This day was created by Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith from Mendota, Illinois, as a day to appreciate the many blessings and people in our lives.
Thank You Cards
Start out by writing thank you cards or notes to special people in your lives, perhaps for gifts received during the holidays. Grandmas and Grandpas always love to get something special in the mail, and it’s also a good exercise in thoughtfulness for your child, as well as good for writing practice!
Steps for Writing Thank You Notes:
- Gather materials – printed papers, fun pens, stamps, stickers, return address labels can make the process seem more enjoyable for kids. Seeing all of the pieces that go into writing a thank you note make it more exciting and the writing part won’t be the main focus. (You could even select a photo with your child and have special note cards printed, so your child has their own custom note cards.)
- Set aside time – Find a time when you won’t feel rushed. If you have multiple cards to send, break up the writing sessions over several days. Depending on your child, gauge their attention span and interest level appropriately. Snacks can ensure they won’t tire out sooner than later!
- Parent Involvement – Depending on the age of your child, you might be writing for them, while they add scribbles and stickers, or they might be completely independent with a little coaching from you. Here’s a website that gives some ideas and tips for all levels. It also gives some samples! https://allwording.com/thank-you-notes-from-kids/
- Final Touches – After the writing and decorating is complete, help your child put everything together with an envelope, mailing address, return address, and stamp. If you made your own card and don’t have an envelope that fits, here’s an envelope template where you can make your own!
- Visit the Post Office – My kids love going to the Post Office and putting letters into the slot. For younger kids, it’s a great way for kids to learn about how the mail system works.
It can be a challenge to teach gratefulness to young children, but fortunately most children don’t dwell on things they don’t have (like many adults), and are generally happy to play and have fun!
However, it’s a good lesson to start early, especially when they feel down about something. In fact, sometimes my son has difficulties looking on the ‘bright side’ of things and will feel sad about not getting to finish something he wanted to, or something he didn’t get to do, even though he got to do other fun things.
Here’s an exercise to help to focus on the good things in your life and your child’s life. This is a good exercise to practice every day, not just on a few days of the year. We try to do this around the dinner table, or at bedtime.
1. Start out by thinking of 5 good things about the day. (This can be as simple as getting to eat their favorite food, or that the sun was shining!)
2. As this exercise gets easier, increase it to 10 good things.
Each day is truly a blessing!
Thank You Books
“Thank You Miss Doover” by Robin Pulver – Jack learns the value of revision as he practices Miss Doover’s lesson on how to write a proper thank-you note.
“Thanks, Aunt Zelda!” by Cynthia MacGregor
“Curious George Says Thank You” by Margret & H.A. Rey – When George receives a thank-you card in the mail, he plans to send a card to all the people he wants to thank.