Both expressing — and feeling — gratitude are important parts of life. “Gratitude in the most basic terms is being thankful and appreciative of the good things you have,” says Sheela Raja, PhD, an assistant professor and clinical psychologist in the Colleges of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. You can be grateful for a wide range of “gifts,” everything from nature and good food to good luck or a wonderful opportunity for the people in your life, according to Raja.
A sense of gratitude can benefit children (and adults) in a variety of ways. It can decrease stress and has other important emotional health benefits. A person who is grateful tends to spend less time comparing him or herself with others and feeling envious. It also helps people, especially children, step into someone else’s shoes and realize that another person did something nice for them even though he or she didn’t have to. “We want our children to be able to relate to other people’s feelings and to feel a sense of belonging in their classrooms and community,” says Raja. “Cultivating a sense of gratefulness goes a long way toward this goal.”
Use this activity to help children collaborate and express gratitude.
Wrap the bowls tightly with saran wrap
Cut small squares of fabric
Help children apply the squares to the bowl using the Modge Podge or glue
Allow to dry for 24 hours, then carefully peel away from the saran wrap
Note: While making the bowl, you can talk about the person that the child is making the bowl for, what colors do they like? What do you imagine they will use the bowl for?
Disclaimer: This presents an overview of child development. It is important to keep in mind that the time frames presented are averages and some children may achieve various developmental milestones earlier or later than the average but still be within the normal range of development. This information is presented to help parents understand, at a high level, what to expect from their child. Any questions/concerns you may have about your child’s development should be shared with your doctor.