Teaching Toddlers Thankfulness & Free Printable! - Handmade in the Heartland

Teaching Toddlers Thankfulness & Free Printable!

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Teaching Toddler Thankfulness Activity

This whole parenting thing sometimes has me at a loss, at the end of the day I wonder am I doing enough? Are they going to know everything they should when they enter kindergarden? Are they going to be kind, loving and happy people? Am I teaching them everything I want them to know?  One thing I have come to realize over and over again is that my kids are learning more from how I act than anything I tell them to do.  I was reading this article 'Teaching Thankfulness to Toddlers' in Sam's Club's healthy living made simple magazine app, (app available in itunes only)and loved the insights that I read.  The first reassuring fact in the article reminded me to relax and understand that ungrateful behavior is normal in toddlers, thanks for the reassurance because my kids sure do act ungrateful alot of the time! However this point I have come to learn is very true: "When parents say “please” and “thank you” to their child, they learn that behavior. The same goes when you express gratitude to store clerks, doctors or your spouse. Keep in mind that it can take a while before they start to imitate your actions."

Teaching Toddler Thankfulness Activity

Lately I have caught Max playing with his sister using a sweet, kind voice and very similar words that I use when I talk to them.  He will say things like "Oh, June do you want to go play cars with me?" and then while they are playing I hear him say often "thats a great job, June!" "you did it, good job!" When he first started doing this I could have died I was so happy, one of my biggest desires with having kids close together was the hope that they would play together, have fun together and become best friends. After a little while I started to realize that he was totally mimicking me, and it struck me how important it is that I set the very best example I can for him to replicate.  

This month we turn our minds to the blessings that we have and the grateful spirit that surrounds Thanksgiving.  Sometimes around this time of year I start to wonder is I am as grateful the rest of the year as I am during the holidays.  I would like to think that I live with a grateful heart, and teach that principle to my children.  Last week I picked up Max from school on Thursday and decided we would go to McDonalds for lunch, that kid loves Mcd's, and right after I handed his cheeseburger to the backseat he said without prompting "Thanks so much for taking us to McDonald's mom!".  I love moments like that when you get a glimpse that you are doing something right. :) 


Teaching Toddler Thankfulness Activity

This morning I made this fun "I am Thankful for you" card and did a little thankfulness practice.  I printed out the cards, cut them down a little so they are 5x7 and then let the kids color them.  While they were coloring one I asked Max who he was thankful for and then started writing the inside of one of the cards to that person, I then asked him why he was thankful for that person and wrote those thoughts down as well.  At first he needed some prompting but as he started to think more he came up with some things on his own, although at moments he was completely absorbed by coloring...
Download the Thankful for you card HERE

Teaching Toddler Thankfulness Activity

This is such a simple and fun activity and the recipients of these little notes with just adore them.  The kids had fun coloring and I had fun writing down toddler-isms for our friends and family.  This is an easy way to celebrate the great people in your family's life and let them know how thankful you are for them. 

Teaching Toddler Thankfulness Activity

Do you do anything in your house to promote gratitude? I'd love to hear in the comments! I used to have a gratitude journal back in college and I would write down a few things every night before bed of what I was grateful for that day.  That seems like a great practice I should pick up again.  :) 

Teaching Toddler Thankfulness Activity

Happy November friends! I hope your enjoying this fun season. This post was generously sponsored by Sam's Club, their Healthy Living Made Simple magazine is available in the app- download it in the Apple app store to read great articles like the one mentioned above.  Follow Sam's on Twitter/ Facebook/ Instagram/ Pinterest/ Google + to get updates and hear about #SimplyHealthy living.

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