Access the best list of fun gratitude activities for kids that will help them have an attitude of gratitude.
For some kids, gratitude comes naturally. These kids show appreciation for gifts, say kind words to their friends, and use please and thank you without being reminded.
Other kids struggle with this abstract concept. They need some instruction to help them understand what gratitude is and why it’s important.
Whether your child is a natural or needs more guidance, involving them in some gratitude activities can help foster a sense of thankfulness and joy. Plus, who doesn’t love fun activities?
Below, you’ll find 40 different gratitude activities for kids to help them reap the benefits of being grateful.
First, though, let’s look quickly at the concept of gratitude and why it’s important to help your kids become more grateful.
What Is Gratitude?
Gratitude is a feeling or attitude in which we recognize and appreciate the good things that happen to us.
It’s more than just saying “thank you” after someone has done something nice for us, although expressing thanks does play a role in gratitude.
Gratitude involves both understanding how fortunate we are and taking joy in the gifts around us. It’s a way of discovering the beauty in everyday moments and savoring it.
Why Is Gratitude Important?
Gratitude has been linked to improved mental and physical health, stronger social relationships, higher self-esteem, and more compassion.
Practicing gratitude can help kids:
- Cope with difficult situations by encouraging them to focus on the positive aspects of their experiences
- Foster a sense of joy, connectedness, and purpose in life.
By getting your kids to express gratitude and look for things to be thankful for, you’ll give them the skills to lead happier and healthier lives.
How Do You Teach Gratitude To Kids?
Gratitude isn’t like adding a few numbers or identifying some letters. It’s not a concrete skill that can be taught in a single lesson.
Instead, it’s an abstract concept that needs to be nurtured and developed over time.
The best way to teach gratitude to kids is to regularly involve them in activities that help them feel and understand what gratitude is all about.
Gratitude also involves having a thankful attitude of your own because your kids are watching you.
So don’t limit these lessons to the week before Thanksgiving. Instead, foster a sense of gratitude all year long.
To help you do that, here are 40 of my favorite gratitude activities for kids.
I broke them into categories to make it easier for you to find the perfect activity for your child. You’ll find:
- Gratitude Games
- Active Play Gratitude Activities
- Gratitude Crafts
- Gratitude Sensory Play
- School Gratitude Activities
- Other Gratitude Activities For Kids
Let’s dive in!
When your child plays one of these gratitude games, they’ll be having so much fun they won’t even realize they’re learning!
1. Gratitude Memory
This is a fun way for younger kids to think about everything they’re thankful for.
- You’ll need 20 index cards and a marker.
- Start by asking your child to brainstorm some good things they have. Write each one down on an index card.
- Once you have 10 cards with unique items, ask your child to draw each item on a different card.
- For example, if your child says their cat is a good thing, you’ll have one index card with “Cat” and one with a picture of a cat.
- When all 20 cards are ready, spread them out face-down. Take turns flipping over two cards.
The goal is to match the word and the picture. If you get a match, remove the cards and place them in front of you.
Keep playing until you match all the cards.
2. Gratitude Pick-Up Sticks
If you’ve ever played the classic game of Pick-Up Sticks, you’ll love this gratitude version from Teach Beside Me.
Basically, each time you remove a stick, you say something you’re thankful for.
To give you ideas, you can assign a theme to each color. So if you pick up a red stick, you’d name a person you’re thankful for. If you grab a green one, you’ll say a food you’re thankful for.
3. Praise Pictionary
For this game, you’ll need two teams with at least two players on a team.
On your turn, you begin drawing a picture of something you’re thankful for.
- The other players on your team try to guess what you’re drawing.
- If they guess, your team gets the point. If not, the other team gets a chance to guess for a point.
- Then, it’s the other team’s turn for someone to draw and the others to guess. Keep taking turns, rotating who is the drawer each round.
Play until one team gets 10 points or for a set number of rounds.
4. Gratitude Charades
This is a simple twist on the classic game of charades. Instead of acting out random words, your kids will take turns acting out things they’re thankful for.
- First, ask each person to secretly write down 3-5 items they’re thankful for. It can be people, experiences, objects, or anything.
- Then have each person choose one of their items to act out while the others try to guess what it is.
- Take turns acting out items until everyone has gone. Then do another round.
5. Gratitude Guess Who
This game is fun to play at larger family gatherings. Give everyone a small slip of paper and a pen. Ask them to write what they’re thankful for and put the paper into a jar.
