We are devoted readers here at the Savvy Source, and there is many a book that we enjoy reading so much that we turn the last page just grateful that somebody thought to put those words/pictures/sentences/pages together in just that way. We think the preschooler's favorite chorus of "Again!" echoes just that grateful thought, and we happily indulge another read-through from the top as often as we can.
But what about books that speak to that gratitude itself, instead of "just" inspiring it?
How, in these crazy days of belt-tightening all around and yet still such abiding plenty in the overflowing toy boxes of our littlest kids, do we teach our little ones to be grateful? And how, specifically, do we do it without sounding treacly and self-righteous?
Well, as with all things, modeling goes much farther than sermonizing. And how better to show our own gratitude for all the good things that surround us than taking a moment at suppertime and saying 'thank you.' Perhaps you only do it once a year, but that once is coming up in just two (gulp!) short weeks at Thanksgiving. Or perhaps you spend every dinner gathering going around the table sharing something that made you happy and grateful that day. Or perhaps your family has a specific prayer at meals that's central to your faith.
Whether your gratitude comes from holidays or every day, faith or secular practice, here are two great books for cementing that idea of gratefulness in your little one's mind:
Thanks for Thanksgiving -- If Thanksgiving traditions prompt us to contemplate times past, the preschoolers in our midst require us to stay firmly grounded in the here and now. This book celebrates all the little things that little persons are most thankful for: playground fun, school, music and art, mommy and daddy, and turkey and pie too (and it includes a page for writing thankful thoughts every year). And what are we most thankful for? These beautiful children, of course.
Saying Grace: Blessings for the Family Table -- This lovely book brings the best daily bread blessings from lots of different traditions, faiths and cultures together. It keeps it light enough for you to be able easily to integrate into a ritual if you're just starting one, and there's plenty in it that's deep and thoughtful enough to engage your kids as they grow older. A wonderful collection of reasons and ways to be grateful.
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