Pop-Ins Schoolhouse

9083 West Peakview Drive 80123 Littleton, CO
Phone: 303-979-0094
Pop-ins Creative School House





Get little ones involved in the holiday household! Gratitude is one of the trickiest concepts to teach toddlers and preschoolers,  who are by nature self-centered, but one of the most important.  A 2003 study at the University of California, Davis showed that grateful people report higher levels of happiness and optimism, along with lower levels of depression and stress. We all enjoy being around children who are polite and show some caring and sensitivity to the feelings of others.  Grateful children may look outside of their own universe and notice that parents and friends do chores and acts of kindness for them. 


Keep in mind that gratitude is a learned behavior and children as young as toddlers can recognize that someone has done something to make them happy.  When they are very young, just playing peek a boo or singing a song for them will stimulate a happy, grateful response.  Simple acts like preparing dinner every night, shopping together and reading with them can be lessons that will teach them to help and do things for others that they may not think of as gifts.


Another simple act of gratitude is helping them to make thank you notes when they receive a gift.  A little routine like helping to feed the dog or set the table no matter how messy it ends up will leave them feeling good about themselves and teaches them to give help to others.


Fun ideas to help children understand gratitude:

  • Children learn easily from parents' behavior so “Please” and “Thank You” goes a long way when talking to them.
  • Mundane words of gratitude like “We are so thankful that our doggie give us so much love” are easily woven into your daily life
  • Talk about being grateful for things in nature like the beautiful sky at sunrise or the snow capped mountains on the way to school.
  • Dinnertime is a good time to mention things that happened that made you grateful during the day.
  • Don't be negligent in asking kids to help with chores.   There is no better way for them to learn about gratitude than having to shovel some snow or pick up dog poop.   They will soon be grateful for someone else helping out with these chores.
  • Make some cookies for a neighbor and let them help.
  • Cleaning out their closets and going with you to the donation center is a great lesson in giving.
  • Let kids go shopping with you for others’ gifts so that they can learn to give.


Gratitude is not an overnight lesson but something that will slowly become part of their lives so enjoy the process of learning with your little ones.  Happy Holidays and enjoy each and every moment of planning and playing with your children.