Before this pandemic, we were going about our lives, the hustle and bustle, going here and there, consumed with being so busy. Perhaps this time of social distancing has afforded us an opportunity to slow down a little. Maybe you have taken time to reflect on things you are grateful for, no matter how small. Check out some activities we do in our WARM Place groups to remind us that even in the midst of grief and uncertainty, we can feel GRATEFUL.
Paper Towel Art: Ages 3-8
Supplies: Washable or permanent markers; paper towels; very small amount of water; and a small tray, pan, or sprayer.
Have your child think about things they are grateful for. (ex. friends, family, a teacher, pets, sun, food, flowers, bugs, shoes, etc.) Lay out a couple of sheets of paper towels on a workspace. Put something like a piece of paper or cardboard underneath the paper towel, so markers will not bleed through on to that workspace. Children can draw with their markers the things they decided they were grateful for. When finished gently dip the paper towel picture in the pan or tray with water. You may also spray the paper towel with small amounts of water. The colors will begin to bleed together to make a brighter picture. Set the paper towel art aside to dry, and you will have a colorful picture of gratitude!
Gratitude Tower: Ages 9-12
Supplies: 3×5 note cards, pieces of paper, construction paper, or card stock cut to similar size; markers or something to write with; and a few long strips of paper.
Have your child think about things they are grateful for. (ex. friends, family, a teacher, pets, sun, food, flowers, bugs, shoes, etc.) Write one of these things down on each piece of paper and fold it in half. (Note: This activity works better with a lot of pieces, so you may add some blank pieces of paper, or you can include other family members in the process.) When all pieces are completed you can begin stacking them up to make a “grateful tower”. Use the long pieces of paper to make a platform for each smaller piece to stand on and create levels. Knock it down and build again for more fun.
Gratitude Scavenger Hunt: Ages 13+
Supplies: Paper and a writing utensil.
This activity can be really be done with all ages. Start by making a list of things to look for both inside and outside and then start your search. This activity teaches us to be grateful for the little things right in front of us that we might take for granted every day. You might be surprised what you find! Take the list and check off as you find each item on the list.
Click here to see an example of a gratitude list!
Affirmations: The Whole Family
Supplies: Pieces of light color paper (any type) letter size or larger, writing utensils, and tape.
Hang or tape a piece paper for each person in the family on the wall, floor, or table. Write their name at the top. You may include your loved one who died in this activity. Talk about things you love about each other. From games and personalities, to jokes and hugs. The idea is that you have affirmations for each person in the family.
Then have each family member (one at a time or all together) go to each paper and write something you admire, love, or are grateful for about them under their name. When everyone is finished writing on each person’s page, take time to sit down and read the pages and discuss and elaborate on what is written.
Note: There are many variations for this activity. You can set a timer and have one person go first as fast as they can and write multiple things. You can do rounds where you take turns writing on each person’s paper or do a round where each person writes one word on each paper and then cycles back around to continue adding words one at a time. Make it as fun and interesting as you want. Every idea is a good one!