There are so many different simple and fun gratitude activities for kids that you can do with your family, at church, or in the classroom to help your littles (and not so littles) count their many blessings. Whether you want a simple, printable gratitude activity, or something more interactive, you’ll find a whole host of ideas here.
What is gratitude? Gratitude is simply taking the time to think about all the blessings in your life that might otherwise go unnoticed. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude can have all kinds of benefits, including improving your physical health, helping you sleep better, and promoting resilience.
Here are some easy and fun gratitude activities for kids and families that you can do year round.
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20+ Easy and Fun Gratitude Activities for Kids
These gratitude activities are great for kids of all ages. In this list, you will find games, crafts, and other interactive activities. Our personal favorites: the gratitude pumpkin, the gratitude candy game, and gratitude journals.
Make a gratitude pumpkin.
Every year, we like to keep a gratitude pumpkin on our front doorstep. (This would also work great on your dining room table or in the classroom.) We buy a pumpkin at the beginning of October (this is also a great November activity) and every day, we each write one thing that we are thankful for on our pumpkin in black permanent marker. At the end of the month, we have a beautiful reminder of all the blessings in our lives.
You can also download a gratitude pumpkin printable here. Print your thankful pumpkin and have the kids fill in all the things that they are grateful for.
Go on a gratitude scavenger hunt.
Get the kids moving around and finding their favorite things with this fun gratitude scavenger hunt from Simply Full of Delight. This is great to use at church, in the classroom, or at home.
Keep a gratitude jar.
A gratitude jar is super simple. All you need is a mason jar (or any other kind of jar, vase, etc.) that you can keep on your dining room table – or somewhere else that is central in your household.
Each day, take a small piece of paper and write down something that you are thankful for. Perhaps it’s something that happened that day, or something you are looking forward to, or something that you noticed that day that you are thankful for. Add your piece of paper to the jar.
If you add a piece of paper to your gratitude jar every day for a month – or a year – you will have a huge collection of all the many blessings in your life. You can then pull out the pieces of paper – one each night over dinner, perhaps, or all at once at the end of the month or the end of the year – and be reminded of all the good things in your life.
Play a candy gratitude game.
This is my favorite gratitude activity to do with kids of all ages. For this gratitude game, all you need is a package of Smarties, Skittles, or M&Ms. When playing the game, you choose a candy and then name something that you are grateful for the corresponds to the color that you chose.
How to play the candy gratitude game:
- Grab a box or bag of candy.
- Pick out one piece of candy.
- List something that you are thankful for that corresponds to your color.
Download your free printable candy gratitude game instructions here. This includes a gratitude game for Smarties, Skittles, and M&Ms, but you can adapt it for any multi-colored candy.
Play a gratitude dice game.
This is a super simple game to play that will help you count your blessings. Simply download and print the free gratitude dice template from Artsy Fartsy Mama here. Then play the game: Roll the dice and name something that you are grateful for from the category that lands face up (like a person, a place, a memory, etc).
Learn to write a good thank you letter.
Learning to write a thank you note is a great skill to teach kids when they’re young. Encourage your kids to express their gratitude to the people in their lives who have done something nice for them, or who mean something special to them.
Write some gratitude kindness notes.
These cute printable gratitude kindness notes from Coffee and Carpool are great for getting kids to think about all the good things about the people in their lives.
Encourage your kids to think about why they are grateful to have each person in their life. If they’re stumped, ask them these probing questions:
- What do you love about them?
- What do they do with you that you both enjoy doing?
- Why are they special?
- How do you know they love you?
Make thankful turkeys.
There are lots of different ways to make thankful turkeys. If you have some construction paper, you can cut a turkey body (a simple circle) and some paper feathers and write something that you are thankful for on each feather.
You can also download and print a cute thankful turkey template. Just have the kids cut out the pieces, write down things they are thankful for, and put together their finished thankful turkey.
Turn your thankful turkey into a turkey hat.
