Another school year is quickly coming to a close, which means that it’s almost time for your child to say goodbye to one classroom, and move on to another. However, before they do this, don’t forget about the teachers! Helping your child learn to reflect on their year, and show gratitude to their teachers, will help build some essential skills: By learning to say “thank you” through creative play, they develop empathy, become sensitive to the feelings of others, and learn valuable life skills.
Try some of these age-appropriate ideas for thank you notes:
Preschoolers (3-4 years)
For kids this age, the simpler the better.
- Use a Stamp Pad to make a fingerprint pattern on a blank card, then write in each print a letter to spell out THANK YOU.
- Teach a doubly good lesson and reinforce letter recognition during your thank-you activity. Help your toddler or preschooler use Stacking Blocks or Wooden Alphabet Letters to spell out THANK YOU, then photograph him or her beside it. (Teachers will love this keepsake, too.)
Older kids (5+)
Older children can practice skills and exercise creativity while expressing their feelings.
- Practice those letters and create a personal message using stamps or stickers.
- The simple act of saying why a child enjoyed a particular teacher, or specific things they learned during the year, can help them understand the concept of gratitude a bit more. Transcribe their message (for those not old enough to write their own), then have them add a personal “stamp” using stamps or stickers.
- Have your child paint or draw a picture of something they enjoyed about the school year, or their teacher.
Embrace the thank-you note and turn it into a memorable experience for both you and your child. Make this a regular activity that you do together every time your child receives a gift, or has an occasion where a thank you note is appropriate:
- Fill a designated basket with everything you need and keep it handy. Include items like plain or monogrammed note cards, construction paper, postage stamps, markers, crayons, pens, and a Drawing Paper Pad.
- Remember that thank-you notes don’t have to be reserved for physical gifts. Kids can express their gratitude for special compliments, play dates, or even good friends. The key is getting them to express themselves in a creative way.
- Good manners and gratitude go hand in hand. Don’t forget to use “please” and “thank you” when talking with your kids. And insist they use the words, too.
How do you help your child understand and express gratitude particularly to their teachers? Share with us in the comments below, or join the conversation on Facebook.