Teaching Kids to Appreciate the Small Things in Life

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Thankfulness doesn’t end with the start of Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving).  As we begin our excursions to the mall, start to remember and help children remember that the best things aren’t found in big gift boxes. 

Activity: Big Things Don’t Always Come in Fancy Boxes

  1. Display two presents that you “received in the mail."  One is beautifully wrapped, the other is in an old manila envelope. 
  2. As you show off your goods, make a big deal over the beautifully wrapped present.  Ignore the plain one. 
  3. With great fanfare open the first present.  When it is opened, display your sadness as you show the class its contents (anything that the class will perceive as totally useless). 
  4. Next , with a shrug of disgust, you open the plain gift-slowly let a grin cross your face, as you present the class with its contents –a bag of candy! (Such as Skittles or M&M’s)
  5. As you pass out the candy, there should not be any debate on the Skittle’s color.  The rule of thumb is… “You get what you get-and you don’t get upset” because it’s really not what’s on the outside-it’s what’s on the inside. 

Art Activity:  Decorate one side of a piece of paper as a gift box.   Fold the paper in half.  On the other side encourage the children to write, have them dictate to you, or draw something that they can do this holiday season to help someone else.

Remind your children what whatever they may celebrate in December: Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Chanukah…giving a gift from the heart is a universal message for everyone.
Written by Caroline Figiel

Listen to a short sample of Little Things in the audio player, below.