It’s a fact that practicing gratitude is good for our overall health and developing a more positive outlook on life. My Christian faith has greatly influenced my views on practicing gratitude, and although I don’t all have it down perfectly, it is something that I try to constantly grow in and model to my children. Here are some of my favorite passages from the Bible that reveal the significance of having a grateful heart and mindset:
- Now our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:13
- I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your deeds. Psalm 9:1
- Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.” John 11:41
- And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
- Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
As our family practices gratitude, we found an exceptional book that can be used in all families and classrooms, regardless of faith background. It is called Giving Thanks! More Than 100 Ways to Say Thank You by Ellen Surrey. The book gives prompts to help you and your child/student think of various areas of life in which they can express gratitude.
Please feel free to leave a comment sharing something that you are thankful for today!
For more reading and activities, check out my post Helping Children Cultivate Thankful Hearts.
Best Ages: pre-k – 2nd grade
- For one week, take a prompt from the book and go around the table at mealtime to allow each family member to share their response.
- Select some of your favorite prompts from the book and with your child, write responses on slips of brightly colored paper. Staple or tape the strips of paper to make a paper link chain. Hang in your child’s bedroom as a visual reminder of all that you are thankful for!
- If you are a Christian family, take one evening this week to write down a list of what you are thankful for. (This could be incorporated in a devotional or prayer time.) Then use that list to pray together as a family. Hang the list in a prominent place to reflect on throughout the rest of the week.
- Use as a journal prompt each morning for a week – or incorporate into morning work or circle time.
- Have students work together in small groups to make posters of thanksgiving.
- Write a note to someone you are thankful for – a family member, neighbor, friend or someone in the school. Use this as an opportunity to teach the skill of writing a letter. If desired, allow students to address and mail letters!