As all experienced foster parents know, kids in care often see their lives as bleak, as filled with negatives. Part of our job is to help them recognize what is good in their lives. One strategy I have used is a "Blessings Cake."
I make their favorite kind of cake and frost it with their favorite flavor icing. Then I buy whatever their favorite colorful candies are.... M&Ms, Skittles, Mike and Ikes, jelly beans, or gumdrops all work fine.
Each child received a small dish of one color candies, and there was a bowl of mixed colors as back up.
The kids helped me make the numbers of 2012 in one color candy in the center of the cake.
The set up was simple.... We went around the table and took turns naming people that were a blessing in our lives.
I found that by using the candy/cake combo the kids were far more invested in thinking up blessings than if we had just been sitting around as a family having a discussion! [The only start of disagreement was whether to make a design with the candies or just toss them randomly on the cake.]
My favorite response?
"Hey Nana, next year we might need TWO bags of Skittles!"
8 minutes ago