May 6, 2020
For you beautiful parents out there: I hope you are taking some moments for you…even if they are piecemeal between naps and activities and zoom meetings and meals.
I love listening to Brene Brown on the connection between joy and gratitude. I just revisited her book “Daring Greatly,” -she is a freaking queen. For a few minutes of joy and gratitude with Brene and Oprah, click this link. Follow her lead and practice gratitude in lieu of doing “fear.” Can we find a practice of gratitude in our everyday lives? Even for a moment?
Book to Pair with Activity
It wouldn’t be “Gratitude Week” without at least one reading of “The Giving Tree.” If you are in need of a little emotional release, this book is tried and true for a good cry.
Project of the Day: The Gratitude Tree
- Construction paper (or any paper)
This project was, admittedly, a bit more involved than I anticipated when I set out to create my tree. Step one was tracing a tree on brown paper. You can also just draw a large tree on white paper and save yourself some time on all the snip snipping. If you have older kiddos working on their cutting skills…this is a great exercise!
Cut the tree out and a strip of green for the “grass.” Next, I glued the grass to the blue paper and then glued tree on top of both. I used wet glue here (great for the children and fun for sensory), it was a bit messier than I had intended with all of the loose branches. If I were to re-do this project, I would draw the tree onto the paper! Pro-tip!
Decorate the grass while the paint dries. Lay out some crayons or markers and let the kiddies go nuts! Express yourself!
While the paint is drying, you can cut out leaves and begin to discuss things we are grateful for. Model some examples for your little ones to get their minds activated. It is also completely fine to step away from this project and come back to it later. Mealtime is often a wonderful moment to reflect on gratitude.
Glue your leaves onto the tree for a beautiful vision of some of the things in your life you are grateful for.
I found this exercise to be helpful. In moments of stress or anxiety, how wonderful to have a practice speaking or drawing or creating art based in the concrete reality of joy and thanks. All of my fears and worries drifted away for the few minutes I was reflecting and filling in my tree.
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!