Monday, November 15, 2010

The 8 Days of Thanksgiving!

How Nannies and Au Pairs Can Teach Kids To Be Thankful

There are seven days of Kwanzaa, eight days of Hanukkah, and 12-days of Christmas. Why not incorporate the next eight working days until Thanksgiving teaching kids to be thankful?

Use your next eight working days to teach kids about kindness, compassion, and gratefulness. If you don't work Monday thru Friday then simply incorporate as many days as possible between today and Thanksgiving to help the children learn to be thankful.

Today, start a Turkey Day Diary. Purchase a notebook or journal for the family to pass around each day until, and including, Thanksgiving. Having each member of the family take the time to jot down what they're thankful for gives each family member a quiet time to reflect on the past year. Letting younger family members dictate their thoughts, and giving older kids colored pens to add their personal flair add other elements to the family's Turkey Day Diary. This will likely become a family tradition year after year, when the entire family can all can add their thankful thoughts to the diary and recollect what they noted the year before.

For younger kids you can make a book they can illustrate, especially if they cannot write yet. Use regular printer paper or construction paper in the color of their choosing. Take at least four sheets of paper and fold them in half (so you have at least eight pages). On the bottom, or top of each page, you should write, "I am thankful for ____ because it means ____."

Staple the left hand seam of the book or use a hole punch along the binding and string yarn or ribbon through the holes to make a pretty book. Then allow the child to tell you how to fill in the blanks and allow them to illustrate their book.

If the kids get stumped about what they are thankful for, you can also ask them what they dislike. We all know someone who has had a terminal illness or long hospital stay, who is grateful for each day they have. We don't have to scare kids or have them worry about terminal illness to learn to be thankful. But, children can understand the concept that if they dislike being sick because they can't play with their friends, that they are thankful for being healthy so they can play with their friends.

Overall, this activity of thinking about what you dislike, gets kids thinking about the aspects of their life that they most complain about and putting those into a positive light. We ought to realize there are people all over the world who would be grateful for having a bed to make, a house to clean, and food to clear off of the table.

Reference: Thankful Tots: Creative ways to teach children to be thankful By Gina Roberts-Grey


Eva said...

Great concept, will start the books today!

lovebeingananny said...

I agree with Eva it's a clever idea and why not start today?!