When everyone has added their paper to the jar, pull one out. Read it aloud and ask your guests to guess who wrote it. Continue reading and guessing until the jar is empty.
6. Tiny Blessings
Sometimes, good things come in small packages! For this game, the goal is to come up with the smallest thing to be thankful for.
- The first player begins by naming something they’re thankful for, like their house.
- The next player has to think of something smaller than the house they’re thankful for. Perhaps they’re grateful for the windows that let them look outside.
- Keep going, taking turns saying things that are smaller than the one before.
When you reach a point where no one can think of an answer, play again. Except for this time, go from the smallest blessings to the largest ones.
7. Gratitude Candy Game
Do your kids love candy as much as mine do? If so, they’ll enjoy this fun candy gratitude game from Out Upon the Waters.
First, pour a bag of candy (like Skittles or M&Ms) into a bowl. Have each person select a piece.
Before they eat it, they have to say something they’re thankful for. To help encourage them to name different types of things, assign a category to each color.
For instance, if they pick a green candy, they can name a memory or experience they’re thankful for. If they want an orange one, they name a place.
8. Roll the Dice Gratitude Game
My kids enjoyed playing this dice gratitude game from Playful Notes.
On each person’s turn, they roll two dice. They use the numbers on the dice to find the corresponding box on the free printable.
Then, follow the directions in the box. Sometimes you’ll have to share something you’re thankful for. Other times, you’ll get points.
Active Play Gratitude Activities
Flex your kids’ gratitude muscles with these gratitude exercises that’ll get them moving.
9. Gratitude Scavenger Hunt
Send your kids on a gratitude scavenger hunt around the house, their room, or even your neighborhood.
Give them a list of things to look for that they’re thankful for — like something blue, a photo of a family member, or an item that smells good — and let them explore!
Feel free to create your own list, or snag one that’s downloadable like these:
10. Thankfulness Hopscotch
Take your favorite childhood game, hopscotch, and give it a gratitude spin! Write down a category on each square of the hopscotch board.
For example, you might have people, places, things, and food for the first four.
As your child jumps from one square to the next, ask them to name something from that category they’re thankful for.
11. Bountiful Blessings Balloon Pop
This balloon pop game is super fun!
Have the kids help you write down things they’re thankful for on small pieces of paper. Carefully add one piece of paper to each balloon by stretching the mouth of the balloon with your fingers.
Then, blow the balloons up and place them in the center of the room. Have each child get a balloon and pop it. As they do, have them find the paper and read what it says.
12. Gratitude Tag
My kids love coming up with variations of tag. TV tag was the inspiration for this version.
Instead of saying the name of a TV show to avoid getting tagged, they have to say something they’re thankful for.
If you’re not sure how to play TV tag, this video can help you get started:
Have some creative family fun with these gratitude crafts.
13. Gratitude Garland
This printable gratitude garland from Somewhat Simple is so cute! And it’s super easy.
Print off the pennants, fill in what you’re thankful for, and hang it up on some colorful twine with tape.
14. Blessing Tree
This is a fun tradition my family does each fall. I cut a large tree trunk from butcher paper and ask the kids to color it.
Then each year, we trace two handprints for each family member on fall-colored construction paper. After cutting out the hands, everyone writes down things they’re thankful for, one on each finger.
These handprints became colorful leaves on our tree.
15. Gratitude Stones
Gather a few rocks or stones with your kids and have them each pick one to take home.
Ask them to decorate their rock with a word or phrase they’re thankful for. Paint pens work really well for this.
When they’re finished, give everyone an opportunity to share what they wrote on their stone with the family.
16. Gratitude Pumpkin
Instead of carving a pumpkin, have your kids decorate one with all the things they’re thankful for.
Using a Sharpie, have them write words or draw pictures of all the blessings they can think of.
Find a fun variation over at Coffee and Carpool. In this one, you work together as a family to create a single gratitude pumpkin that you can enjoy all season long.
17. Thankfulness Tablecloth
Adorn your table with a white tablecloth, set out some fabric pens, and let your family members go to town. Ask them to draw or write their blessings on the tablecloth.
Whenever you use this tablecloth again in the future, you’ll be able to reminisce about all the good things in life.
18. Gratitude Grows
While many of these crafts have been fall-specific, gratefulness isn’t limited to any one season.
Here’s a craft that’s perfect for spring when all the flowers are in bloom.
- Use colorful construction paper to make flowers.
