Robert Emmons in his book Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier cites research that shows that thinking about being thankful can raise happiness levels by 25% and that writing thankful thoughts in a journal leads to better sleep habits and an increase in energy. Wow! Let's share that happiness with our children. The following books encourage children to be thankful.
Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland This simple picture book does not focus on Thanksgiving but on the things children in different families are thankful for. A good book for toddlers through the primary grades. Follow up by making a journal entry, a drawing, or a chart of things you and your children are thankful for.
Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson When Bear wants to thank his friends, he decides to invite them for dinner. the only problem is his cupboard is bare. His friends solve the problem by bringing dishes-to-pass and console Bear by having him contribute his stories to the festivities in this rhyming book for preschoolers. Follow up by having or attending a dish-to-pass event or helping to serve food at a food kitchen.
Thank you, Sarah Based on the true story, this book tells how Sara Hale petitioned presidents for 17 years to get Thanksgiving named a national holiday. Lincoln finally signed the proclamation in 1863. This picture book, appropriate for the elementary level, reminds us to be thankful for the people who had the power of their convictions and worked to accomplish their goals. Follow up by researching other people who persevered to make a change in the world.
Will you make time this Thanksgiving Day to think about the things you are thankful for?