November and fall are a natural time to feel more grateful as we start to focus on Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays. When I was younger, I remember my mom having a gratitude jar where we would write down things we were grateful for and paper feathers and then read them on Thanksgiving. We have done that with our kids a few times and last year mixed it up by having a jar filled with gratitude ideas or prompts. We try to find an evening time when we’re all together (like most nightly dinners) and each person will pull out an idea strip, give their answer and then each person will go around and say theirs. Most of the idea prompts are super simple such as “a hobby I am grateful for”, “a person outside of my family I am grateful for” or “a sound I am grateful for” and it’s always interesting and insightful to hear everyone’s take on the same idea.
We’ve loved this family activity as a way to be together, express our gratitude and be more cognizant of the many blessings we have.
Click here to download the full PDF: Gratitude Jar Ideas
One of our favorite things to do as a family is nightly walks. It’s great exercise and we’ve found a way that makes it enjoyable for the kids too. When we first got married we would go on an evening walk usually on Sundays since it’s a more relaxing day and a nice way to start the week, talk and enjoy nature. When we lived in Virginia and I was pregnant with Brent we walked a ton since it was supposed to help induce healthy labor. Plus we also had Bruce and it was good exercise for him, and us. When Tessa was a newborn we continued to do our daily walks even though it was winter in Utah. It was fun to bundle up and get out of the house (we would push Tessa in her stroller that had a zipped winter cover).
When we lived in Texas, we still wanted to do our walk and since it was so hot, we usually wouldn’t go until the sun went down and we had the kids bring their mini flashlights which they absolutely love! It makes it fun for them especially if we’re going for a long walk and they’re in the stroller. We’ve still been doing our favorite family activity with the flashlights and it’s still great to stretch your legs at the end of the day, relax, breathe fresh air and talk together. If you’re looking for a way to walk more, get more exercise and feel refreshed, adopt our evening walk tradition! 🙂
[mini flashlights from the dollar store, we love our BOB Sport Utility Duallie double jogging Stroller from my parents and I always wear my nerdy runner’s vest similar to this one with a blinking bike light in the safety vest pocket]