If you’re familiar with Vision Boards, you may have also made a Gratitude Board, but have you thought of the children you know?
This past week, a very special 4-year-old in my life gave me an inspiration I want to share. Last year her Christmas wish list was endless. Like so many kids, she wanted every toy advertised in every commercial she saw on TV. Yet this year, surprisingly, when asked what she wants for Christmas she answered with a smile, “Whatever Santa brings!”
My first thought was wow, how refreshing!
Then it occurred to me what a beautiful place this child is in. At the ripe old age of four, she has pretty much nailed the law of attraction.
She is certainly looking forward to Christmas and receiving new things, while at the same time she is doing two things:
- She doesn’t know specifically what she wants but has the trusting faith of a child that whatever her future brings will be good. (You get what you expect to get!)
- She is looking forward to pleasant new surprises while at the same time enjoying exactly where she is in life. (Be grateful for where you are while looking forward to where you will be!)
I can’t think of a more perfect example of how gratitude fits into the law of attraction. Doubtless, this is much easier when you are four years old with loving parents who provide you a secure environment. Immediately I realized that I can do something to help reinforce her marvelous attitude and hopefully maintain it throughout life – I can give her a Gratitude Board for Christmas!
I’ve selected a flower shaped magnetic board and little heart magnets. To start with I’ll include photos of her parents, grandparents and other relatives, and over time we can add other people in her life such as friends and teachers from her preschool.
At her age I’ll keep the concepts simple and add some pictures from magazines to represent all the things she has to be thankful for – a sunny day, a nice home to live in, a great vacation, a trip to the zoo, favorite (healthy!) foods, etc. I can even add simple words and short phrases that she can already read or recognize.
Another fun way to get the photos you’ll need is to take a little outing together. You can use your smart phone to take photos, and Walgreens will develop them in as little as an hour. Children will sometimes have ideas of specific people or things they want you to photograph, or you can just enjoy the outing, notice whatever delights them, and take quick snapshots as you go.
What you place on a gratitude board for a child will of course depend on age. I recommend using a cork or magnetic board so that the child can select things that he or she is particularly grateful for each day or week. Such a versatile gratitude board can be easily updated over time to reflect the child’s growing awareness and appreciation of the wonderful things in his or her life.
It will be great fun to help her choose new pictures to add to her gratitude board, and I look forward to helping her. Most importantly, I’ll be helping her learn about positive thinking. Even at four, life has its ups and downs, and if she learns now how to retain her joy through it all, what an amazing and abundant life is in store for her!
For Older Kids — Make Your Own Gratitude Board!
The awesome gratitude board above was created by a 9 year old. Look at what a wonderful job she did!
In fact, she has included some great positive affirmations, so you might call this a combination gratitude and vision board. All by herself, she has created a board that expresses her gratitude for where she is plus her vision of a bright, happy future. What a perfect way to do it!
We all know the importance of positive reinforcement for children, and affirmations work for kids too! For more ideas, see this article about making an Affirmation Board.
DIY Kids Gratitude Board: How To…
Obviously, the amount of adult supervision required will depend on the age and skill levels of the kids involved. Plan ahead to be sure your project will be safe and workable for the child who’s going to do the work.
I happen to know the little girl who made this gratitude board, and she can be trusted with scary things like scissors and glue. All her mom had to do was furnish some old magazines and a few supplies.
These items should be available at your local crafts store – or save yourself a trip to town and just click the links below to order from Amazon.com:
- Canvas Board This one measures 16 x 20, but you’ll find canvas boards in a variety of sizes.
- Glue Stick (if you don’t already have some of these in your “junk” drawer!)
- Optional: Coat your finished board with Mod Podge (for this you might also need a foam paint brush )
If you don’t have a lot of old magazines lying around, ask friends and family. You might even check with your family dentist or doctor offices to see if they have old issues they are ready to toss.
As for instructions to the child, the less, the better! Trust me, they “get” this far better than we do. As they work or when they are finished, get them to tell you about the items they chose to include. Gratitude is a wonderful feeling, so don’t miss the opportunity to share it with them!