With Thanksgiving right around the corner, gratitude activities for kids are on the minds of teachers and parents. In all honesty, gratitude activities should be a focus every month of the year.
How to Teach Gratitude
It seems to me that some personalities have more of a grateful heart than others. So how do we teach gratitude to our children?
- Show gratitude ourselves. Children imitate what they see. Sometimes being a stay at home mom is tough and keeping everyone fed and in clean clothes is an overwhelming task in itself. Be sure to take a couple of moments out of your busy day to count your blessings.
- Make thank you cards a habit. It’s the deliberate recognition of what was done for us that helps us be grateful. If your child is too young to write, have them color a picture. Thank you cards are one gratitude activities for kids that can be done year-round.
- Talk about what we are thankful for. This doesn’t have to be a preplanned conversation. Mention it in passing. “I’m so thankful our neighbors gave us tomatoes from their garden”. or “wasn’t it nice of grandma to pick up your favorite snack?”
- Make a point of paying it forward. My kids like to put quarters in the gum machines for other kids to be surprised by. I personally don’t understand the attraction of gum machines but it’s a big deal to them. Because it’s a big deal, they are grateful when I allow them to waste, uh spend their money on them. Make a point of doing things for others that your children enjoy.
One of my favorite gratitude activities for kids is our gratitude tree. We make one every year and it has been so much fun to see how the kids change from year to year.
I cut a tree trunk out of brown construction paper and tape it to the wall. The kids trace their hands on red, orange, and yellow paper. In each finger, they write something they are grateful for. We then cut the hands out and hang them on our tree as leaves.
For more ideas, check out these adorable gratitude trees at Blissful Kids.
Rhythms of Play has a cool gratitude tree made with clay.
Daily Momtivity makes leaves out of coffee filters for her gratitude tree. Very fun.
How to Homeschool My Child has a gratitude tree that she keeps up year round. She changes it with the seasons. I am so going to find a place to do this!
If you aren’t feeling particularly crafty, Amazon has you covered! They have kits with colorful cutouts.
Also, if you are looking for crafting supplies online. Blueprint has an amazing selection!
Are you looking for a great devotional for kids, be sure to check out my new series! Hands-on Devotions for kids. Helping our youth learn God’s word and important character-building lessons in a hands-on way! I am so excited about this series!
Gratitude journals for kids
Gratitude journaling is a wonderful idea for adults and kids. When we do any kind of journaling or creative writing in school, I am not fussy about correct grammar or letter formation. Focusing on writing everything correctly hinders the creative flow and I want the kids to focus on the subject rather than the mechanics.
Gratitude journals for kids are great because it forces them to slow down and ponder all the good things in their lives. The same concept applies to us moms! “Count Your Rainbows” is the gratitude journal a friend bought me for my birthday. I don’t write in it every day, but I do enjoy it!
For younger kids, we use notebooks that have blank space at the top and lines at the bottoms for journals. This provides them with both places to write and draw.
Older kids may still like to draw so encourage them to do so!
Click the image above for a really great gratitude journal for kids! After getting blank stares when asking my kids what they are thankful for, I realized that they needed to start with a more specific question and move to the less tangible one. This journal includes pages such as “foods I am thankful for” and “3 things in nature I am thankful for”.
Several of the pages include Bible verses and many are general enough to be used over and over.
Update: I have now created a gratitude journal for upper elementary aged kids. It contains 7 pages with 28 gratitude journal prompts. The prompts are more thought provoking and silly little graphics make it more light hearted and less or a burdensome writing assignment. Click image below to check it out!
Other Gratitude Activites for Kids
Here are a few more ideas for gratitude activities for kids that your family might enjoy.
Teach Beside Me has a gratitude game using pick up sticks. So much fun!
This thankful sunflower paper plate craft by Homeschool Preschool is so cute! I am definitely doing this with my four year old this year.
Lasso the Moon has an awesome activity for gratitude drawing prompts!
“I’m Thankful for You” Ornaments by Preschool Powol Packets
“Should You Really Teach Gratitude for Kids” is a great post by Hess-Un Academy.
What are some of your favorite gratitude activities to do with your kids? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
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