Dinnertime Gratitude

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I like to do activities before Thanksgiving to reinforce the idea of gratitude and thankfulness in my girls.  But, that doesn’t always turn out for the best.  Remember the year that we were thankful for bodily functions?  Yes, while I am greatful for that, I don’t think that the girls were really getting the point.

This year I’m taking a different tact.  First, we are reading and re-reading The Thankful Book by Todd Parr, which has lots of fun examples, that are mostly not too silly, of things that you could and should be thankful for.

Also, after reading a great article about Thanksgiving Countdowns and Grateful Activities, I started an activity with the whole family that is a little of both.  Taking from a list of discussion prompts on this page, at dinner each night, we fill in the blank and/or answer the question about what we’re grateful for. For example, we discussed the prompt, “I love it when I get to do ____.” last night.  Clara said that she loved it when we got to play tickle monster all as a family.  So fun.  When we discussed, “Name one adventure you’re thankful for,” Nancy responded that she was thankful for going on roller coasters with Daddy.

Here’s a list of all the prompts that we are going to use:

  • I am thankful I am physically able to…
  • I am thankful I learned how to…
  • I am thankful I own…
  • I am thankful for my favorite…
  • I am thankful for my teacher ___.
  • I am thankful for this toy.
  • I am thankful for this family member.
  • I am thankful for this gift I recieved.
  • Name one adventure you are thankful for.
  • I love to listen to…
  • I love to feel…
  • I love when my tummy is full of…
  • I love when my mom does ____.
  • I love when my dad does _____.
  • I love when my sister…
  • I love this about nature.
  • I love when I get to do…
  • I am going to write ____ a thank you note.
  • I am going to tell ____ I appreciate them.
  • I am going to give ____ a hug.
  • I am going to tell ____ I love them.

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Then I write down an answer from each family member on a fake leaf and we’re making a garland of thankfulness out of them.  I just put a strip of clear packaging tape up along the door frame and we each stick our leaf to it when we’re done with dinner.  Some of them fell off, so I’ve been reinforcing them with some staples each evening as well.  By the time Thanksgiving rolls around we should have quite the list of things to be thankful for.  And maybe we’ll all understand the point.

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2 Responses to “Dinnertime Gratitude”


  1. 1 Karen November 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    I am so Thankful for my wonderful family, what a great idea.

  2. 2 Rick November 10, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    HEY—–when you get to my age you ARE thankful for those bodily functions.


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