It comes as no surprise that during the holidays gratitude is on everyone’s mind. There are many ways to express gratitude, but this year why not have your family start a new tradition by creating a gratitude journal. It can be one collaborative journal for the entire family, where you all share the pages, or individual notebooks for each person. It’s up to you!
- Gratitude Web Printable
- Journal: Use a blank sketch book with heavy duty paper (in case anyone wants to paint) or a lined book. There are so many options!
- Writing and Drawing Supplies: Does your family have favorite art materials? We love watercolors, oil pastels, colored pencils, and crayon rocks for the toddlers, but use what you have available. Another idea is to print out photos of family members and offer other collage materials and glue. How much fun would that be?
Begin by having each family member create a gratitude web, independently or with adult help, depending on your child’s age. This brainstorming phase of the writing process allows older and more experienced writers to have a cache of ideas laid out so that they can work on their journal alone when the mood strikes. However, it also allows younger children to feel involved in the process! Pre-writers can draw pictures and make marks to represent their ideas.
Think about finding a place to keep all of the materials accessible (journals, supplies, extra webs) so that everyone in the family is free to add entries when they feel inspired.
And we can’t stress enough that even the youngest child (the page below was created by a 2-year old) can join in on the fun by drawing a picture and then dictating the words to an adult or older sibling. What a wonderful thing for pre-writers to experience – their pictures hold meaning, and when they tell you about their drawing those words can be written down for other family members to read and understand!
Wouldn’t this be a wonderful journal to use year after year? Record the month and year of each entry along with your child’s age. Then go back every so often and see how everyone’s ideas of gratitude have changed and grown over time.
A true gift for the entire family, and one that will keep giving for years and years to come!