- On each petal, write something you’re thankful for.
- Then, glue the flowers onto a sheet of construction paper you’ve colored with a background.
Alternatively, your child can draw flowers and write directly on them instead of cutting and pasting. Older kids might appreciate this option.
Here’s one my daughter did recently while she was practicing drawing tulips.
19. Gratitude Mobile
Have your kids make a gratitude mobile by cutting different shapes out of cardstock.
They can write or draw things they’re thankful for on each shape and then decorate it with markers or glitter.
Punch holes in the top and bottom of each shape, thread a string through each hole, and hang it up, so all the shapes move when you blow on them.
20. Gratitude Collage
Have your child collect items they’re thankful for — like newspaper clippings, pictures, and ticket stubs — and paste them onto a piece of poster board.
Encourage them to talk about each item as they’re adding it to the collage. This is a great way to practice gratitude and relive some happy memories!
21. Thankful Turkey
Colorful handprints don’t only make great leaves on a thankful tree, they also make cute thankful turkeys. Fun Handprint Art has a simple tutorial.
22. Family Gratitude Vision Board
A vision board is a great way to visually express your family’s gratitude.
- Gather old magazines, scissors, glue sticks, and poster board.
- Then have everyone cut out words or pictures that represent something they’re thankful for and add them to the board.
Once it’s finished, hang the board up in a place where everyone can see it and be reminded of how much they have to be thankful for.
23. Gratitude Drawing Prompts
This is a great activity for kids of all ages. Give each kid a piece of paper and some drawing materials like pens, crayons, or markers. Ask them to draw something they’re thankful for.
Here are some prompts to get them thinking.
Draw a _______ you’re thankful for:
- Family member
- Member of the community
24. Pie Full Of Praises
This pie-themed gratitude activity from Momfessionals is so much fun.
- You draw light lines on a paper plate to divide it into eight slices.
- Your child writes (or draws) something they’re thankful for on each of these.
- Then you cut the same size slice out of a circle of orange paper. Use a brad to attach the two, so it looks like a pumpkin pie with a piece missing.
As your child spins the pie around, they can remember everything they have to be grateful for.
25. Gratitude Chain
Create a paper gratitude chain that you can add to over time.
- Cut construction paper into even slips.
- On each one, write something you’re thankful for.
- Using a glue stick, make a chain link from the first piece of paper.
- Connect another piece to this first link and glue it in place.
- Continue adding to your chain and see how long it can get.
Gratitude Sensory Activities
Let your kids use their senses to experience gratitude with these fun activities.
26. Gratitude Sensory Bin
Sensory bins don’t have to be complicated. Here’s a simple one you can create with your child.
Fill a large container halfway with a filler ingredient such as dry rice, lentils, or oatmeal. As you add other things to the bin, take a few moments to discuss why you’re thankful for each one.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Small toys
- Kitchen utensils (to represent the preparation of favorite foods)
- Measuring cups (you can talk about how gratitude can overflow so you can pour it into others)
- Empty toilet paper tubes (indoor plumbing is something we can all be thankful for!)
See if your child has any other ideas. Then, turn them loose to play with their new sensory bin.
27. Gratitude Sensory Walk
Take a walk with your child. You can go from room to room in your house or get outside and stroll through the neighborhood.
Throughout the walk, stop occasionally and ask your child to use their senses to think of things they’re grateful for.
What can they see, smell, taste, hear, or feel that brings them joy?
28. Thank You Cookies
Has someone in your life been a big blessing recently? Have your child help you say thank you in a tangible way.
Mix up a batch of your favorite cookies together.
Have your child help add ingredients and stir.
As you do, talk about why this person is so special and how much you think they’ll like the cookies.
Smell the cookies together as they’re baking. You can mention that just like the sweet smell from the cookies permeates the kitchen, so do kind activities for others. They make an impact, and they matter.
Deliver the cookies together in person, with your child.
29. Doughs Of Gratitude
Break out the playdough for this fun sensory activity.
Ask your child to sculpt different things they’re thankful for.
30. Shaving Cream Blessings
If your child is old enough not to eat it, spray a wad of shaving cream on the table. Ask them to spread it around with their hands.
Then, they can use it as a drawing surface to draw things they’re thankful for.
When finished, the shaving cream wipes up easily with some paper towels.
Academic Gratitude Activities
If you’re looking for gratitude activities for your classroom or homeschool, give these ones a try.
