‘Gratitude Tree’ helps toddlers express love while learning how to write
PAYSON, Utah — Siblings Noah and Riley Fullmer know when mom brings out the construction paper, she means business, especially in the fall when she starts a ‘Gratitude Tree’.
“I like to start it Nov. 1st just to kind of kick off the month,” said Barb Fullmer, mother to Noah and Riley. “At breakfast every day, we would put a leaf on the tree, and I would ask my children, ‘What makes you happy? What do you enjoy doing? What do you like?’”
Those answers go straight to paper. Fullmer helps her children write out their responses on leaves they cut out of construction paper. It is an activity her 3-year-old daughter is especially fond of.
“Sometimes I will just write it out, or she wants to try writing the letters out, and I’ll just kind of assist her,” Fullmer said.
Rebecca Dutson with The Children’s Center Utah said activities like these give parents a way to practice reading and writing with their toddlers.
“All of that provides that early learning literacy opportunity,” Dutson said. “Children too young to write, we can help them by writing their words for them. We can sit down and ask them questions about their thoughts and their feelings.”
Dutson said if your child cannot write just yet, you can encourage them to draw instead. She also said projects like these are perfect ways to teach our little ones about love and gratitude.
“Additional support for that is when we see our children beginning to express gratitude, that we comment on that, and we share our gratitude for our child’s behavior, and this reinforces their learning,” Dutson said.
For more ideas and resources on activities that can help teach your children about love and also how to read and write, visit the 5B45kids website.
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