Home Class Tools 38 Gratitude Activities for Kids That Are Actually Meaningful

38 Gratitude Activities for Kids That Are Actually Meaningful

by


It can be too easy at times to focus on the things that go wrong rather than the things that go right for us. And that can be especially difficult for still-developing brains. Practicing an attitude of gratitude is a skill that students can be taught. Focusing on the things we are grateful for in our lives can help enhance our mood. A regular gratitude practice can also have benefits for physical health that lead to better sleep and enhance immunity. There is no better time than now to work on gratitude with your students since we are heading into the Thanksgiving season. Whether you are in the mood for a game, an activity, or a craft project, there is something for everyone on our list of meaningful gratitude activities for kids of all ages.

Jump to:

Elementary School Gratitude Activities

Middle School Gratitude Activities

Gratitude Activities for Kids in Elementary School

1. Gratitude scavenger hunt

Title says Gratitude Nature Scavenger Hunt with a list of items to find in this example of gratitude activities for kids.
All Natural Adventures/scavenger hunt via allnaturaladventures.com

Print out this fun, gratitude-focused scavenger hunt, then let your students loose to find things that speak to them!

Learn more: All Natural Adventures

2. Thankful turkey craft

Gratitude activities for kids include this turkey craft that has several brightly colored photos that have things the student is grateful for written on them.
Happiness Is Homemade/Thanksgiving craft via happinessishomemade.net

Encourage students to share what they’re thankful for with this adorable turkey craft made from construction paper.

Learn more: Happiness Is Homemade

3. Pumpkin pie spinner

Gratitude activities for kids include this pretend pie that says
The Catholic Toolbox/pumpkin pie spinner via catholicblogger1.blogspot.com

This gratitude craft looks so good you could practically eat it!

Learn more: The Catholic Toolbox

4. Pickup sticks: Gratitude Edition

Gratitude activities for kids include this piece of paper that has color coded gratitude prompts that match up with colors of the pile of pickup sticks.
Teach Beside Me/Pick-up sticks via teachbesideme.com

A simple yet fun variation on the classic game pickup sticks, students will select a stick and then find the corresponding gratitude prompt.

Learn more: Teach Beside Me

5. A turkey puppet show about gratitude

puppets are made from brown cotton gloves. They are made to look like turkeys with feathers glued to four of the fingers.
Dream a Little Bigger/feathered turkey puppet via dreamalittlebigger.com

Have your students create these adorable turkey puppets and then let them put on a puppet show expressing their gratitude for various things in their lives.

Learn more: Dream a Little Bigger

6. Gratitude alphabet

A sheet has space for students to write something they are grateful for that begins with every letter of the alphabet.
The Keele Deal/10 Thanksgiving Traditions via thekeeledeal.com

This one will prove challenging since students will be tasked to come up with some unconventional words to express their gratitude.

Learn more: The Keele Deal

7. Gratitude hopscotch

A hopscotch is drawn on pavement and has kindness activities written inside it in chalk.
Carol Miller Counseling Essentials/gratitude hopscotch via counselingessentials.org

A way to practice gratitude while also getting in some physical fitness—yes, please!

Learn more: Counseling Essentials

8. Thankful turkey coloring page

A coloring page with a key and a turkey waiting to be colored in is shown.
Mama Miss/Turkey coloring page via mamamiss.com

This fun color-by-number gratitude activity for kids keeps little hands busy and little hearts grateful.

Learn more: Mama Miss

9. Gratitude garland

Gratitude activities for kids include a garland made of small squares with expressions of gratitude on them are strung together on a string and hung on a mantle.
Teaching Expertise/20 Gratitude Activities for Middle School Students via teachingexpertise.com

Gratitude activities for kids that double as decoration are certainly some of our favorites! The longer the garland, the more abundant the gratitude.

Learn more: Teaching Expertise

10. Gratitude reading

The cover of the book The Thankful Book is shown. Several cartoon children are sitting at a table. Gratitude activities for kids include books.
Amazon

Choose some gratitude-focused books to add to your classroom library, then let students choose which they want to read.

Buy it: The Thankful Book

11. Gratitude sphere

Gratitude activities include this twine ball that has burlap ornaments hanging from it with things written on them that students are thankful for.
Hello, Wonderful/Thanksgiving gratitude sphere via hellowonderful.co

If you love rustic decor, this is the gratitude project for you and your students. Grab a twine ball, some burlap, and some string to get started.

