Helping Kids Cultivate a Thankful Heart

The Bible has lots to say about gratitude (Ephesians 5:20, Psalm 95:2-3, just to name a few verses!), and it's important to me that my kids learn to be content and thankful! In a world where commercials and advertising make it so dang easy to want more and more (hello, Amazon Prime, I'm looking at you), I want to set an example in gratefulness and teach my kids to be genuinely thankful.

Howeverrrrr, I don't love some of the dorky paper turkeys floating around on Pinterest. Can my kids make something related to thankfulness without it being kind of tacky? That's what inspired this printable, really. I wanted something that wasn't hard to look at and that I could actually hang on my walls! Download your copy of the Thankful Coloring Sheet here.

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Ways to help encourage gratitude with your kids: 

1. Practice saying thank you. 
I go so far as to make my kids thank me when I hand them stuff!

Emma: Can I have milk? Me: Sure, here's your cup. [Crickets] Me: Emma, can you say "thank you, Mommy"? 

It's not because I personally need to feel appreciated; it's actually because I want them to thank others when they're not with me! I want them to look beyond themselves and be appreciative of others, and that starts with helping them routinely practice saying thank you. 

2. Begin prayer with "thank you, God, for..." 
Another way I'm trying to instill contentment in Aiden and Emma is to have them each thank God for things during our pre-bedtime family prayer time. Right now, most of their prayers are just thank-yous: "Thank you, God, for Grandmom Hood; thank you God for Daddy," etc. 

3. Thankful lists, kid-edition! 
This year, I had Aiden and Emma tell me what they were thankful for and "try and draw a picture of it in each space." This is what happens when you ask 2 and 3-year-olds to draw a picture, haha! Lots of scribbles. The kids had lots of fun explaining to me what each "drawing" was, and I tried to label some of them so others could see what was on their thankful lists! I now have the lists hanging in the kitchen so we can see them and continue to be reminded to be thankful. You can download this Thankful Coloring Sheet here.

What are some things you'd suggest to help cultivate grateful hearts? Have you done any fun Thanksgiving crafts this year?

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