This is a super simple and creative way to make thankful turkeys: Make a turkey hat and write all the things that you are thankful for on the feathers. This is perfect for home, church, or the classroom. Download your free thankful turkey hat template from The Primary Parade here.
Make a paper thankful chain.
This gratitude craft also makes a great Thanksgiving decoration. Turn a simple paper chain into a gratitude activity:
- Choose a few colors of construction paper.
- Cut each piece of paper lengthwise into strips that are wide enough to write on.
- Write something that you are thankful for on each strip of paper.
- Tape, glue, or staple your strips of paper into a paper chain to display.
Start a gratitude journal.
Gratitude journals are amazing tools that can help us to count all our many blessings. There are many ways to start a gratitude journal. The very simplest is just to grab a blank notebook and start writing down all the things that you are thankful for each day.
Feeling stuck? Remember something good about your day, people or places you are thankful for, your favorite food, a modern convenience that you take for granted, a hobby, a good night’s sleep, the feeling of sunshine on your skin…
Color some gratitude coloring pages.
Coloring sheets are great for kids of all ages and can be used at church, in the classroom, or at home. Gratitude coloring pages help to reinforce an attitude of gratitude and the final product can be hung on the wall or the fridge as a reminder to count our blessings.
Download your free gratitude coloring pages here. You will find gratitude quotes, Bible verses about thanksgiving, and a gratitude journal page that can be used over and over again.
Make a thankful tree.
Use some branches and some cardstock to create a beautiful thankful tree as a centerpiece. You can complete this project with your family, or invite friends and guests to contribute things that they are grateful for.
The basics of making a thankful tree: Write down things that you are thankful for on pieces of cardstock and hang them on some branches arranged in a vase or a mason jar.
You can also make a printable thankful tree: print the template, have the kids write things that they are thankful for on the leaves, and paste them onto the tree.
Try out the Family Appreciation Project.
This is a simple and fun idea from Ottawa Mommy Club. As a family, you make a cute and fun card out of cardstock or construction paper. Choose someone to be “it” first. They do something nice and out of the ordinary for someone in the family and leave the card behind so that the recipient recognizes that a good deed has been done for them. That person then does something nice for another person in the family.
Make a thankful flower.
This is a cute and simple gratitude activity for small kids. Use this free sunflower template from Crafting Jeannie and have the kids complete this super simple gratitude craft.
Find a whole alphabet of blessings.
Try to go through the entire alphabet and find something that you are grateful for. This is a great gratitude activity for groups and for classrooms.
Want some ideas for each letter? Here are 100+ things to be grateful for, alphabetically.
Read about gratitude.
Curl up with your kids on the couch and share a story about gratitude with them. Or use one of these storybooks at church or in the classroom.
The Thank You Letter is an adorable story about a girl who writes thank you letters to people in her life and gets love notes in return.
Gratitude is my Superpower tells the story of Betsy and her magic stone: a stone given to her by her parents that helps her to be thankful, even in tough times. When Betsy forgets to use her magic stone, she realizes that gratitude is hidden not in the stone but in her heart.
Grateful Ninja teaches kids 5 simple steps to increase their own gratitude with practical activities. In this cute story, Grateful Ninja takes on a 5 day gratitude challenge and learns to appreciate the big and the small things in life.
The Gratitude Project is a collection of essays exploring the neuroscience and psychology of gratitude and offering practical applications of thankfulness that can benefit individuals and whole communities. This is a great book to read yourself! Or share with your older teens.
Take a walk through nature.
Just taking a walk through nature is enough to help you relax and unwind. Turn a nature walk into a gratitude activity by listing all the things that you are grateful for in nature. As you walk, name something that you see that you are thankful for and say why you are thankful for it.
Make a morse code bracelet to teach thankfulness.
This is a clever and creative idea from Crayons and Spice: make a cute pony bead bracelet and “encode” something that you are thankful for using morse code and colored beads. Get the full tutorial here.