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Making A Gratitude Jar

A quick and easy project to teach children about the spirit of Thanksgiving

By Kristen Wright-Matthews, Editor & Publisher, Macaroni Kid College Park - East Point - Morrow November 14, 2020


I am always looking for a way to inspire my family, especially my 13-year-old son. Since he was very young, my husband and I have always tried to instill in him the real meaning behind holidays and not allow him to get caught up in the commercialism of it all. Of course, we let him dress for Halloween and we buy Christmas presents, but each year there is always a lesson, always a speech, and always an activity that allows him to delve in, explore and get into the true spirit of the holidays. Each year the lesson is more in-depth and age-appropriate to encourage him to discover and form his own ideas. 


Fall and winter are my favorite seasons and that includes the holidays that fall within. The weather is comfortable and people are just nicer, in my opinion. 


In Fall, to teach the spirit of Thanksgiving, we made this gratitude jar a few years ago. We keep it in a shared living space all year long and every time there is something to be grateful for, we write it down and stick it in the jar. When things aren’t going so well, we open it and reminisce on better times. At the end of there year, we open it and count all of our blessings. If you are looking for a way to teach your children about gratitude and the true meaning of Thanksgiving, the gratitude jar gets my vote. It’s very simple and delivers the message effectively. 


Here is our family's gratitude jar!


Here's how to make and use a gratitude jar with your child:

  1. Start with an empty jar, preferably plastic if you are working with a young child. Otherwise, you can use pretty much anything, like a mason jar. You can even use a peanut butter or mayonnaise jar, or you can use something larger, or even a box. 
  2. Anything goes for decoration (stickers, yarn, paper, etc). 
  3. Don't forget to keep the lid. 
  4. Put a slit in the top to slide the papers through, or you can simply unscrew it at every use.  
  5. Cut small sheets of paper, or even use Post Its. 
  6. Add a slip to the jar each day, but especially when there is something amazing to celebrate.

That’s it! - Easy right! Most importantly, have a great time making memories with your kids and loved ones!


Happy Thanksgiving!



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