Gratitude is a value that can never be taught too early. Grateful children (and grateful adults!) are happier, more well-rounded, and more ready to deal with obstacles that come their way. This article gives parents a list of 10 activities that present the idea of gratitude to kids in approachable and fun ways.
Gratitude doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some simple activities to consider when thinking about how to teach your child about the importance of gratitude.
- Homemade Thank You Cards – It’s old fashioned, but effective! Since you’re working with a preschooler, ask your child to explain why they are thankful for different people in their lives. This can range from grandparents to the clerk at the grocery store. Write down what they say in a card your child helps make. You can choose to mail the card or hand it to the person the next time your child sees them.
- Gratitude Care Package – Ask your child whom they are grateful for. (Try to pick a nonfamily member, if you can.) Create a care package for that person with helpful and thoughtful things inside as a way to express your gratitude. It will make their day, and your child gets an opportunity to be generous.
- ABC Gratitude List – Create a list where each letter of the alphabet is the first letter of something your child is grateful for. Let them be silly, too! Gratitude doesn’t always need to be serious.
- Gratitude Jar – Every day, ask your child what they are grateful for, write it down, and place it in a jar. Every once in a while, pull out the slips with your child and read through all the things they have to be grateful for recently. Make it a fun ritual for just your child or something everyone in your family does together.
- Gratitude Journal – Grab a journal or an old notebook and write down something your child says they are grateful for. Hand the journal to them and let them color or fill the page with pictures about what they’ve said. Flip through it every so often with them to remind them all of the things they have to be thankful for.
- Gratitude Scavenger Hunt – The perfect activity for your next rainy day. Create a list of things connected with gratitude for your little one to find. This list is specific to things in nature to be grateful for, but you can customize your list’s theme to whatever works best for you.
Sometimes you need a good craft that also reinforces a virtue. And we’ve got you covered with these fun ideas!
- Thanksgiving Gratitude Dice Game (by Mombrite) – There’s no better time to focus on gratitude than at Thanksgiving! Use this fun game as a way to help your preschooler express gratitude and remember why they are thankful.
- Gratitude Collage – You need a good collage every once in a while, and this is a great reason to make one with your kids. Help your child cut out pictures and words of things that represent what they are thankful for. Then paste them onto a big sheet of paper and let them decorate it in their own style.
- Gratitude Stones – Help your child paint small stones however they’d like. When they are done, help them write what they are thankful for on each stone and make a rock garden.
- Gratitude Tree (by Gratitude – The Life Blog) – If you’re looking for a “statement piece” that tells the world you and your family take generosity seriously, try this craft out with your kids. It will look great in your home and gives your family an excellent reason to answer some very important questions about generosity.
Ways to Develop Gratitude
These activities are great reminders for children on why gratitude is important. But being thankful is an important value that needs taught and reinforced as often as possible. Read our article on ways to develop gratitude in your preschooler so you and your family can make it a part of your shared values. The more you do, the more you’ll see gratitude make profound, positive changes in the lives of your loved ones.