Thanksgiving is a great time to join together with family, fill our bellies with yummy turkey and stuffing, and give thanks for all of our blessings.
It’s also a perfect time to actively help our children and teens practice expressing gratitude.
Here are some fun ideas to help you teach gratitude to your kiddos. A few of these ideas are specifically for Thanksgiving, but many can be used throughout the year. Try a few ideas now and bookmark it for later as you continue to raise those grateful children all year long.
DIY Gratitude Tablecloth
Cover your table with brown or white butcher paper and set out some drawing supplies like gel crayons and washable markers for everyone to draw or write things they are thankful for. It’s a simple, fun way to sneak in some handwriting and drawing while expressing a tableful of gratitude. Great idea, Boulder Locavore!
Image: Boulder Locavore
Grateful Coloring Sheet
Here’s an eye-catching coloring sheet that children, teens, and even adults will want to fill out and color in using some colored pencils. Have the older kids help the younger ones with the reading and writing. Then let each person share their finished work of gratitude while enjoying a piece of pumpkin pie. You can find the link over at Thirty Handmade Days.
Image: Thirty Handmade Days
Grateful Conversation Starters
Conversation starters are another great way to express gratitude with your children. These Thanksgiving Grateful Cards from Raising Teens Today are a simple way for even older kids and teens to share their own grateful thoughts and ideas around the Thanksgiving table.
Image: Raising Teens Today
Gratitude Cootie Catcher
Remember cootie catchers? Here’s a Thanksgiving version to print out on cardstock, and let your kiddo color in, fold up, and use for a fun way to choose one of 16 different gratitude discussion questions. Grab the full directions and template over at Bren Did.
Image: Bren Did
Grab an empty jar and create your own Give Thanks jar, like this cute one on Doodlebug Design. Have the whole family jot down each thing they are thankful for on a strip of patterned cardstock until your jar fills with gratitude. You can read them together and then add to your family scrapbook.
Image: Amanda Coleman for Doodlebug Design
Here’s a grateful twist on a classic game of Tic-Tac-Toe to discuss all kinds of things you are thankful for, including people, skills, and memories. It’s simple and quick enough for everyone to play. Print out multiple copies of this Thanksgiving Gratitude Tic-Tac-Toe sheet over on Paper Heart Family and let the games begin.
Image: Paper Heart Family
Gratitude Photo Scavenger Hunt
Looking for an active way for kids and teens to practice some gratitude this Thanksgiving? Print copies of this fun Scavenger Hunt from Healthy Happy Impactful and have your kids find and take photos of all the items on the list. Then regroup and share all the photos with each other. Or try this alternate link for a Gratitude Scavenger Hunt from Bestow.
Image: Healthy Happy Impactful
Writing thank you cards is a great way for your children to practice handwriting and express gratitude all year. This Gratitude Printable Pack from Not Consumed contains cute fall thank you cards and a list to keep track of the thank you’s they have written. Also included is a faith-based photo scavenger hunt.
Image: Not Consumed
The Gratitude Game
Your children can practice gratitude while playing the classic game of pick-up sticks. Just grab some colored dowel rods and head over to Teach Beside Me for the full directions and download. You can also find a Skittles version of The Gratitude Game at Play Party Plan or a M&M version over at Happy Go Lucky.
Image: Teach Beside Me
Gratitude Phone Scavenger Hunt
Here’s a way for children, teens, and adults to express gratitude this Thanksgiving using the photos from their phone. Just print copies of this Phone Scavenger Hunt from Edventures with Kids and let the scrolling and grateful discussions begin! You can find another phone scavenger hunt over at bre pea.
Image: Edventures with Kids
Grateful Cookie Tag
Baking cookies or another sweet treat to share with others is a perfect way to practice some cooking skills and some gratitude at Thanksgiving and throughout the year. You can add a Grateful Thanksgiving Tag like this one from Thirty Handmade Days, who also has a recipe for yummy frosted pumpkin cookies.
Image: Thirty Handmade Days
Hope you found these ideas for teaching gratitude to your children to be helpful. I’d love to hear how they work for your family. Comment below with your favorites and continue raising those grateful kids!