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THANKSGIVING! practicing gratitude... teachable moments with our Littles!


Tuesday, November 7 , 2023


The BIG day will soon be here…

YES! We are talking about THANKSGIVING, of course!


If you are a Grand who sees and/or cares for your Little(s) on a consistent basis

OR

If you are a Grand who relies on FaceTime calls to connect regularly,

we’ve got you covered!

As Grands - near or far,

we have the opportunity, discreetly or otherwise,

to share the importance of a grateful heart with our beloved grandkids!

This is also a perfect time to share our own values with our Littles

and the way each impacts our approach to life!

Teachable moments like this are priceless!

Gratitude is defined as

the quality of being thankful;

A readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

The key words in this definition are thankful, appreciation, kindness and others!


To teach our Littles gratitude we need to have this mindset ourselves

and model it in our daily lives!

We can do this by counting our own blessings,

saying thank you often, expressing kindness to others

and by setting a good example for the people in our life!

We can go deeper still

by having conversations with our Littles

where we think of examples of compassion and generosity

and then share how each makes us feel!

So deep but so valuable!

Our Littles are smart human beings…

They quickly pick up on the ways we express gratitude

for the big and little things in life!

Developmentally, their worlds revolve around themselves and their immediate surroundings! At the same time, our Littles are never too young (or old) to be shown/reminded how to express gratitude for all they have! Research has shown that having a sense of gratitude increases both physical and emotional health, especially in young children! Truly… grateful people live longer, happier lives and they have proven to be more resilient when challenging times head their way!


A Grand Tip!

Young Littles (4 and under) often have trouble with the phrase

“I am thankful for…” or “ I am grateful for….”

Ask your Little what they love - “Tell me a person you love”

and repeat back to them, “You are thankful for mommy”.

This modeling will help them understand the true meaning of gratitude!

This game is so versatile but would be best played with Littles

who are preschool or even older!

You can play with your Littles in the car, over FaceTime or in person!

In fact, this would be a fabulous activity to repeat with the entire family

on Thanksgiving Day!


TO PREP! Preparing for this game can be as simple as your time allows! You’ll need some way to keep track of the ABC’s - you can have a checklist, a set of small pieces of paper with one letter written on each OR you can write letters on rocks or bottle caps or just about anything else you have 26 of! We used vase filler beads that we had around the house and wrote one letter of the alphabet on each, using a permanent marker to do so!

TO PLAY! Today we are sharing three variations of the game!


🍁 In the Car - This is a fun game to play while you are on the road! The driver begins by saying something he/she is thankful for that begins with the letter, “A”. Take turns as each person shares an idea for the next letter in the alphabet! Don’t forget to stop once in a while and ask your Little(s) why they chose the item they did and be ready to share your reasoning, too!


🍁 Via FaceTime - How fun would it be to play this game virtually! Your Little(s) can shuffle a set of letter cards on their end of the call and then pick a card and say the letter out loud. Then you and your Little(s) take turns saying something you are grateful for that begins with the letter! Did you both say the same thing or different items? What a great conversation starter this could be!


🍁 In Person/At a Table - Put the cards or beads in a pile in the middle of the playing area (or in a small container that you pass around). Each person takes a turn and chooses a card/bead, says the letter and names an item that begins with that letter that they are also grateful for! Each person chooses his/her own card/bead when it’s his/her turn!

A Grand Tip!

Your older Littles (second grade and up)

will love the challenge of creating their own list of

ABC things they are grateful for!

Give each Little a piece of paper (with or without the letters added),

Set the timer and see how quickly they can complete their list!

Be sure to take the time to share lists when everyone is done!

If your older Littles are competitive

let them play, using a point system.

If someone else writes the same thing for a letter, no one gets a point!

This is a project Laura had fun making

with the girls in one of her daughter’s Brownie troops, years ago!

Each Brownie was able to create and take home

her own “Thankful Turkey!”


You can create this project at home with your Littles

or you can make one for them and gift it to them!!

You can decide ahead of time!


Once the project is done (as outlined below),

you’ll have several great conversation starters to share with your Little(s)...

each day via FaceTime,

during a daytime visit

or as part of your Thanksgiving Day activities!

DID YOU KNOW? Repeating an activity multiple times with young children

Is beneficial if you want them to remember something!

SOOOOOOO, don’t be afraid to repeat this activity often!

TO PREP! We used a small flower pot for our turkey’s body. (You could also use a paper/plastic cup or similar container you have available.) We made the turkey’s feet, beak and waddle out of colored paper and we glued on googly eyes, too.

(Again… you can use any materials/paper you have available to you to add these details!) Finally, we had colored craft sticks to write our prompts on (or you could cut out colored construction paper feathers OR you could use plain craft sticks and then write with different colored markers). Using a permanent marker, we wrote one prompt on each craft stick (or paper feather).

Pick and choose which prompts you like and feel free to add your own ideas to the list, too!

Finally, we stuck the “feathers” into our pot/cup.

NOTE: Depending on the ages of your Littles

you may want to add some dry rice to the bottom of the pot/cup.

This will help the “feathers” stand up!


TO PLAY!

Super simple! A player chooses a prompt and answers the question. Then other players can answer the same question and you can talk about how your answers are similar or different! Each player could also choose his/her own prompt from the turkey pot/cup., answering a different question from other players! This activity works well as a daily ritual - completed at dinner, during FaceTime calls or even at bedtime with mom and dad! Practicing gratitude, with open, honest conversation, at its best!

A Tip for Distant Grands!

