A grateful heart is full of thanks and appreciation. Teaching gratitude to children and allowing them to express their appreciation is important and beneficial. These activities help children focus on what gratitude is, how to express it, and how to use it. Gratitude activities can help build community, foster relationships and nurture love.
1. The Gratitude Game
Everyone loves a fun game, now add some purpose behind it and you have The Gratitude Game. Children can pick a colored stick and discuss the prompt that goes along with it. This is a great way to start teaching children about expressions of gratitude.
Learn more: True Aim Education
2. Thankful Tree
Making a thankful tree is a great way to build family engagement or classroom community. Children can cut out the leaves and write what they are thankful for and then put all the pieces together to create this visual reminder.
Learn more: Happiness is Homemade
3. Thankful ABC
Pair this ABC gratitude activity with children's books about gratitude and help children list things they are thankful for from A-Z on a piece of paper. This could also be done as a group with your entire class or your whole family.
Learn more: True I Am Education
4. Gratitude Mobile
Engaging your little artists in this craft is sure to spark creativity and expressions of gratitude. This is a gratitude exercise that will allow children to think about things and people they are grateful for and to display their thoughts in an artistic way.
Learn more: Meri Cherry
5. Gratitude Stones
Painting gratitude stones is a fun way to get crafty by doing something for others. You can encourage children to pass out these gratitude stones to people they are grateful for in their lives.
Learn more: Craft Your Happiness
6. Gratitude Pumpkins
Fall festivities mean pumpkins! Create your own gratitude pumpkins to display what we are most grateful for. Using strips of paper and a stapler, this cute craft adds a festive fall vibe to your home or classroom.
Learn more: The Joys of Boys
7. Gratitude Leaf Garland
Gratitude garland is easy to create. Making a paper chain of leaves with messages of gratitude is a fun craft to add as a visual representation of gratitude for your family. During family mealtime, you can discuss things from the garland and foster a sense of appreciation and encourage a culture of gratitude.
Learn more: Stay At Home Educator
8. Paper Bag Gratitude Trees
Paper bag gratitude trees are fun and easy to make. Using colored paper for leaves and brown paper bags as the tree, you can encourage a sense of gratitude and have children write things they are thankful for on the leaves, like special people or things in their lives.
Learn more: No Time For Flash Cards
9. Gratitude Journal
Journaling is a great way to encourage positive thinking. Creating a gratitude journal is a simple act that will help inspire gratitude in children. By taking time to write down what we are grateful for and why, children can begin to develop regular gratitude practice. Gratitude journaling could also be done as a family or as a class.
Learn more: Coffee, Pancakes, and Dreams
10. Read a Book!
Children's picture books are great for modeling how to be grateful and instill daily gratitude practice. Reading and discussing our own thoughts and how to be grateful are great ways to promote family time as well.
Learn more: Third Place Books
11. M&M Game
The thankful M&M game is another game to play to encourage discussion about gratitude. Discussions can lead to a feeling of gratitude working and become a daily reminder to reflect. This would be fun to do each day after dinner. This can also be done with Skittles.
Learn more: A Thrifty Mom
12. Gratitude Prompt Envelopes
If you find yourself running short on discussion, try using gratitude prompts. This can encourage everyday moments of reflection and discussion about what we are grateful for and how to express it. You could even use this in conjunction with a gratitude curriculum.
Learn more: Planning Playtime
13. Gratitude Cards
Writing cards is a great way to promote the development of gratitude and encourage noticing the benefits of gratitude. Have children write to a family friend, teacher, or other people who are important in their lives to say thank you and create an attitude of gratitude.
Learn more: Rhythms of Play
14. Gratitude Scavenger Hunt
A unique way to express gratitude is through a scavenger hunt. You could do the hunt and share your findings. You could even take it a step further and use the data to create a classroom gratitude book!
Learn more: Simple Acres Blog
15. Gratitude Graffiti
Creating a gratitude graffiti wall is a great way to publicly display gratitude and write messages on paper that show gratitude for the gift of life, the gift of health, and the gift of others in your lives!
Learn more: The Gratitude Graffiti Project
16. Gratitude Collage Board
Grateful people can express their gratitude through collages and create their own collage boards. Use regular paper or cardstock to glue words or pictures to represent what you are grateful for in your life!
Learn more: Make A Vision Board
17. Thankful Sunflowers
This gratitude flower is a cute craft to do that allows students to cut, glue, and write. This sunflower is perfect for adding a little sunshine to your day!
Learn more: Homeschool Preschool
18. Gratitude Jar
Gratitude jars are great using with families! You could add a daily gratitude entry to the jar and celebrate weekly or monthly by reading what everyone is grateful for. The effects of gratitude are clear in this daily gratitude jar activity!
Learn more: Kids Activities Blog
19. Gratitude Gifts
Allowing students to create their own gratitude gifts for others is a thoughtful way to let them express gratitude in their own way. This could be crafts, drawings, poems, or other forms of writing.
Learn more: Blissful Kids
20. Gratitude Flowers
Gratitude flowers are a fun and colorful expression of gratitude! Students can make these adorable flowers and use them to decorate and show a daily reminder of what they have to be grateful for!
Learn more: Blissful Kids
21. Thankful Hearts
Grateful hearts are perfect crafts that are outside the box! Students will enjoy learning to sew and create fabric hearts! Then, they could gift these hearts to people they are grateful to have in their lives.
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22. Thankful Table Cloth
Making a gratitude quilt or tablecloth is perfect for a class or a family. Add handprints in paint and write what each had is grateful for to add a kind-hearted grateful aspect!
Learn more: Your Modern Family
23. Thankful Turkey box
These fun little turkeys can be made from a tissue box and paper. Take turns adding slips of paper with things you are thankful for and you could share all these things on Thanksgiving!
Learn more: I Heart Crafty Things
24. Gratitude Suncatcher
Colorful suncatchers can add some jazz to your windows. You could use fall colors or spring colors. Add things you're thankful for to the paper and make it a tree or a flower! You could also add a twist and let students paint to maximize the gleam of the sun!
Learn more: The OT Toolbox
25. Thankful Turkey Book
These small booklets are great for Thanksgiving or fall time too! Use recycled materials to add feathers and write on the pages about things you are thankful for! Little ones can add wiggly eyes or draw their own.
Learn more: B-Inspired Mama
26. Turkey Coloring Page
This free printable is perfect for practicing number and color recognition and has space for children to write what they are thankful for at the bottom. Students will enjoy displaying their work and sharing these thoughts with their families.
Learn more: Mama Miss
27. Gratitude Yoga
Adding yoga to your routines and curriculum can have many benefits. Children will enjoy the physical movements and it will be a great time to foster discussions about how to be grateful. This could become part of a daily routine for your family or class.
Learn more: Kids Yoga Studies
28. Thankful table
Thankful tablecloths are good for adding some gratitude to any table! Children can color and write about the things they are grateful for in their lives. The added colors and illustrations will live your table and enrich your table talk as you share meals together.
Learn more: Art Bar Blog
29. Gratitude Sensory Bin
Use a familiar children's book to create this thankful sensory bin. Add in craft sticks of things your family or class is thankful for. You can even use the characters from your thankful book to add on to craft sticks and let students practice retelling the story.
Learn more: Little Bins for Little Hands