31. Reading Gratitude – Themed Picture Books
These books help kids learn about gratitude. Enjoy them together:
- Fill a Bucket: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Young Children by Carol McCloud and Katherine Martin
- Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña
- Bear Says Thank You by Michael Dahl
- Around the Table That Granddad Built by Melanie Heuiser HIll
- Apple Cake: A Gratitude by Dawn Casey
- We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell
- When Grandma Gives You A Lemon Tree by Jamie L.B. Deenihan
32. Letter Of Thankfulness
In today’s world of digital communication, there’s nothing quite like getting a handwritten note in the mail. Have your child select a person to write a thankful letter to.
When they’re done, help them get the envelope addressed, add postage, and put it in the mail.
33. Gratitude Journal
Help your child build a habit of gratitude with a gratitude journal. You can buy one or create your own with a spiral notebook.
Encourage them to write a few things they’re thankful for at the end of each day. In a few weeks, they’ll be able to flip back through the pages and see how much goodness there is in life.
Here’s a popular choice… The 3 Minute Gratitude Journal for Kids
Related: Also check out these 100 gratitude journal prompts for kids.
34. Alphabet Gratitude Book
Can your child think of something they’re thankful for that starts with each letter of the alphabet?
Challenge them to create their own A-Z Book of Gratitude.
Have them dedicate one page of the book to each letter. They can add text and illustrations.
When they’re done, they’ll have a nice keepsake you can enjoy reading together.
Other Gratitude Activities For Kids
These gratitude activities for kids didn’t fit nicely into any of the other categories, but they’re still a great way to encourage an attitude of gratitude.
35. Gratitude Jar
Set out a jar with some paper and a pen. Each day, have everyone in your family write down something they’re thankful for on paper and slip it into the jar.
At the end of the year, gather together and read through all the entries. You’ll be amazed at how many good things happened.
36. Random Acts of Kindness
Discuss the idea of random acts of kindness with your child. Then make it a point to perform random acts of kindness throughout your day.
If you see your child doing something kind for someone else, praise them.
37. Counting Your Blessings
For several years, my family has made it a point to count our blessings twice a day.
We gather in the morning before starting our school day and in the evening before bed. During this time, we sing the chorus of the hymn, “Count Your Blessings” and then take turns sharing something we’re thankful for.
In the morning, one of the kids picks our blessing challenge. Then the whole family takes turns saying a blessing related to that topic. In the evening, anything goes.
Here are some recent blessing challenges. Name something good about:
- Spring break
- The seasons changing
- The dinner we ate last night
The blessing challenge really stretches our gratitude muscles sometimes. If you really don’t like something, and someone picks it as the blessing challenge, you still have to think about a positive aspect.
It’s taught the kids that we can still be thankful even during hard seasons or difficult times.
38. Watch Gratitude – Themed Movies
So many movies help inspire gratitude.
Here are some of our favorites to watch when we need a gratefulness refresher:
- A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas
- VeggieTales: Madame Blueberry
- Freaky Friday
- The Ultimate Gift
Teach your kids to use their skills to help others by volunteering together.
Whether you’re spending time in a soup kitchen or raking leaves for an elderly neighbor, there’s always a way to give back.
40. Minecraft Thankfulness Builds
Minecraft is a favorite game here. If your kids enjoy it, challenge them to build a few things they’re thankful for in a new world.
They can do it in creative mode if they want, or ask them to do it in survival for a harder project.
Encouraging A Grateful Heart
Practicing gratitude with your kids is a great way to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness and appreciation in them.
These 40 gratitude activities for kids are sure to get you started on this journey!
What Gratitude Activities Will Your Kids Try First?
Or share some other ideas you use to practice gratitude with your children – we’d love to add them to this list!
More Resources We Think You’ll Love
- 60+ Gratitude Coloring Pages To Be Thankful
- 100 Gratitude Journal Prompts For Kids
- 100 Fun Self-Care Activities For Teens
- 5 Values To Teach Your Kids About Life
- Happiness Advice From the Kids In Our Life
- 7 Ways To Appreciate The Little Things In Life
Freelance writer / Homeschool mom
Lisa Tanner is a freelancing, homeschooling mom of 11 kids. She is passionate about helping other moms make time for their own businesses. Lisa shares her knowledge on lisatannerwriting.com, discussing everything from time management skills to freelance writing tips. Lisa, her husband, and the rest of the crew live in Missouri, where they serve at Missionary Acres.