Inspiration came for a new tradition this week…Thankful Thursdays!  Craving some sweet family time?  Wondering how you can create your own gratitude journal for children?  Read on my friend…

Thankful Thursdays are a wonderful family traditional to cultivate gratitude in children.

It all started when I read Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts.  It is all about choosing joy, by recognizing the gifts that are all around us when we slow down and enjoy the moment.  I was pondering how I could cultivate this “choosing joy” in my own family.  After all, it doesn’t take long to discover that grateful children don’t happen naturally.

I want my children to choose to see the glass as half full, instead of half empty.  I don’t want to be surrounded by a house full of Eeyores.  You know…that pessimistic, gloomy, mopey, depressed donkey character from Winnie-the-Pooh?  Sorry, but he just frustrates me!  Have you ever noticed though, how contagious that type of attitude is?  As parents, we set the tone in our home.  If we allow negative comments to start spewing from our own mouth, it won’t be long before our home is drowning in depression.

How to Create a Gratitude Journal for Children

We are deciding to fight the Eeyore mentality by practicing an attitude of gratitude.  I wanted to create an excitement in my children, so we made a special trip to the store for them to pick out a “Thankful Journal.”  As I couldn’t stomach paying $10 for the fancy “real journals,” I gently guided them towards this “super-cool” frugal option for $2. (I liked that the pages are already hole-punched, so I can easily transfer favorite pages to a binder in the future if needed.) Can you guess whose is whose? hehe

Each Thursday they will draw a picture of a few things they are thankful for, number them, and use Kidwriting to write them down.  I got myself a journal and plan on joining in on the fun!

My children have been begging for hot chocolate…something that we just don’t do as we spend most of the year in Panama sweating profusely. hehe  However, Thursday was an especially rainy day, so I decided to pull out the mugs and marshmallows, and enjoy a little hot cocoa to get us in a thankful state of mind.

They both wrote “Hot Cocoa” as one of their things to be thankful for. 🙂

If only I could’ve captured how much she savored the experience,

complete with the accidental marshmallow stuck on the nose. hehe

This article was originally posted on 9/14/11, when we first began our Thankful journal tradition.  Here are some of my favorite pages from their first gratitude journals.



After filling up their original notebooks, we switched to printable pages.  Check out this post to download your FREE Thankful Journal printables in English and Spanish, print and cursive.


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