Sunday, November 9, 2014

November Gratitude Challenge

I often find myself searching for ways to show my children how to be compassionate, grateful, and helpful. These are difficult skills to teach, but they are extremely necessary. I am so grateful that my parents brought me up in a home where they were constantly doing things for other people. This is how I learned these traits. My mom was always inviting people over for dinner, espcecially if they were alone and didn't have anyone to eat with. She helped neighbors, friends, and countless other people with whatever they needed done. My dad was always volunteering his time either through the fire department or just fixing things that needed to be taken care of for the people in our community and family.

Teaching through example is a great way to show our children how to be contributing members in society that possess these traits. We often take dinner to those that have to cook for themselves, we make treats for others, invite neighbors over, or just sit down and talk to those that don't have many family members around. I hope some day my children realize that these small acts can make all the difference for the people we interact with. 

While scrolling through Pinterest last night, I came across a Gratitude Game. I thought this would be a perfect activity for my children to do for the remainder of November. While thinking further, I also thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share this challenge with my high school students. 

So, I created the challenge box as described from this website: http://www.playpartypin.com/2013/10/how-to-teach-children-gratitude.html

I started by tracing the outline for the number of cups I needed (We did 18). 


Then I used our utility knife to poke holes through the cardboard. (Make sure to cut the circle smaller than the traced circle. See the next picture for an example.) Cut out the circles with scissors. 


Notice that the circles are smaller than the traced circles. Hot glue the cups to the inside of the cardboard. 


Then we added our gratitude challenges for each day inside the cups. Here are some examples: 

  1. Smile.
Put extra effort in smiling wherever you go: Down the hall, in your classroom, at the store, etc.

  1. Help make dinner tonight. And be sure to thank the person that normally does this task.

  1. Do a chore without being asked. (Dishes, vacuum, dust, clean the bathroom, etc.)

  1. Write a thank you note to one of your teachers.

  1. Write something nice on a sticky-note and put it somewhere that everyone will see.

  1. Sit at a different table with different people at lunch today.

  1. Do something nice for a neighbor today...Take dinner to them, invite them over for dinner, rake their leaves, simply make time for a conversation with them, etc.

  1. Write a thank you note for a veteran, or post about your gratitude for the veterans on your social media. #HMC

  1. Do something nice for your siblings. If you don’t have any, do something nice for a younger person in your life.

  1. Write a thank you note to your parents, grandparents, or caregiver.

  1. Write a list of ten things you are thankful for.

  1. Focus on saying Thank You today. Every time someone does something nice for you, be sure to say Thank You.

  1. Compliment someone on a skill, talent, or strength they have.

  1. Donate something…(Clothing, old toys, food, pay for the person behind you in line, etc.)

  1. Post one of your favorite positive quotes on your social media, or hang it on your locker.

  1. Have a family movie night. Put away all electronics and embrace the time with those you love.
  2. Write a thank you note to someone that has always been there for you.

  1. Free Choice

  1. Share one of your talents with someone today, whether it be telling knock-knock jokes,
singing, or just being a good friend.

  1. Make a present for a friend or sibling and give it to them.

  1. Play a game of football (or any other game) together as a family.

  1. Make candy turkeys together as a family and give a plate to your neighbor.

  1. Make a thankful tree writing things you’re thankful for on the leaves.

  1. Write down a list of all the things that you love about [enter name here] and give it to
them.

  1. Call your grandparents and say hi.

  1. Make turkeys by tracing your hands and write things that you’re thankful for in the
feathers.

  1. Do something nice for everyone else in the family secretly.

  1. Make cookies and take them to a friend with a thank you note.

After placing one challenge in each cup, we hot glued a piece of tissue paper over the front of the cups. Every day we will punch out a circle to find our daily challenge.


I am going to challenge my high school students to complete this challenge as well and share their daily gratitude acts on Twitter and Facebook with #HMC (The name of the positive group we just started--Here 2 Make Change)