Gratitude practice is easy, good for your health, heartwarming and fun to do!
November is the best time to not only celebrate fall as we glide into the holiday season, but it is the best time to intentionally and actively practice gratitude for ourselves and with our family. It even comes with scientifically proven benefits. According to research, gratitude practice decreases stress and negative thinking as it increases happiness and social intelligence. How about that?
You can go from spending your day experiencing anxious or negative thoughts to actually immersing yourself in life’s joys. This might all sound a little lofty, but it’s true. There is so much good in each day, but we are often times just too distracted to see it.
Spend some time talking about gratitude with your child, and think about all the good things in your lives. See if it becomes a new family tradition in your home. November is the perfect time to express gratitude for everything you have. Gratitude offers all kinds of benefits such as allowing you to cultivate friendships, improving mental and physical health, and improving self-esteem. Here are some ways for you to show gratitude and even create a November ritual with your kids and family members to kick off the holiday season. Enjoy the holidays and time with family and friends this November!
A gratitude journal is an easy and simple way to express gratitude. Throughout this month write down your daily thoughts about what you’re grateful for from that day. Think of places you went, people you met, beautiful things you saw, or positive experiences. Write down what you noticed or what you felt grateful for that day.
If you want to make something crafty to express your gratitude we suggest this idea. Each day, paint a smooth rock with a solid color and then paint on the words of what you’re grateful for. The rocks will make a fun decor piece for your home.
Mindfulness For Children – Create a Gratitude Tree
This is the perfect mindfulness activity to lead up to Thanksgiving. It’s called the gratitude tree, and I will definitely be doing one this year with my family. I love the chance to count my blessings, and it’s a fun activity to do with your child.
The gratitude tree activity teaches children to:
- appreciate the small things in life,
- be grateful for everything they have,
- be mindful of the things that are going right in their lives
- and the people they hold closest to their hearts.
Spend some time talking about gratitude with your child, and think about all the blessings in your lives. See if it becomes a new family tradition in your home.
Best for ages: 3+
What you need:
- Colored paper to cut out leaves (double sided is nice for colorful leaves)
- String or ribbon to hang the leaves on the tree branches
- Twigs or tree branches
- Rocks to add stability to the tree
- Grateful hearts
The project is pretty simple and lots of fun.
1. Make a leaf cutout (or a few for variety) to use as your template. Trace the rest of the leaves on a bigger sheet and cut them out.
2. Punch a hole at the top of each leaf and loop a piece of string through each.
3. Put stones in a vase and stick the tree branch there.
4. Have your child draw or write about things he is grateful for on the leaves. If they are too young, you can write for them. You could also find some old photos and make a visual tree instead of writing things down.
5. You can make a few leaves of your own to model the concept for your child.
6. Hang the leaves from the branches.