Makerspace Monday: Showing Gratitude

Next Monday is Memorial Day, the unofficial beginning of summer. As the school year sputters to an end, the stress of trying to homeschool will soon be replaced by the stressful reality that summer camp may be canceled, too. What to do?

“What if there were a solution to stress that involves nothing more than feeling thankful for the good things in your life?” asks Robin Madell in an article entitled “Benefits of Gratitude” on Healthline. “In fact, there is. That solution is called gratitude.”

But how can we show gratitude? A November issue of Harvard Health Publishing’s Healthbeat explains: “People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. They can apply it to the past (retrieving positive memories and being thankful for elements of childhood or past blessings), the present (not taking good fortune for granted as it comes), and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude).”

With the resources below, we can show our gratitude and share iteverydaywith others right now.

Blessings Jar     

A Place to Nest shares The Blessings Jar picture book by Colleen Coble and a new tradition that her family started with their kids, a blessings jar. On the I Can Teach my Child blog, Jenae shares her family’s blessings jar tradition with step-by-step directions.

Count Your Blessings Board      

The folks at Crayola explain how to use gift wrap and ribbon with clothespins and tape on a poster frame to make a Count Your Blessings Board.

DIY Gratitude Journal    

Terri Thompson at Creative Family Fun uses “one piece of scrapbook paper and four pieces of plain paper” to make a gratitude journal with scissors,
washi tape, a glue stick, and a stapler. 

Guitars!

Work with someone you know who plays the guitar and write a thank-you song with songwriter Gabe G’Sell’s Songcraft app. And don’t worry about location!; the songwriter and guitar player can be in different places while working together to compose a song. The app recognizes the key the guitar is playing and even suggests chords.

Say Thank You

In his first Making Space activity video, children’s book author and illustrator Christian Robinson talks about his book, Last Stop on Market Street, and invites listeners to “make a rainbow” thank you to give to someone they are grateful for, like “our grocery store workers, nurses, doctors, first responders, bus drivers, delivery people, teachers, parents, or caretakers, anyone!” 

Anastasia Suen reads, edits, and writes books for all ages from her makerspace at home in Northern California. She has been teaching children’s book writing workshops since 1999, writing for Booklist since 2004, and managing the Carnival of Children’s Literature since 2010. Follow her on Twitter at @AnastasiaSuen

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