Teaching Kids about Being Thankful

thankful

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.

What’s better than expressing our gratitude for all that we have in our lives and sharing time with our family and loved ones?

This week, we explored the theme of Gratitude and Being Thankful in my yoga classes. We began with a discussion of what Thanksgiving means and each child got to share one thing that they are thankful for.  I let the children know that we don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to be thankful, we can be Thankful every day!

P.K. Hallinan’s book I’m Thankful Each Day was  the perfect book to engage my little yogis in the many things we can be thankful for.  In the book, a boy describes all the blessings in his life, from the sun to the rain, to the trees and the love of his family and friends.

There are so many great YOGA POSES in this book:

The book begins with the boy looking up at the clouds and then the night sky and being thankful for the STARS in the sky.  For  Star Pose, we all stood up stretching out our “star points” and sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

The children enjoyed finding the yoga poses in the book (and of course, doing them):

SUN (Sun Saluatations), TREE, FLOWER, RABBIT, TABLE, RAINBOW, DOG, MOUNTAIN.

We also had fun making the sound of RAIN with our fingertips and then making it louder and even making thunder by clapping our hands and slowing down to tiny raindrops again.   Creative movement is a great way to keep children’s attention and allows them to use their imagination!

At the end of class, we colored some Turkey Mandalas.  I explained that a MANDALA is a special kind of art that is used by people from all around the world and that it helps us to focus and connect when we are coloring just like MEDITATION.

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I brought in a book of Native American Mandalas.  I explained how the Native American mandalas show how much they respected Nature and how much they were thankful for all that the Earth provided for them.  I told them  that mandalas are shaped like a circle which is like the circle of life and how we are all connected in life.

Then I handed out the mandalas and some crayons and asked them to color quietly and think about what they are thankful for.  I played some soothing flute music and the children spent some time very focused on coloring, some even drew their own Mandalas on the back of the their paper.  For SAVASANA, they were all lying down and looking at their Mandalas, it was adorable!

It’s never to early to teach a child to BE THANKFUL and recognize all the gifts their lives!