How do you teach kids to be thankful? It's one of those abstract concepts that can often feel like it's coming across as a big lecture, when really all you want to do is help your kids think about all they have.

Skip the lecture and the blank stares this year and try these fun and interactive ways to teach kids about gratitude.  

Make a list. For kids who love a craft, there are lots of fun ways to help them get a better grasp of the people and things they are truly grateful for. Make a Thanksgiving paper chain or tree to help kids make a list. For even more visuals, make a thankful Thanksgiving placemat with your kids by helping them assemble a collage of items, pictures, images and quotations that make them smile.

Set a good example. How often do you say how grateful you are for all that you have? You can keep it low-key by just remarking about how thankful you are for the beautiful fall day, or give them the holiday special by pulling them in for extra snuggles as you expound on how much you love them. Either way, make it a point to let your kids know what you are thankful for at Thanksgiving and throughout the year.

Help others. Teach your kids about gratitude by allowing them to help those who don’t have everything. Opportunities abound this time of year (and all throughout the year) to help people in need. Help serve meals at the community kitchen, collect food for your local food pantry, or offer to cook a meal for an elderly neighbor or friend. You'll be amazed at how good it feels to help others and how it helps you appreciate all that you have.  

Of course, these are just a few ideas for teaching kids about gratitude. I'm sure there are many others, and I'd love to hear about it if you have a favorite.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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