Parenting

Rule #22: There’s always something to be thankful for.


There is always something to be thankful for. Can that saying be any cheesier? Maybe. But it’s also very true. And the more I lean into motherhood, the cheesier and sentimental and emotional I become. As my seven year-old would say, “Just being honest.”

And if I’m being honest, I always have the best intentions during the holiday season. Every November, I try to teach my girls about gratitude. But then life happens. There are meals to be planned, activities to attend, and I’m scrambling to teach my kids about the importance of giving thanks AGAIN.

So this year, I decided that the Willard House would focus on easy ways to give thanks during the holidays. And to be honest with you, it hasn’t been easy to even find time to put this plan together. Because of that, I’m sharing our 30 Days of Thanks with you!

In this blog post, you’ll find a few SIMPLE ways you can teach your kids about gratitude. I’m all about keeping things simple for me and fun for the kids. Otherwise, it’s not going to happen. Again, just being honest.

If you want even more ideas and three thank you card designs, you can also download the 30 Days of Thanks guide. And you know what? I would love to do these 30 Days of Thanks with you! The Willard family is just beginning our 30 days today, November 28, 2019. If you want to join us, download the guide and tag @WillardHouseRules in your social posts! I’d love to see how you are teaching your kids about gratitude during the holidays!

DOWNLOAD 30 DAYS OF THANKS

Day 1: We are thankful for our ears.

Listen to your favorite song (without watching the music video). Sit outside and have your kids name all the sounds they can hear.

Day 2: We are thankful for our hands.

Time to get messy: Set up a sensory table for your kid. This is easy to do! Just get out a shallow plastic tub or container. Have them explore shaving cream, water, sand, coffee beans, peanut butter, or anything they may enjoy creating with. And remind yourself that you can always clean up any mess they make!

Day 3: We are thankful for our eyes.

Play “I Spy”!

Day 4: We are thankful for our noses.

Find items that smell sweet, minty and fruity around your house.

Day 5: We are thankful for our mouths.

Have fun and do some mouth exercises. You’re sure to get a few laughs! Here’s a great resource for fun and easy mouth exercises.

Day 6: We are thankful for family.

Have a family game night!

Day 7: We are thankful for education.

Read a book (or several books!) with your child.

Day 8: We are thankful for clean water.

Drink at least 64 ounces (8 cups) of water today.

Day 9: We are thankful for clean air to breathe.

Plant an ozone garden with your kids! Ozone gardens are a fun way to teach your kids about science and clean air. Depending on your location, you can plant these native plants to observe the quality of air in your area: cut-leaf coneflower, flowering dogwood, buttonbush, snap beans, soy beans, and milkweed. Here’s a great resource on getting started with ozone gardens! (Ok. This one may not be super simple, but I love this idea!)

Day 10: We are thankful for the outdoors.

Play outside as a family today (even if the weather isn’t great).

Even though it was freezing outside, we decided to have a snowball fight!

Day 11: We are thankful for mail carriers.

I decided to make the next five days easy for all of us, mainly because I needed an easy week! Have your child write a thank you note using a downloadable thank you card to your mail carrier. If you want to upscale the thank you card, you could also give a gift card or bake a sweet treat!

Day 12: We are thankful for caregivers.

Have your child write a thank you note using a downloadable thank you card to a caregiver. If you want to upscale the thank you card, you could also give a gift card or bake a sweet treat!

Day 13: We are thankful for garbage collectors and recycling collectors.

Have your child write a thank you note using a downloadable thank you card to your garbage collector and recycling collector. If you want to upscale the thank you card, you could also give a gift card or bake a sweet treat!

Day 14: We are thankful for librarians.

Have your child write a thank you note using a downloadable thank you card to your librarian. If you want to upscale the thank you card, you could also give a gift card or bake a sweet treat!

Day 15: We are thankful for neighbors.

Have your child write a thank you note using a downloadable thank you card to your neighbor. If you want to upscale the thank you card, you could also give a gift card or bake a sweet treat!

Day 16: We are thankful for the earth.

Pick up trash in your neighborhood, even if it’s just one piece!

Day 17: We are thankful for the stars.

Even if it’s cold outside, go outside with your family tonight!

Day 18: We are thankful for animals.

Read a book about animals with your child. We love reading books about animals we’ve never heard of. Fossa, anyone?

Day 19: We are thankful for food.

Give thanks before you eat dinner as a family. Before every meal, we sing this thankful song (sang to the tune of “Brother John”):
“We are thankful, we are thankful,
For our food, for our food;
We are very thankful, we are very thankful,
For our food, for our food.”

Day 20: We are thankful for plants.

Smell the roses- literally! Go outdoors and smell plants in your neighborhood with your children.

Day 21: We are thankful for our home.

Have a family night at home. This could be a movie and pizza night (our favorite Friday evening), game night, or anything else you enjoy doing as a family.

Day 22: We are thankful for books.

Go to your local library! We love visiting our library, especially for story time and other special activities they have during the week.

We love reading about anything and everything, even underwear!

Day 23: We are thankful for electricity.

Play hide and seek in the dark! The finder can use a flashlight.

Day 24: We are thankful for clothes.

Play dress-up with your child.

Day 25: We are thankful for technology.

Take a selfie with your child! Better yet, have your child take pictures. Most kids love taking pictures, and it’s fun to see the world through the eyes of your child.

Day 26: We are thankful for hugs.

Give your kids all the hugs they can handle!

Day 27: We are thankful for imagination.

Time to get messy: Create a work of art! If you want to take it a step further, you can also teach your child about an artist and their style of art. One of my favorites is Jackson Pollock. I’ve even had kids create their own Jackson Pollock inspired art. But doing this outside may be best!

MW and SW creating works of art!

Day 28: We are thankful for sleep.

Spend some time today resting. If you don’t have time during the day to rest, allow yourself time to sleep a few extra minutes tonight. This will benefit both you and your family.

Day 29: We are thankful for God/spirituality.

Pray or meditate.

Day 30: We are thankful for friends.

Invite neighborhood friends over to your house today to play, eat cookies, or have hot chocolate.


I’d love to have you join our family for our 30 Days of Thanks! Download this FREE guide for even more simple and fun ideas to teach your kids about gratitude. You’ll also receive 3 thank you card designs to use for thank you notes during the 30 Days of Thanks!

DOWNLOAD 30 DAYS OF THANKS

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