Thursday, November 21, 2013

G is for Gratitude

How convenient that the letter G came up in November.

I always try to do SOMETHING extra to focus on Gratitude/Thankfulness in November.

This year, with Little Bit being involved in school more, I wanted to focus on helping her see the importance of being thankful.

At the beginning of circle time, we always do a couple Brain Gym exercises to help the kids concentrate. For the month of November, I found a series of "Thanksgiving Yoga" poses.  We only added a new one after everyone had figured out the last one, and I changed the wording to be giving thanks to God. So, what we have so far is (doing the poses mentioned in the link):

Thank You God, for Sun and Sky

Thank You God for Birds (stand on one leg) that fly (stand on the other leg)

Thank You God for Trees (stand on one leg) so high (stand on the other leg)

Thank you God for the rain . . .

After we've done our exercises, each of the kids who's at circle time has a chance to tell me something they're thankful for. Whatever they tell me (I love hearing what little ones come up with), I write on a leaf punched out of fall colored construction paper, and then each kid gets to tape their leaf to the "thankful tree".  I added our thankful tree to our autumn nature table. I told the girls to go gather some sticks that could be bunched together. Then I had to figure out a way to keep them together. I finally decided on a pottery honey jar (that the lid broke on) and then filled it with hickory nuts (we have a hickory tree in our yard, so the girls had great fun gathering the hickory nuts this fall, now to see if they stick with it enough to actually crack them so we can eat them LOL) to hold the sticks in place. I love how it turned out.

Beyond that, I made some changes to our circle time poems to include some about thankfulness and we've been reading some Thanksgiving stories interspersed with our regular circle time stories.

The last couple of years we've used our special Thanksgiving table cloth (just a cheap solid tan tablecloth) for Thanksgiving dinner and use Sharpie markers for each person writes something they're thankful for, and their name and the year, on the tablecloth near their place. It's fun to see what people have written different years, so that's a tradition we definitely plan to continue.

There are lots of other great ideas out there, but these are a few of the ways I help my children remember to show gratitude during the month of November, and not just think of Thanksgiving as a day to eat tons of food :)

Blogging Through the Alphabet
Blogging through the Alphabet - Letter G

No comments: