Hooray for the first blog post! I am excited to bring you and your family valuable information from around the web, from my experiences in child development and teaching as well as my personal experiences being a parent. I promise that the information I post here will support you on your mission to raise a happy and healthy family. There will be easy craft ideas to do with your children, book suggestions to read together, guest posts from experts in a number of fields, links to products to make your life easier, etc. I am not here to claim I am an expert in these areas or to say what I suggest is the “right” way to raise your child. I learned very quickly when I became a parent that we all have different ideas as to what is best for our children and that’s okay! Simply said: I will share ideas with you and you can take what works for you and leave what doesn’t!

It’s that time of year… a time to give thanks. Lately, my two year old claimed her favorite words are “Gimmie” and “I want.” It drives me crazy and I am still wondering where she learned this from! It is important to remind her that although she wants all of these “things” we have to remember to be very thankful for all that we have. How do you teach this to a two year old or any young child? The easiest (and least expensive) is through plenty of modeling. Talk to your child about what you are thankful for during the course of the day. “Mama, is so thankful you are a healthy little girl.” Simple. If your child is of talking age, you will start to hear them say things just like this before you know it! You can turn all of this conversation into an exciting turkey project too like this one on enchanting learning.

This month our family will read several books that help teach gratitude for nap and bedtime stories. I find that it is easy to indirectly teach lessons such as compassion and gratitude through good literature. Above are some of my recommendations of books we will use over the next few weeks to teach this important character trait. As a reminder to do this, I keep a basket next to my daughter’s bed with her library books in it along with any themed books that I pull from our collection (right now it’s Thanksgiving books).

Another great idea for teaching gratitude was taken from my awesome network of moms. Try having a Thanksgiving Countdown for the seven days leading up to the holiday. On each day, think of something fun to do such as making cards for others (try making this turkey from eighteen25 for grandma), baking cookies for the local police or fire department (you can get fancy with cookies like these), raking leaves for neighbors, etc. You can display your countdown in creative ways or you can print this one out from Family Fun in a jiffy! I like the calendar pictured below from pottery barn a few years ago and want to recreate it!

I hope these simple tips help you embrace this fine holiday of giving thanks.