30 Gratitude Games and Activities for Kids to Practice Thankfulness
by Bestow Team | November 08, 2019
Gratitude is a transformative power backed by science. Practicing gratitude can improve our health, help us build deep and lasting relationships, and has even been linked to a longer, more fulfilling life. One study showed that practicing gratitude is linked with an uptick in weekly exercise and it can increase our happiness by 25%! These 30 gratitude games and activities for kids will teach your children to appreciate both big and small moments, turn mistakes into learning lessons, and be thankful for loved ones.
Instilling this sense of appreciation in your children when they are young will help them live happier, healthier lives, and give them more positive attitudes towards school and their families.
You can help your children practice gratitude by teaching them how to:
- Enjoy the little moments
- Reflect on lessons learned
- Pass kindness on to others
These 30 gratitude games are fun ways to practice thankfulness in our day-to-day lives. While designed with kids in mind, most of these activities are great for adults too! We’ve included free printable activities that you can do at home, including a gratitude yoga flow, a gratitude scavenger hunt, and more. To use, simply print off each page, and follow the instructions.
You can teach your kids gratitude with a daily gratitude jar activity. Each day, ask your little ones to write down something they’re thankful for. The power of positive thinking can improve their mood and happiness.
To do this activity at home, you’ll need:
- 3 sheets of regular paper
- 1 sheet of sticker paper
- A color printer
- A mason jar
Directions: Start your gratitude jar by printing the cards below on colored paper. Cut along the lines to get 10 gratitude to-do’s. For a full month’s supply, print three times. From there, replace your regular paper with sticker paper and print the gratitude jar label. Cut this label and attach to a mason jar. Voila! You’re ready to start your gratitude jar. Decorate your jar with colorful ribbon or paint.
Gratitude Yoga Poster
Teach your kids to exercise regularly as a way to thank their body and mind. Did you know that exercising for 150 minutes a week can extend your life by 3.4 years? Yoga is a great fitness routine because it combines physical action with reflection.
This 6-step gratitude yoga exercise is focused on both inner gratitude and appreciation for the world around us. It’s designed with kiddos in mind so you’ll find an easy and relaxing flow below.
To do this yoga flow at home, you’ll need:
- 1 sheet of regular paper
- A yoga mat
Directions: Start by printing the yoga exercise poster below. Then, find a spot in your house or yard to lay your mat. Make sure there is a place to hang your poster visibly nearby. Repeat the flow below three times.
Create a beautiful display in your home full of well wishes and thanks with a gratitude tree. While this craft especially popular during Thanksgiving, your little ones can hang messages on the gratitude tree year-round.
For this craft you’ll need:
- 2-3 sheets of regular paper
- A color printer
Directions: Start by printing the tree poster. Hang this in a visible spot in your home that your kids can easily reach. Then, print the sheet of colorful leaves. The greenery is great for spring/summer, whereas the jewel-toned leaves are great for fall/winter. Cut each leaf out individually and then begin writing your messages of gratitude.
Thank You Notes
Remind your kids to say ‘thank you’ to help instill gratitude, even for the smallest things. While bringing out thank you cards is especially important after your little ones receive birthday gifts or presents over the holidays, remind them that they can thank friends and family year-round.
For this simple activity, you’ll need:
- 1 sheet of regular paper or cardstock
- A color printer
Directions: Print your thank you notes at home on regular paper (or cardstock for a sturdier feel). Make sure to use color ink to take advantage of our colorful and creative design. When you’re finished printing, cut along the lines so you have individual thank you notes. Then, start writing your messages of thanks.
Gratitude Scavenger Hunt
Every once in awhile it’s important to remind your kiddos to stop and smell the roses. One great way to remind them of the little things in life they enjoy is through a gratitude scavenger hunt!
This activity will send your little ones on a mission to capture photographs of their favorite things at home and in the yard. They’ll find that they don’t have to go far to discover items that bring them joy and happiness.
Turn this into a competition with family members or friends by timing the hunt. Whoever completes their sheet the fastest wins.
To go on a gratitude scavenger hunt, you’ll need:
- Regular paper
- A printer
- A camera or camera phone
Directions: Once you’ve printed the scavenger hunt sheet below, get your camera or camera phone ready. Then, set off to snap pictures of your favorite things and check each item off the list once you’ve captured a photo. Once you have all of the photos collected, you can arrange them in a scrapbook so you can revisit the photos.
More Free Gratitude Activities
Discover more fun ways to practice gratitude with this list of printable activities:
- Download this free random acts of kindness bingo game to encourage good deeds.
- Host a month of gratitude with this printable that encourages kindness, love, and thanks.
- Play a game of gratitude pick up sticks with a printable from Teach Beside Me.
- Color in the lines of these gratitude-themed coloring pages from Thirty Handmade Days.
- Teach kids to dream big and embrace the future with a dream board craft.
- Thank a great friend with this gift basket idea and printable tag.
- Make something tasty in the kitchen and attach a thankful gratitude tag to gift to a friend.
- Give your favorite instructor a teacher appreciation gift with this free beary best gift tag.
- Organize a bake sale fundraiser and use these bake sale printables to stay organized.
- Print and frame these gratitude quotes from Classy Clutter for an easy DIY.
- Hang a gratitude thank you banner in your home with this simple DIY.
- Find more printable gratitude quotes here from Sister’s What.
- Create this gratitude garland craft so you can hang sentimental decor in your home.
- Paint colorful and creative thankful rocks as a visual reminder to be grateful.
Holiday Gratitude Activities
- Say “I love you” with a Valentine’s Day gratitude chalkboard DIY from Little Red Window.
- Have your kids count their blessings with this Thanksgiving tree activity.
- Hang this lucky gratitude banner around St. Patrick’s Day as a gratitude reminder.
- Get in the holiday spirit with this gratitude ornament craft from Little Bins for Little Hands.
- Discover how to make a gratitude tablecloth to practice thankfulness at dinnertime.
- Write thank you cards for special people in your life using thankful cards and envelopes.
- Find gratitude bible verses with this free printable from Not Consumed.
- Practice meditating with printable breathing exercise cards for kids.
- Learn how to say thank you in 11 different languages with this printable.
- Encourage your kids to DIY a gratitude journal where they can write down the things they are grateful for.
- Discover Art Journalist’s 45 gratitude journal prompts.
Gratitude is transformative and powerful. Take time each day to appreciate the gift of life and teach your children how to build lives full of meaning.
From family and friends to the earth and beyond, there’s so much to be grateful for. Discover how Bestow can help you and your family live healthier, happier lives full of purpose today.