Learn more: Hello, Wonderful

12. Gratitude drawing prompts

Colored pencils line the bottom of the page. There are a number of gratitude based writing prompts listed.
Let’s Lasso the Moon/10 Gratitude Drawing Prompts via letslassothemoon.com

Have your students complete a different gratitude-based drawing prompt each day.

Learn more: Let’s Lasso the Moon

13. Thankful turkey wreath

A construction paper wreath looks like a wreath. The body is made of feathers in a circle.
Fun Learning for Kids/Thankful turkey wreath via funlearningforkids.com

This colorful Thanksgiving wreath is the perfect craft for reminding kids about the importance of being grateful for everything we have.

Learn more: Fun Learning for Kids

14. Thankfulness chain

Construction paper loops are glued together to form a long chain. Strips of paper are in a basket beside the chains.
Hustle & Homeschool/thankfulness paper chain via hustleandhomeschool.com

We love that all you need to do this project is some construction paper and markers. We also love the nostalgia of making paper chains leading up to holidays.

Learn more: Hustle & Homeschool

15. Thanksgiving gratitude game

Multiple sheets of paper are surrounded by rainbow colored M&M's.
Kara Creates/Thanksgiving gratitude Game via karacreates.com

Ask students to list all of the things they are thankful for with this free, cute, and simple printable.

Learn more: Kara Creates

16. Gratitude tree

A construction paper tree has leaves on it that have things students are grateful for on them.
Made With Happy/thankful tree craft via madewithhappy.com

This lovely gratitude tree is easy to make and gives everyone an opportunity to think about being thankful every day.

Learn more: Made With Happy

17. Gratitude flowers

Gratitude Activities for Kids include this flower with leaves that say things like hugs, play, mommy.
Blissful Kids/Mindfulness for Kids via blissfulkids.com

Have students grow a garden of positivity and thankfulness with these beautiful gratitude flowers.

Learn more: Blissful Kids

18. Gratitude stones

rocks are decorated in this example of gratitude activities for kids.
Fireflies and Mud Pies/How To Make Gratitude Stones via firefliesandmudpies.com

This is one of the simplest gratitude activities for kids. Ask them to gather some stones and then paint hearts or thankful words on them. They can then take them home and distribute them around the neighborhood!

Learn more: Fireflies and Mud Pies

19. Thank-you coloring pages

Five worksheets/thank you notes are shown in this example of gratitude activities for kids.
We Are Teachers/Free Essential Workers Coloring Pages via weareteachers.com

While this was a popular activity during the pandemic, it’s always a good time to show appreciation for healthcare workers and people in the service industry. These adorable coloring pages are free to download and print.

20. Gratitude yoga

Yoga is a great tool to teach kids mindfulness while still being a lot of fun. Cosmic Kids Yoga videos are some of the best out there. A regular yoga practice can teach kids (and adults) to be grateful for the things they have in their lives.

21. Thank you in sign language

Gratitude activities include learning sign language - a boy is shown signing please, thank you, and sorry.
wckiw/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Teaching kids to say please, thank you, and sorry is certainly an important part of teaching gratitude. Teaching kids sign language can teach them gratitude while also encouraging acceptance.

22. Compliment circle

Kids legs are shown sitting in a circle. Text reads Compliment Circles.
Paige Bessick/compliment circles via paigebessick.com

This is such a great way to create a kind and inclusive classroom while also teaching students to be grateful for the things that make them and their classmates special. Have kids sit in a circle with their legs out straight and then choose one student to begin by giving a classmate a compliment. Once a student has received a compliment, they sit crisscross applesauce so that others can see who is still left to compliment.

Learn more: Compliment Circles at Paige Bessick: The Interactive Teacher

Gratitude Activities for Kids in Middle School

23. Gratitude wall

A wall with post its is shown. The notes contain things the students are grateful for.
Ulliance/An Attitude of Gratitude via blog.ulliance.com

Ask kids to think of one simple thing they are thankful for each night. Then, have them write it on a piece of paper or index card to hang on the wall. You can even have them build a wall at home too!

Learn more: Blog Ulliance

24. Gratitude journal

Gratitude Activities for Kids include this free printable that has gratitude journal prompts on it.
We Are Teachers/Thanksgiving Writing Paper Plus 15 Gratitude Writing Prompts via weareteachers.com

Help kids make gratitude a habit with mindful journaling at the end of every day. They can use these free printables and write about any of the prompts included.

