How to Teach a Two-Year-Old to be Thankful

Sorry. I don’t have the answer. But, Saturday as I was giving August some happy Wonder Pets time while taking an afternoon snooze beside him on the couch, I foggily heard Moose (the friendly Nick Jr. ringmaster of sorts) announcing to children that it’s Thankful Month at Nick Jr.

Wow, I thought, right before I went back to my happy dreams, maybe Nick Jr. has a plan for teaching our kids to be thankful!

Hours later, when I recalled my genius thought, I spent a little time searching their website for ideas. They’re kind of fun and they might actually make all of us (grown ups too) a little more grateful as we near our great Thankful celebration.

Here are Nick’s ideas (I’m quoting from their “We Are Thankful” Week 1 Lesson Plans:

  • “This week, get your preschooler thinking about the family and friends that they are thankful for. Talk about the important people in your preschooler's life and write (or draw) a thank you note together ‘just because.’”
  • Make a “Thanksgiving Tree.” (Of course, Nick Jr. wants it to be a “Dora” Thanksgiving Tree but I think we can ignore their blatant attempts at infiltrating our kids’ minds with media while we try to teach them thankfulness.  They have you print the “Thankful Tree” from the website along with a page of leaves that can be cut out. I think we can just as easily draw for our kids the tree and leaves ahead of time. Cut out the leaves and let your child color them. For each leaf let them tell us something they’re thankful for. We’ll write it on it and paste/tape it to the tree. (It’s probably a little advance for my 2 year old but even if he just colors the leaves, it’s a great idea for getting him to think about gratefulness.)

Does anyone else out there have any other ideas for teaching Thankfulness?

And, readers with no children, do not feel left out! What are you doing this month to train your own mind to be thankful? (You're allowed to glue leaves on trees too.)