This is a fun activity that will teach your teen to pay attention to the things he or she is grateful for.
Studies suggest that gratitude practice comes with amazing benefits, such as increased happiness and social intelligence and less stress.
And … gratitude practice is both fun and easy to do.
With this mindfulness activity, children, teens and adults can …
Learn to appreciate things both big and small,
find ways to express gratitude daily,
and figure out that thinking about positive things can make us feel good even if we feel down.
The Gratitude Photo Challenge activity gives a teen-friendly spin to gratitude practice.
Mindfulness For Teens and Kids – Gratitude Photo Challenge
Purpose: Gratitude, Connection, Positivity, Focus, Calm
Best for ages: 7+, groups or one-on-one
What you need: A camera
If your child is old enough to handle a camera or a camera phone, challenge him to spend a week taking photos of things he is grateful for. Any camera will work.
Start by explaining what gratitude is and make list of things you both are grateful for to help your child understand the concept. Then review the list for some potential themes to explore throughout the week—perhaps one theme per day.
Themes for a full week could look like this:
Monday: friends and family
Saturday: toys and tech
You can follow up each day after dinner and spend some time sharing your photos and talking about the good stuff.
After the seven-day period, get together and share your photos and talk about them in detail. Ask your kid if he’s been a bit happier that week focusing on the good. It is likely he will say yes.
Finally, print the photos and make a gratitude album or a fun board your child can place somewhere he sees often.
To include more friends and family in the activity, you can upload the photos online—for example, to Instagram if you are both into that (and old enough). You may want to challenge your Facebook friends, too.
If you both enjoy the challenge, repeat it once or twice a year, adding to your gratitude album each time. It’s a lot of fun to revisit the album, especially if you keep adding to it.
I hope that your family will enjoy this exercise. May you be happy and healthy!
Shout-out: This activity was inspired by Dani’s wonderful 2016 gratitude photo challenge on positivelypresent.com. For a yearly gratitude photo challenge, go check out her website.
If you are new to mindfulness with children we recommend that you read our guide: How To Practice Mindfulness With Children – The Essential Guide
Chris Bergstrom is the co-founder of BlissfulKids.com and a dad who is thrilled to practice mindfulness with his son. He is a certified mindfulness facilitator, and trained to teach mindfulness to students in K-12. He’s also an executive consultant, and has taught meditation for more than 10 years.