Giving Thanks: More Than 100 Ways to Say Thank You by Ellen Surrey

When I posted about our Family Focus: Gratitude and Thankfulness kickoff, I got LOTS of questions about the book we used to kick off this month in our house. So today, I’ve got some information for you about Giving Thanks: More Than 100 Ways to Say Thank You by Ellen Surrey. If you are looking for a way to inspire your children to think of all they are grateful for, who they may want to thank, and unique ways to express gratitude to others, then this is the book for you!

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Giving Thanks begins when Andy introduces himself to the readers. He dives right into the idea of giving thanks by letting us know that he was asked if there was anyone he would like to thank. He shows us everyone he thought of, but also challenges us to think of who we would like to thank.

Throughout the book, Andy poses a question to the readers (“What would you like to say thank you for?” or “If you could share an afternoon with them, what would you do?” for example), while also showing us how he’d answer the question for every single person he wants to thank. I especially love the pages where we see Andy’s ideas for an act of kindness that we could do to show gratitude and thinking through quality time with these special people (or pets or stuffed animals) in his life.

But, my favorite pages of Giving Thanks are the final two spreads in the book. On one, Surrey gives step-by-step directions to both making and filling a gratitude jar. From pets to food to nature to friends to achievements and more, Surrey’s questions ensure that readers think through all aspects of their lives as they think of what they’re thankful for. The final spread in the book teaches children how to make thank you cards for the important people in their lives, prompted by the questions “Who are you thankful for?” and “How many people can you make feel special?”

We used these two spreads to kick off our Family Focus month, as we made gratitude jars and thank you notes. Throughout the month of November, we’ll fill the gratitude jars as we go, and every Sunday night we’ll write thank you notes to the people we are thankful for, hopefully making them feel a little more special.

What family practices do you have around gratitude and giving thanks?

If you liked this, be sure to check out the rest of the books on our list of books to inspire gratitude and thankfulness!

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