Happy Tuesday and Happy November!
We’ve begun the wind down of the year as we travel toward Thanksgiving and then the Holiday season!
I love this time of year, and I love making November all about Gratitude. But it’s not always an easy concept for the toddlers and preschoolers to understand.
I have two exercises I do in my Life, and with my family, to practice Gratitude – and they are easy enough to start practicing with preschoolers, so I thought I would share them with you!
The first is the Alphabetical Gratitude list. I’ve shared about it before……because I actually use this myself when I’m not actually feeling so grateful. When I’m cranky or complaining a lot I know – after a lifetime of experience! Lol! – ,that acting cranky and complaining more never makes me feel better nor does it every really help the situation I’m complaining about. I know that I need a change of perspective – but that’s really hard to do . So I”ve learned to turn to the alphabet! I just start listing – in my head or on a piece of pater – one thing I’m grateful for that starts with A, then one thing I’m grateful for that starts with B, etc.
And at first these things are silly and not too heartfelt. There are many times that my list has started with “I’m grateful for apples. I”m grateful for bananas…” As I go through all 26 letters somewhere along the line some true gratitude kicks in. And I’ve diverted my mind enough for those 3 to5 minutes that my mood begins to shift. Even if just a little.
The second exercise we call What Was Great About Today. We do this one at home, at night when Piper is going to bed. Her, my husband and I go around and each say one thing (or more) that was great about today. Then we each share one thing we learned (from a mistake we made or a new thing we learned all together), and lastly she share what we feel grateful for from today. We’re specific about that last one because it’s easy to say the same thing over and over again and not feel lit. But if we really stop and think and try and come up with one thing that happened in the day that we are grateful for – it begins to cultivate true gratitude.
It’s a little difficult to teach exactly what gratitude feels like, but it can be modeled daily so that the little ones begin to get the idea!
My song, Grateful, started as an Alphabetical Gratitude list exercise I made one morning when I was having a frustrating time writing a different song. I stopped and did my usual exercise to help get my head out of a bad place….. and then though “well, why don’t I just make a song about this?” And it flowed really easily. 🙂
When I use this song in schools and performances, I sing the first verse as written, but for the rest of the verses I ask the kids to fill in the blanks with what they are thankful for – and I sing those to them!
Heres’ the fruit of all that labor and gratitude, the music video of my song Grateful with lots of cameos from my family…. 🙂
And if your little one likes the “Episode Format” of my show better, here Grateful for the Weekly Show
But in all this talk – if you have or work with the little littles – the one and two year olds – Gratitude and Thankfulness is a bit too big of a concept. So as we head towards Thanksgiving for the little ones I tend to focus on Family and TURKEYS!!! There’s a few really fun Turkey songs out there, including this one, my favorite, A Turkey Is A Silly Bird:
Enjoy today’s videos! There’s more November themed videos, ideas and activities coming to. you next Tuesday!
Have a wonderful week and I’ll see you next time!