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Natural Awakenings Rhode Island

Teaching Gratitude With Thank You Cards

Teaching Gratitude With 
Thank You Cards

by Wendy Fachon

There are so many good reasons for teaching kids to write “thank you” notes, and they are easy to write. A handwritten note of gratitude seems to be a rarity these days, yet the receiver is delightfully surprised and touched by the thoughtfulness. By encouraging, and modeling, the habit of writing “thank you” notes, parents teach gratitude and reinforce good manners. 

All it takes are three simple sentences to express gratitude. The first sentence starts with “Thank you” and specifies the gift or the reason for the written expression of gratitude. The second sentence can share a favorite detail about the gift, whether it is clothing, a toy, a book or a game. If the gift is money, the child can share how it will be spent. The third sentence can be the wish to enjoy the gift together sometime soon. A child can easily imagine reading a book together with a grandparent or playing a game with a friend.

Kids can draw or paint their own “thank you” cards. They can use photos or cut shapes from scraps of paper in the recycling bin, and they can glue them onto a blank folded piece of paper. The possibilities for expressing gratitude in this manner are endless. Children that have not yet learned how to write can draw a picture and ask someone older to write the message. Once the card is finished, an adult can teach how to address and stamp an envelope and place it in the mailbox.