Gratitude jars are an easy way to build gratitude in your family or classroom by taking the time every day to recognize what you’re grateful for. Check out these fun gratitude jar ideas for different ways to share and express gratitude all month long!
And I’ll apologize now if you aren’t a Thanksgiving person because they are going to keep on coming over the next few weeks. I’m just a bit behind this year and have all sorts of fun Thanksgiving games left to share!
Feel free to right to all my Christmas games instead!
A typical tradition during Thanksgiving dinner is to go around the table and have everyone say something that they’re thankful for, or at least that’s how it worked at my house.
I always hate having to come up with the perfect answer on the spot, the answer that no one else thought of and that isn’t a generic “my family,” type answer.
This year I thought it would be fun to take the tradition one step further and come up with things I’m grateful for all month long and create a gratitude jar to keep them all in.
It’s a simple jar that I can fill up with the things I’m grateful for as I think of them including the random ones like Amazon.com and fuzzy socks to the more important ones like my kids and my beliefs.
Our jar is a very basic one with just a piece of cute ribbon on it, but I thought it would be fun to share different gratitude jar ideas in case you want to do something similar!
What is a Gratitude Jar
A gratitude jar is an activity where participants write down things they are grateful for on pieces of paper and put them in a jar that will later be shared with the group at the end of November or even around the table at Thanksgiving!
There are many different types of gratitude jars, but they all work similarly: a group fills a jar with items or quotes that inspire them or remind them of how fortunate they are.
This jar can be found at your local dollar store and the cost of it may vary depending on where you purchase it from or you can use any type of container for your gratitude jar – some people like mason jars while others prefer an old shoe box!
Gratitude jars are an easy way to build gratitude in your family or classroom by taking the time every day to recognize what you’re grateful for.
How to Use a Gratitude Jar
There are a number of ways to use gratitude jars depending on how much time you have and what your goals are. A couple of easy ways we’ve used them in the past include:
- As a family activity during November where everyone contributes one thing a day they are grateful for then we take them out and read them anonymously at the end of the month before we move onto these fun Christmas activities!
- As a Thanksgiving activity where everyone takes a few minutes to write things down before the meal! Then between the mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, we read through the things in the jar together.
- As a way to work on being kind to others and recognizing the people we appreciate in our lives. Instead of just putting in things we’re grateful for, we put in kind things people did for us and why we’re grateful for that person. It goes nicely with this Thanksgiving dice game.
- As one of our gratitude activities during this gratitude game with the kids!
Gratitude Jar Ideas
Many people are looking for gratitude jar ideas to help them think about gratitude and different ways to collect and share it. If you need some fresh ideas, this post will provide some simple gratitude jar ideas that can be used with kids, adults or by yourself!
I tried to include a variety of different ideas for doing some sort of gratitude jar activity, not just different containers!
Tips for Creating Gratitude Jars
As you’re planning out your own gratitude jar activity, here are a few tips to keep in mind!
Let people get creative. You may want to write your items, someone else may want to draw or even paint their items. The goal is just to foster positivity and gratitude so let people do it however they want.
Read through things in the jar at least once a month, if not once a week. It’ll help keep people motivated and on track to keep writing down the things they’re grateful for.
Make it a celebration when you fill the jar or when you hit the date you’re going to read what’s inside. Go somewhere to eat or order in and really make going through the jar something to celebrate and enjoy!
Don’t think anything is too small to make it in the gratitude jar. Explain to everyone participating that this is what they are grateful for. It’s okay if it’s something as simple as their alarm going off on time or getting to play with a friend after school. The goal is to think about what makes us blessed and anything and everything does that.
Gratitude Jar FAQs
You can fill a gratitude jar once a day, anytime you’re feeling grateful, or really any time you want! The idea is just to fill it regularly to foster more appreciation for the blessings in our lives.
Gratitude jars help people remember to be thankful! It’s easy to take things in our lives for granted when we don’t stop to think about them sometimes. A gratitude jar can remind us to keep track of these good things so that we always feel appreciated, rather than neglected or taken for granted.
Grab any container you want that’s large enough to hold pieces of paper inside. Then decorate it however you see fit – glitter, ribbons, mod podge, photos, etc. You can also decorate the inside with things you love like flowers, confetti, shells, and more.
More Thanksgiving Activities
If you’re looking for more ways to enjoy the Thanksgiving season together, try some of these fun activities with your family!
- Thanksgiving pictionary – forget talking, try drawing some of those things you’re grateful for in this silly Thanksgiving game!
- Thanksgiving would you rather – would you rather eat turkey every day or mashed potatoes? Lots of fun questions for the entire family!
- Thanksgiving charades – a Thanksgiving version of the classic game of charades! Or try one of my favorite party games for adults and make it a round of reverse charades instead!
- Thanksgiving bingo – free printable Thanksgiving bingo cards, perfect for a Thanksgiving feast or Friendsgiving!
- Thanksgiving trivia – grab a sheet of Thanksgiving trivia questions or just place cards around the room for people to quiz themselves in between the sausage stuffing and apple pie!
Note: This post was originally written in 2013 as just directions for how we created our give thanks jar. It has since been updated to include more details and other people’s gratitude jar ideas!