So, in the spirit of being grateful (with it being almost Thanksgiving and Christmas), I am sharing several tips & tricks about teaching your children to say thank you. I'm calling it my Thank You Series. Here's my schedule for the next few days.
Saturday: Simple (& Creative) Ways to Help Your Child Say Thank You (with a free printable!) You are here! Read this below!
Sunday: Benefits of Teaching Your Kids to Send Thank You Cards
Monday: Ways to Make Sending Thank You Cards More Fun For Kids
Tuesday: Thank You Card Etiquette (For Kids)
Wednesday: People You Should Say 'Thank You' To More Often
Did someone give your child a gift? Send a picture message of your child reading the book or playing with their new toy. If you'd like to add a message, you can add a simple thank you, or say "Paige has been playing with her blocks all day... thank you for giving mommy some peace & quiet!"
Send a picture:
After editing your picture on PicMonkey, add a simple thank you note like this one:
Then, you can send it via email, print it off & deliver with some cookies, or make a post card out of it!
Printable Thank You Card
There are many printable thank you cards on the internet. I've made one for you to use (for personal use only, please) for free! I wanted to create one that kids would have fun with & could personalize. By using this thank you printable, they will get practice with writing, manners, coloring & emotions with this printable.
All you need to do is right click on the image, save as & it will be ready to print on a regular 8.5x11 paper.
There are many awesome companies that specialize in customizable cards. Some of my favorites are: Tiny Prints, Shutterfly and Paper Coterie. I've used them all & had very positive feedback from all of our thank you card recipients. I especially love making customizable cards with these companies when I have babies & young toddlers who can't talk or draw yet. It makes the card feel a little bit more from the child than it would without their cute picture smiling back at the recipient.
PS- They often have lots of good deals for their customizable cards!
Make a thank you video
(can be short & simple!)
This is a fun & unique way to say thank you with your children. Just film them saying thank you, playing with the toy, or anything else. Create a unique Thank You E-Card with Smilebox in minutes. Add your photos, videos, and music. Share it for free!
Or you can upload your video to Vimeo (a site that has privacy settings & you can email the link to the recipient).
Teach your child how to say thank you in sign language
My oldest daughter has a neurological motor & speech disorder, called Apraxia. I really wanted to teach her to say thank you, but it wasn't something that could come easily for her. I taught her the sign for "thank you" and I would translate it for people if they didn't understand it. Everyone loved seeing it, and I loved that she could still learn early on the importance of saying thank you, even though she couldn't say it verbally yet. I've been teaching this to my almost one year old so that she can also say it before she learns how to say it verbally, too.
Last year, we attended a Walk for Childhood Apraxia of Speech. We had quite a few friends & family members join Team Paige. I wanted to do something for them to let them know that we appreciate their donations & time. I came up with the idea of making a sign language thank you card to attach to their Team Paige bandanas.
Basically I took a picture of Paige (with her arm extended), printed it off, cut it out & glued all of it down to the paper, except for her arm, so her arm could move back & forth (making her say thank you in sign language). Some people thought it was supposed to be her blowing kisses, but either way it worked & was a big hit.
On the back I had printed "thank you" in dotted lines so she could trace over it. I did this for two reasons... First, I wanted the card to be from her, too. This was the perfect way to get her more involved in saying thank you. Second, I love giving her opportunities to help her fine motor skills as well as learning how to write her letters & name.
Top 10 List
One creative way for your child to say thank you is for them to make a "Top 10 Reasons Why This Gift Is Awesome!" list. Is 10 too many for your child? Maybe you could try "Top 5 Reasons Why I Love This Gift" or maybe "Top 3 Ways I Love Using Your Gift".
If your child is older & likes to write, why not have them write a story about their gift, or even a poem about it? I remember when I was in elementary school, the easiest "poems" were the acrostic ones. (Can you consider them poems? Well, I guess I just did!) You know, the ones where you write a word vertically, then find words that go along with each letter? One like this...
Make a Puzzle
Have your child write a thank you note (can be as simple as saying 'thank you for my gift'), then have them cut it out so the recipient has to put the puzzle together to read the message.
Say prayers of thanks
One of the most simple ways to teach your child to say thank you is in praying. Have them thank God for what ever things they are thankful for that day. I like to encourage Paige to come up with ideas on her own, but sometimes if she gets stuck I'll remind her of some things we can say thank you for. By doing this daily, it helps to engrave in children's minds that we all have things to be grateful for, no matter what our situations are or how our day ended up.
Tell me... how do you get your children in the habit of saying thank you?
Read more of my Thank You Series here:
Benefits of Teaching Children to Send Thank You Cards.
Ways to Make Sending Thank You Cards More Fun For Kids
Thank You Card Etiquette (For Kids)
People You Should Say 'Thank You' To More Often
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