Character Helping Your Three-Year-Old Express Gratitude

Gratitude involves both feeling and expressing our thankfulness; it means we show our appreciation for others.  According to the Harvard Healthbeat, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” For a three-year-old, gratitude involves knowing how and when to say “thank you.” Three-year-olds can also begin to identify and name things that make them feel thankful, such as a favorite toy or a visit from grandma. 

Try these simple ideas to help your child express gratitude:

Model Gratitude

Children imitate adult behavior. In your daily interactions, model saying "thank you" to store clerks, teachers, librarians and family members. Encourage your child to follow suit. When you write a thank you note to someone they know, let them add a picture or dictate a few words. As they get older, encourage them to write their own thank you cards or make thank you gifts for people who have touched their lives, such as teachers, coaches or community helpers.

Good Manners

Dressing up and having a tea party can be a fun way to practice good manners.

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Crear un tarro de la gratitud

Un tarro de gratitud es algo tan sencillo como suena. Necesitará un gran tarro transparente, un montón de notas y un bolígrafo. Ponga a cada miembro de la familia a que escriba (o dibuje) algo por lo que se siente agradecido un par de veces a la semana. Pueden ser pequeñas cosas, como su comida favorita o cosas grandes, como el tiempo que han pasado con un abuelo. Al final de la semana, lean juntos los papelitos de agradecimiento en familia.

Share "Three Good Things" Each Day

As a family, make it a ritual to share three good things that happened that day. This is a perfect way to connect at dinnertime or bedtime. Simply ask children, "What made you happy today? What are you thankful for?" And don't forget to share your own reflections, modeling for your kids a daily attitude of gratitude for the small things in life.

Coupon Gifts

Making gift coupons is one way to say “I love you.” Together with your child, create a coupon book of ways your child can help with a family task or give as a gift on special occasions.

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Build Good Character Skills with Daniel Tiger

Through imagination, creativity and music, Daniel and his friends learn the key skills necessary for school and for life, using strategies grounded in the teachings of Mister Rogers.

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Activity Finder: Learn With Your Three-Year-Old

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