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What Preschoolers are REALLY Thankful For

Every year my kids come home from school with loving, sweet, heartfelt letters and drawings.

“I am thankful for my Mom and Dad,” the letters read. 

It’s wonderful, and I’m sure they mean it. But a part of me is a little sad because it’s so obvious they’ve been coached. For the week before the drawings come home, they hang on the classroom walls. Every kid’s piece is suspiciously  similar. They are thankful for their house, their family, their mom and dad and siblings etc.

Some well-meaning teacher read a story about what it means to be thankful, and they had a little chat and then they all sat down to draw, and guess what… They were all thankful for the SAME THINGS.

Here is where I sigh. Then I come up with a plan. I conspired with my son’s teachers to ask the kids in his class what they were thankful for… without any coaching or stories or prompts whatsoever.

I wanted to see what they’d come up with on their own.

I’m not saying they are NOT thankful for family. I fully expected some kids to give the “usual” answers. But if you just flat out ask your average 4 year old what they are thankful for, you’re going to get some other answers. Like “Skylanders” (my son), and ice cream, and Disneyland.

For whatever reason I find the uncoached answers more charming, and authentic. I love how little kids are so in touch with their feelings – the little things that make them happy. If you don’t tell them what they are supposed to say they tell you the first things that spring to mind – that they are thankful for mac & cheese and hugs.

It’s a nice reminder that the little things matter too.

So what were the kids in my son’s class REALLY thankful for?  I couldn’t wait to hear….

  • Hampsters! 1 of 19
    Thank goodness for Hampsters, you guys!
  • Presents! 2 of 19
    Without parents, there would be far fewer presents.
  • Ponies! 3 of 19
    Because ponies are awesome. Who wouldn't be thankful for ponies?
  • Movies! 4 of 19
    When you are four, pretty much every movie you get to see is awesome. I'm also still thankful for movies, when I get to see them in a theater!
  • Being Nice to My Brother 5 of 19
    Being Nice to My Brother
    My son drew this one. He's thankful for being nice to his brother. I asked if he meant it the other way around. He assured me no... In the picture it looks like he'd better be nice or else!
  • Dogs! 6 of 19
    Here is what I love about this picture. The child that drew it, drew a picture of 6 people (family?) and then said she was grateful for her dog. I am guessing her whole family loves the dog too.
  • Mom 7 of 19
    No coaching here. This one is thankful for mom and I love the drawing that goes with.
  • Legoland (and Dogs) 8 of 19
    Legoland (and Dogs)
    If only you could bring your dog to Legoland...
  • You 9 of 19
    I'm not sure what melted my heart more - the drawing or the open sweetness of this kid's response.
  • Teachers 10 of 19
    Ok we know who the class pet is... All joking aside, the teachers are my son's preschool are pretty fabulous and I am glad that they are recognized by their pupils!
  • Pools! 11 of 19
    Ah.... don't you just want to float on a raft after looking at this?
  • Sharpshooting 12 of 19
    Rock on, kid!
  • Music 13 of 19
    Fastforward ten years and I think this one's going to be a DJ. Music is a pretty great thing to be thankful for.
  • Family 14 of 19
    No coaching, and yet...
  • Family 15 of 19
    yet again
  • Mom and Dad 16 of 19
    Mom and Dad
    Parents are still what kids are most thankful for
  • Family 17 of 19
    Even without any coaching, Family was the #1 answer
  • ME 18 of 19
    I think I know the #1 answer for parents. We are all thankful for our funny, honest, and occasionally quirky kids.
  • What Kids are Really Thankful For? 19 of 19
    What Kids are Really Thankful For?
    Think you know what they are thankful for, REALLY thankful for? You might be surprised!

Do you have a kid under 5? What do you think they are really thankful for?
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