Five Thanksgiving Activities to Encourage Gratitude πŸ¦ƒ

How do you encourage gratitude in kids? I've got you covered!

Child Sitting With Fall Leaves

It's Thanksgiving time, and that means it's time to be grateful for all the good things in our lives. Thanksgiving is a special holiday when we get to spend time with our families and friends and enjoy a delicious meal. But it's also a time to remember how lucky we are for all the things we have.

My mom lately has been saying that kids aren't as grateful for the things they have, more than likely because of how easy it's given to us. I'm not speaking for all kids, obviously, but when she talks about what she had growing up compared to what I now have, I can certainly see where she's coming from. But Thanksgiving shouldn't be the only time we think about gratitude; but it is a great place to start.  

Thanksgiving Activities to Encourage Gratitude

What is Gratitude?

Gratitude is the feeling of being thankful for the good things in your life. It is a powerful emotion that can have many benefits, including:

  • Reduced stress

  • Increased happiness

  • Stronger relationships

  • Better sleep

  • Improved physical health

Why is it Important to Teach Kids Gratitude?

Teaching kids gratitude is important because it can help them develop a positive outlook on life. When kids are grateful, they are more likely to focus on the good things in their lives, even when things are tough. This can help them cope with stress and adversity more effectively.

Fun Thanksgiving Activities to Encourage Gratitude

Here are some fun Thanksgiving activities that you can do with your kids to encourage gratitude:

1. Make a Gratitude Tree


A large piece of paper or cardboard

Markers or crayons

Construction paper in fall colors


Draw a tree trunk on the large piece of paper or cardboard.

Have your kids cut out leaves from the construction paper in fall colors.

On each leaf, have your kids write something they are grateful for.

Glue the leaves to the tree trunk.

You can hang your gratitude tree on the wall or display it on the Thanksgiving table.

2. Play a Gratitude Game

This game is a fun and easy way to get kids talking about what they are grateful for.


Have each person sit in a circle.

Start by saying something you are grateful for, such as "I am grateful for my family."

The next person in the circle repeats what you said and then adds something they are grateful for.

Continue around the circle, with each person repeating what the previous person said and then adding something new.

You can play this game for as long as you like. It is a great way to get kids thinking about all the good things in their lives.

3. Write a Gratitude Letter

Have your kids write a gratitude letter to someone they are thankful for. This could be a parent, grandparent, teacher, friend, or anyone else who has made a positive impact on their life.

In the letter, have your kids write about what they are grateful for and why. They can also share a specific memory or story about the person they are writing to.

4. Do a Gratitude Walk

Take your kids on a walk outside and have them pay attention to all the things they are grateful for. They could be grateful for the sun shining, the birds singing, or the leaves changing color.

You can also have your kids collect natural objects, such as leaves, acorns, and rocks. They can then use these objects to make a gratitude craft or collage.

5. Volunteer Your Time

Volunteering is a great way to show your gratitude for the good things in your life. It is also a great way to teach kids about the importance of giving back to the community.

On Thanksgiving Day, you and your kids could volunteer at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter. You could also donate food or clothing to a charity.

In Conclusion

These are just a few ideas for fun Thanksgiving activities that kids can do to encourage gratitude. By teaching kids to be grateful, you can help them develop a positive outlook on life and appreciate all the good things they have.

Here are some additional tips for encouraging gratitude in kids:

  • Model gratitude yourself. Kids learn by watching the adults in their lives. If you are grateful for the good things in your life, your child will be more likely to be grateful, too.

  • Talk about gratitude regularly. Make gratitude a part of your daily conversations. For example, you can start each day by talking about one thing you are grateful for.

  • Create a gratitude journal. Have your child keep a gratitude journal where they can write down things they are grateful for each day.

  • Make gratitude a part of your Thanksgiving traditions. For example, you could have a gratitude circle at the Thanksgiving table where everyone shares one thing they are grateful for.

By following these tips, you can help your child develop a lifelong habit of gratitude.

Have a happy and grateful Thanksgiving!

Also, check out our post on the best places to visit for Thanksgiving in the US with kids.