25. Gratitude mobiles

Several mobiles are shown with beads and charms hanging from them including words of gratefulness.
Meri Cherry/gratitude mobiles via mericherry.com

Gratitude activities for middle school should leave room for individuality, like these pretty and unique mobiles. Students will enjoy personalizing them with their favorite charms while also including notes of gratitude.

Learn more: Meri Cherry

26. Roll the Dice gratitude game

A board has gratitude prompts for each roll of a dice.
Playful Notes/Roll the Dice gratitude game via playfulnotes.com

This is a fun way for students to express gratitude, and all you’ll need is a printable and some dice!

Learn more: Playful Notes

27. Gratitude letter/email

Encourage your students to draft a letter or email of gratitude. This powerful exercise involves kids personally thanking someone for being in their lives. A handwritten letter might feel more meaningful, but a heartfelt email comes close! Since gratitude activities for middle school can be a little more involved, you may want to set a minimum word count.

28. Clothespin gratitude wreath

A wreath is made of clothespins with things students are grateful for written on it.
Chica and Jo/Thanksgiving clothespin wreath via chicaandjo.com

We love this fun, collaborative craft since supplies are minimal but the effect is big!

Learn more: Chica and Jo

29. A jar full of thanks

A child sits in a chair beside a highly decorated jar writing on a strip of paper.
Castle View Academy/Pay It Forward With a Jar Full of Thanks via castleviewacademy.com

This will work for any age group. Have students use a variety of materials to personalize their jars, then have them write something they are grateful for each day and put it inside their jar.

Learn more: Castle View Academy

30. Gratitude collage/vision board

Gratitude activities for kids include this collage made up of ripped up magazines and pictures.
Tondra Denise/ordinary moments via tondradenise.blogspot.com

Students can look through magazines or take their own pictures to create a collage or vision board of things that make them feel thankful.

Learn more: Make a Gratitude Collage at Tondra Denise

31. Thankful nature walk

Encourage students to take a nature walk to appreciate all of the beautiful and amazing things around us that we often take for granted. Take it a step further and have them journal about their experience.

32. Gratitude pumpkin

A pumpkin is made from strips of construction paper. The strips say
The Moffatt Girls/November Fun-Filled Learning Resources via themoffattgirls.com

These adorable pumpkins will be a breeze for older kids to construct. Plus they will look cute on their desks!

Learn more: The Moffatt Girls

33. Gratitude conversation starters

A family is shown sitting around a dinner table.
Creative Family Fun/Gratitude Conversation Starters via creativefamilyfun.net

This is the perfect activity for children of all ages since you can cater the conversation starters to the age of the students. This would make for a great activity for students to do with their families around the dinner table as well.

Learn more: Creative Family Fun

34. Watercolor gratitude project

A spiral watercolor project is made with watercolors and there is writing in the spirals that includes what students are grateful for.
The Arty Teacher/Thanksgiving Art Lesson or Gratitude Spiral via theartyteacher.com

This might just be the prettiest gratitude project on this list. Get your watercolors and Sharpies ready and then have your students get to work.

Learn more: The Arty Teacher

35. Donation bin

A cardboard box has donation written on it. It is filled with school supplies.
Mukhina1/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Teaching kids the power of giving back can also help them appreciate the things they have. Regardless of whether you are collecting school supplies or taking donations of winter hats and gloves, kids will learn how good it feels to give to those in need.

36. Chore chart

Teaching kids to be grateful also teaches kids not to be entitled. Gratitude activities for middle school can involve them taking on more responsibility both at home and in the classroom. Have them keep a chore chart at home that they return at the end of the month.

37. Gratitude letter to family

A person is shown from the waist down writing a letter in this example of gratitude activities for kids.
peshkov iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Have students reflect on the ways in which they are grateful for their families and then write a letter to them expressing that.

38. Flip complaints into positives

A girl is in a classroom with her head in her hands looking mildly frustrated.
Paul Bradbury/OJO Images via Getty Images

Regardless of your disposition, we all have negative thoughts from time to time. In this social-emotional learning exercise, students write out negative thoughts and then attempt to replace them with more positive ones.

Learn more: Flipping Complaints Into Gratitude at Greater Good in Education

Also check out 15 Books To Teach Kids About Mindfulness.

Want more articles like this? Be sure to subscribe to our newsletters.



Source link

You may also like