately exposed to being thankful. In order to do this, I created a list of a few activities ideas that I will use. Today I will share them with you as well.
1. Say It
In our home we are constantly trying to remind J to say thank you whenever she gets something. If she wants a cup of milk, I will not give it to her unless she says please and then I wait for her to say thank you. No thank you means no milk. Other times we simply remind her by saying, “J are you forgetting to say something?” She then stops for a second to think and says the appropriate words. I am aware that it will take a few years to perfect but I prefer to sew the seeds now as one of our fall activities for preschoolers.
2. Model Behavior
It is not enough to simply tell your child to be thankful, you have to display the qualities that you want them to learn. I grew up hearing this phrase in Jamaica, “actions speak louder than words”. Simply put, seeing you in action is far more effective than saying the same instruction a million times. I now make a conscious effort to say thank you whenever J or anyone does something that warrants my saying thank you. It might seem silly telling my husband thanks for passing the ketchup but I am finding that whenever I overemphasize these things, J picks them up.
3. Prayer Time
We are a Christian family and we pray every night. For the last few weeks I have changed up our prayer routine. Instead of Mar praying and we all kneel with our hands clasped, I now let J pray first and then we take over. The first few nights I simply said the words “Dear God, thank you for Mommy, Daddy, Baby C etc” and she caught on to the point that she now gives thanks for the things that she sees important in her life. She prays for her toys, the playground and her family. If you want to know what your preschooler thinks is important, this is one of the ways to find out. Its an eye opener.
4. Story Time
Another way we are doing this is to point out examples in the stories that we read. Even if the story is not specifically about giving thanks, I try to work it in somehow.
I am sure that by next Thanksgiving I will have another list and it will include both my children but this is what we are working on for our 2014 all activities for preschoolers.
How are you teaching your preschooler to be thankful? Let me know by commenting. I would love to hear what has worked for you.