Re-Discovering the Blessings that Surround Us
“No duty is more urgent than giving thanks.” (James Allen)
Being grateful is not automatic.
Practicing gratitude is one of the quickest ways to lift your spirits and lift the spirits of people around you.
How do People Respond?
When asked what they are grateful for, most kids will have answers that include family, friends, pets, a home, technology, sports and other favorite pastimes. While these are all fantastic things to be grateful for, it is being specific and developing a daily routine to recognize what we are thankful for that changes us. Each morning selecting five things related to the day before help make a gratitude practice more purposeful. For example, a person might say:
* I am grateful for how my new socks felt when I wore them during the last Google Meet.
*I am grateful I have a cozy dog to pet each morning.
*I am grateful my kids make their breakfast each morning.
*I am grateful for overflowing bookshelves.
*I am grateful my car has a heated steering wheel
A specific practice helps to frame the day through a lens of gratitude. And practicing gratitude feels perfect around Thanksgiving but it is something that can be practiced all year long.
Gratitude Servers as a Reminder
Being grateful for the items around your house serves to remind us how fortunate we are. When the mind is focused on being appreciative and showing gratitude, it cannot hold negative feelings simultaneously. If you find yourself in a funk and feel bummed out, participating in a gratitude scavenger hunt is a sure way to lift your spirits. The stay-at-home gratitude scavenger hunt has a way of showing you how amazing life is.
How to Use the Scavenger Hunt
This scavenger hunt is designed so that someone could complete it by using items around the house or community. Findings could be shared on a future Zoom or Google Meet with a class or family members. Students could also bring an answer to one of the questions to dinner to talk about what was selected with family members.
A teacher could choose only a few items off the list for students to find and then ask them to hold up their findings on camera or present to the class at a future meet. Maybe pictures could be taken to show evidence of a few different things on the list. Or, perhaps the Stay-at-Home gratitude scavenger hunt frames a writing assignment, journal prompt, partner activity, quick question to connect with a student, or an item on an exit ticket to close out an hour. It is always interesting to see how other people interpret each item on the list, what can be found to answer each question, and provides an opportunity for follow-up conversations.
The Stay-At-Home Gratitude Scavenger Hunt
- Find something you are grateful for that shows your favorite color.
- Find a book that has helped you.
- Find something that smells good.
- Find something you can use to make a gift for someone.
- Find something that makes you feel safe.
- Find a place where you enjoy spending time.
- Find something that makes you laugh.
- Find something that tastes good.
- Find something that makes a beautiful sound.
- Find something that reminds you of a great day.
- Find a picture of someone you appreciate.
- Find something that reminds you of an accomplishment.
- Find something that seems like it took a long time to make.
- Find something that you like to read.
- Find something that reminds you of your friends.
- Find something that reminds you that you are loved.
- Find something that allows you to find information.
- Find something that is comfortable.
- Find something that reminds you of kindness.
- Find something that reminds you of bravery.
- Find something that makes you feel warm.
- Find something that helps you when you are bored.
- Find something that helps you see.
- Find something that you played with when you were younger.
- Find something that reminds you of a challenging experience you have overcome.
- Find something that you appreciate when you are tried.
- Find something that makes you smile.
- Find something that connects you to other people.
- Find something that reminds you of a vacation you have taken.
- Find something that reminds you of a unique skill you have.
- Find something that reminds you of your faith.
- Find something that reminds you of the freedoms you have.
If we want kids to be more grateful, we have to model what expressing appreciation looks like. Noticing the blessings that surround us remind us that there is always something to be thankful for. Offering students ideas of how they can notice gratitude will make the world better. It is our responsibility as parents and teachers to facilitate the change we wish to see in the world.