Attitude of Gratitude
Attitude of Gratitude
Katie Taylor, CCLS Child Life On Call for SmileMakers Inc.
Falling Leaves, Filling Hearts
As the weather cools down and the leaves start to change color, there are so many positive and cozy associations people have about the autumn season, such as pumpkin spice lattes, warm hats and gloves, and all the exciting fall holidays. Often we are so busy with back-to-school activities and day-to-day life that the holidays seem to just sneak up on us before we are ready, but taking a few extra minutes to plan ahead and intentionally prepare for each holiday gives parents and children a chance to create meaningful memories together. These “core memory” moments don’t need to be big or flashy. It can be as simple as sitting down with a cup of hot cocoa, a cozy blanket, and an activity to do together. As Thanksgiving is around the corner, the following activity is a wonderful way to make memories and help your child notice all the goodness in their life.
Thankfulness and Thoughtfulness
The following activity only requires a few simple items. SmileMakers offers fall- and Thanksgiving-themed postcards that you can also further decorate with fun Turkey stickers. Once the cards are decorated to the child’s liking, it is time to put on your thinking caps. Together with your child, create a list of the people they are thankful for. This can include family, friends, the mailman, the neighbor down the street… anyone who they wish to say “thank you” to! Once the list is complete, it is time to start writing the cards. It is important that this activity feels light and relaxing, so your child may only want to write a line or two. For example, “Dear (teacher’s name), Thank you for giving us extra recess! Love, (child’s name).” Once the note is written, simply add a stamp and the recipient’s address to the postcard, and pop it into the mail!
This activity has several goals in mind to support your child’s development and strengthen their positive emotions. One, this allows your child to recall good experiences and memories with people they love and care about. Two, this strengthens the child’s relationship with those individuals by writing and sending the notes. Three, this activity bonds parent and child in an activity that is stress-free, relaxing, happy, and fun. And this activity does not have to be limited just to Thanksgiving time -- SmileMakers carries postcards, writing tools, and decorative stickers for any time of year!