Make the turkey ahead of time and mail it to your Little(s)

OR, BETTER STILL,

send them the supplies and then,

over Zoom or FaceTime,

make your turkeys at the same time, so you each have one!

Then play the game during your online chats!


Laura is sharing one more idea that was very popular

with her distance learning kindergartners prior to Thanksgiving 2020!

A virtual scavenger hunt was all the rage!


This idea is really simple and engaging for your Littles!

PLEASE NOTE:

Toddler Littles may need some help in locating items or

may need to be given directions that are very simple!

But no worries… they will love running to find each item

and they will be all smiles as they bring each back to show you!


TO PREP!

There isn’t much prep ahead of time for this activity but, as you can see below, we’re offering two options for playing the game! You can have fun with this activity in your own home or backyard OR you can enjoy it virtually, via FaceTime or Zoom with your Little! It’s that versatile!


Below you will find our Gratitude Scavenger Hunt graphic. You can use our suggestions found on the graphic or come up with your own ideas! Personalize the activity to meet your needs and, of course, your Little’s needs!


TO PLAY!

For this activity, we’ll outline an in-person variation as well as a virtual one! In each instance, your Little(s) will get moving as they search inside and outside for items they are grateful for!


🍁 An In-Person Scavenger Hunt!

You can use our graphic from above and invite your Little(s) to hunt for one, two or all of the items at a time. (Older Littles will especially love having their own checklists to keep track of as they hunt for all the items!) The Items can be located inside your home or outside. Before beginning, designate a spot to come back to (ie. “home base”) when your Little(s) have found a listed object! NOTE: Depending on how often you see your Little in person, you could extend the game into multiple sessions by breaking the list into 2 or 3 groups of items to find at different times! This activity would also be an excellent energy buster after your Thanksgiving meal on the big day!


🍁 A Virtual Scavenger Hunt!

Here’s where it can get exciting. In the weeks prior to Thanksgiving, each time you FaceTime/Zoom with your Little(s), send them on a Scavenger Hunt, looking for a specific item. For example, you might say, “Tonight I want you to look for something that’s your favorite color!” OR “Bring me a food you love!” Set a time limit (1-2 minutes for young kids) and say “Go!” You can join in the fun, too, by finding and bringing your own item to the FaceTime call! Once you’ve both returned to the call, you can take turns sharing your chosen items! Repeat as frequently as you’d like… Littles of all ages will love to run and find each item!



You know us!

We 🧡 sharing books with our Littles

and there are many wonderful stories

that provide springboards to meaningful conversations about

gratitude!

Our Littles often connect with the characters and events in a story

and each book, including those outlined below,

helps our Littles see gratitude in action!

Perhaps your Little already has one or more of these books at home

or you may be able to find them at your local library!

We, of course, have invested in many,

to add to classroom libraries of the past

(we found them all available on. Amazon by searching each title).

Another, less expensive option is to check Youtube online

to see if there are any videos available of the stories being read aloud!

Be sure to preview a video before sharing it with your Little!

If available, snuggle up with your Little and watch one or two together!

While Thanksgiving provides a natural opportunity for us to practice gratitude with our Littles, the reality is that this is a topic we can - and should- revisit over and over throughout the year! Finding teachable moments to help our Littles practice gratitude for what they already have is truly one of the most valuable life lessons they can learn AND one of the greatest gifts we can offer them!

Do YOU practice gratitude with your Littles?

If so, we’d love to hear your ideas to add to our own toolbox!

Feel free to comment at the bottom of this post

or email us directly at ourgrandlives@gmail.com

THANK YOU!

(NOTE: Guests are now able to comment without signing up as a site member!)


Don’t forget to look for us on Facebook/Instagram

It’s such an exciting time of year

and we’ve got lots of great posts coming your way!


We’ll be back next week with more Thanksgiving fun!

Next week's post will focus on kid-created Thanksgiving decor!


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Thanks for spending part of your day with us!


SPECIAL THANKS TO

Crazy Little Lovebirds #14 from Crazy Little Love Birds

Thank you for featuring this post on your sites!

❤ We love our blogging community! ❤



❤️ We are delighted to join these link up parties and blog hops:







19 Comments


paula
Nov 25, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving ladies! I love these activities. You guys are great!

Thanks so much for sharing these with Sweet Tea & Friends this month dear friends.

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Our Grand Lives
Nov 27, 2023
Replying to

Thank you! Thank you! We hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving, Paula!

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Guest
Nov 18, 2023

Dee | GrammysGrid.com wrote: Visiting again to say thanks so much for linking up at #AThemedLinkup 172 for All Things Thanksgiving. Pinned.

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Guest
Nov 16, 2023

It's not just littlies - sometimes it doesn't come naturally to many people so is well worth learning and practicing early on. Thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo

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Our Grand Lives
Nov 17, 2023
Replying to

Agreed! We all can use a little practice at truly being thankful for all we're blessed with! Thanks for your support and encouragement!

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Guest
Nov 16, 2023

Loved this post! I love all these teachable moments that you mentioned. I'm happy to announce that I will be featuring your post tomorrow at The Crazy Little Love Birds link party. Party opens Friday at 9 a.m. MST

https://crazylittlelovebirds.blogspot.com/

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Our Grand Lives
Nov 17, 2023
Replying to

Thanks so much for the feature! We are grateful for your kind words and for your encouragement! 💕

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Guest
Nov 12, 2023

So many lovely ideas! I love the turkey prompts game. Perfect for bringing everyone together. :) #MMBC

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Our Grand Lives
Nov 15, 2023
Replying to

Thank you for stopping by! Your support is so appreciated!

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