ways to say thank you

New Year Resolution Words #7: Gratitude Makes a Day Great for Kids

It’s not easy to fit a new year’s resolution into one word; thankfully, today’s letter is g for gratitude and gratitude makes a day great for kids.

g for gratitude makes a day great

Being at home or going back to work, daycare or playschool is hard on a Monday. Especially after the weekend and holiday break, it’s all too tempting to grumble. Grumble is another g word but it doesn’t make us feel better like gratitude does. We’ve all heard the expression how something is a double-edged sword. In a way, gratitude is a double-edged magic wand. It makes both the person saying thank you and the one-hearing it smile.

Kids are like adults, they get grouchy too but they need our help in developing the tools to cope and reset. Giving them a model to imitate is one way. Hearing and seeing us being grateful is helpful. We may say something simple like, “Oh, it’s hard to be happy this morning. I feel sad the holidays are over, but I am so glad we had a good time when….” Fill in the space with something you are grateful for. Memories can be very powerful for sustaining us.

Saying thank you can be a kind of game. Find a few things and say thank you to your child, like: thanks for picking up your blanket, thanks for helping me with the laundry, and if we’re really lucky, thanks for playing quietly while I was on the phone. You may need to be creative to change a really bad mood, such as thanking a tummy for the giggles when you give a tickle. Being silly is part of the fun. Thank the spoon for helping us eat cereal. Thank the cup for not leaking. This is like a tickle to the imagination and the result is more giggles.

gratitude for kids

When answering the question, “Why is gratitude so  important for children?” I like the answer given by Mikelle Despain, “ Gratitude isn’t just about being a successful contributing member of society; it is teaching a child how to live happy, beautiful lives.” Would you agree, gratitude makes a day great for kids gratitude —and adults?



Fun Ways Kids Can Say Thank You After Christmas

We’re almost back to regular day routine, but before it gets forgotten, there’s one detail. Here are some fun ways kids can say thank you after Christmas.

In the midst of all the excitement, we need to pause and say thank you. Kids are not too young and there’s more than one way to express thanks. With a little creativity and imagination, the process can simple, easy, and even fun. Arlene Pellicane at ForTheFamily.org writes, “There’s not an arbitrary age when a switch flips and a child can comprehend and express gratitude. However rather early on, around age two or three, you can begin to teach children the concept of sharing and saying thank you. There are many good habits you can teach kids very early on – things like saying thank you to a parent at mealtime or after receiving a gift.”

online and on screen time for kids

1. Thank-you Call: There are so many choices now. Besides the good ol’ land-line, there’s cell, Skype, or facetime. You may want to phone ahead and make sure the other person is available. Also, let your child know that soon you will be phoning Grandma, for instance, and talk beforehand about telling her thank you. What does your child like about the present? We all know kids can be embarrassingly honest so what is one nice thing about the gift. Besides saying the words, kids can sing them. Use the tune Frère Jacques:

Thank you, thank you. Thank you, thank you.
For the gift, for the gift.
You were thinking of me, you were thinking of me.
Thanks again, thanks again.

Fortunately, relatives think this is marvelous, cute, and clever. You can make up your own words for the music.

2. Thank-you Note: Not many young kids will be doing the writing, but grownups can be the writer for what kids want to say. You can ask your child a couple of questions to prompt then, like: what was the gift? what can you do with it? what do you like about it? Print their answers and send via snail, email, or text message. If you use paper, kids can add a few letters or scribbles of their own. For email or text, let them find a letter or two of their name, or just randomly type a few letters of the keyboard for their message. It’s still precious.

Keys may be able to find with or without help the 1 and 0 keys to make 10. Then, the letter Q. When you put 10 and Q together and say them outloud, it sounds like t’an kyou or thank you. Now, isn’t that a great choice for fun ways kids can say thank you after Christmas?

3. Thank you Art: This can be a painting or drawing. Start by suggesting to your child that the giver might like a picture. Ask your child to create a thank you picture and you will write the story for them. It can be about anything.

4. Thank you Photo: Snap a photo or video of your child playing with or wearing the gift and send it to the giver. Photos are so welcome. Even if the person was there when the gift was opened, these are often treasured. Especially for the smiling face of the child.

5. Thank you Treat: A cookie popped into a little bag or wrapped in tissue paper, is an edible way to say thank you. Little fingers can help you stir up a batch of thank you cookies. What a yummy way to express gratitude.

familiarity with letters

A thank you feels good both to hear and to say. It becomes part of the bond between two people. Are there some other fun ways kids can say thank you after Christmas?


It’s Time for An Attitude of Gratitude For Kids

No matter what your calendar says for today, Thanksgiving or not, it’s time for an attitude of gratitude for kids and adults. With just a month to Christmas, it seems fitting that the holiday season starts with the action of being grateful. In the midst of family and friends and all the excitement of the day, we sometimes lose sight of the message, to be thankful.

attitude of gratitude for kids

Saying thank you is one of the easiest things we can do. It costs us nothing and, at the same time, creates powerful bonds between people. It is much more than words, it is an action. It shows we recognize some one else’s efforts on our behalf.

Are there ways we can help children say thank you? Certainly, and one of the best ways is with our own example. Kids need to see and hear us saying thank you to others. Later, we can explain to them why we did so. As parents, teachers, and caregivers, we don’t want to sound like a broken record, prompting kids to remember the magic words. We’d rather they remembered to do so themselves. Instead of us telling them, we can get creative with objects at hand. For instance, be the voice of the fork on the table and thank the cook for a yummy meal. A stuffie on the bed can say thank you for reading a story and giving a cuddle. Kids often respond to this by echoing the thank you.

signing thank you
(Saying Thank You using sign language)

Recognizing children’s efforts when they do say thank you reinforces the behavior. This time we might  say, “I heard you say thank you to your sister for reaching your toy for you. I bet she felt appreciated.” Or, “I noticed you said thank you when the store helper gave you a balloon. I could tell that person felt happier when I saw the smile.”

Kids often bring adults back from the drama of everyday life to what’s most simple and basic: food, shelter, security, and family. For these we give thanks.

attitude of gratitude

For all of us, an attitude of gratitude makes a positive difference in our own lives. And to you, the readers and supporters of 1 2 3 Kindergarten, a very heartfelt Thank You!

Ways Kids Can Say Thank You After Christmas

Saying thank you is a social skill and here are a handful of ways kids can say thank you after Christmas. More and more researchers are discovering the impact of social skills on children’s results in school. The effect of intelligence and other smarts is understandable but social skills? How can these make such a … Continue reading Ways Kids Can Say Thank You After Christmas

An Un-resolution for the New Year for Kids and Families

By mid-January many new year’s resolutions are already hard to keep or some may be broken, so how about an un-resolution for kids and families? Q. What is a new year’s resolution? A. Something that goes in one year and out the other. A new year’s resolution is something we want to change or do … Continue reading An Un-resolution for the New Year for Kids and Families