May 5, 2020
Day two on the gratitude train falls conveniently on “Giving Tuesday.”
Any “Friends” fans out there? Remember the episode when Joey and Phoebe are arguing over “selfless or selfish good deeds”? I always think about this episode when I am “selflessly” doing something to improve the state of the world. The reality is: doing good for others and the world FEELS GOOD!
How can we instill gratitude and create a new generation of “helpers”? It starts with conversations and rituals.
A few weeks ago, we created an “I’m bored jar” with activity inspiration and a few notes on feelings. Today, we are going to change the narrative: A gratitude jar! Ask your kiddies what they are grateful for!
Project of the Day: Gratitude Jar
Decorate your jar! In keeping with our Montessori theme, lay out specific materials for your child to use in their creation—perhaps you have paint or colored paper. Once the supplies are collected, let the kiddos choose their materials! I designed a heart on a small piece of paper and then fastened it to the front of the jar! This is a perfect opportunity for the kiddos to channel their creativity.
What should we put in the jar? This depends a bit on how old your child is. Also, keep in mind this is an ongoing project. They do not need to add everything into the gratitude jar in one sitting. This works well as a guided activity. Perhaps you can create your own jar and brainstorm moments of gratitude together! As you think about people, places, things, moments, etc., that you are grateful for, write them down and pop them in the jar.
Rituals or routines are always helpful in solidifying a concept or abstract idea in children. On Tuesday before dinner or once a month, could you spend a few minutes chatting about being grateful? Routines will help spark ideas and conversations with older kiddos! When you have a new idea, write it down and drop it in the jar. To help ingrain this ritual, establish a cadence for reading the notes you’ve written. Perhaps it’s once a week or once a month—that’s up to you! It’s important for us to reflect on the things we are thankful for, especially during these times of uncertainty.
Most important direction, as always: HAVE FUN!
More resources to follow in the coming days. Feedback and more ideas welcome!
Above all, be well and stay healthy!