Use these fun gratitude activities for kids (and adults too!) to teach kids more about gratitude and showing more gratitude in their lives! There are tons of gratitude activity ideas as well as free printable cards with activities to work on gratitude throughout the month!
Simple Gratitude Activities
As my boys get older, one of the things we are working on daily is trying to show more gratitude in our lives. It’s tough. They’ve been given a lot in their short lives, and I want to teach them not to take that for granted.
Everything has helped so far, but I like to try new things each year so I don’t lose them. They like changing things up, like most kids I know.
12 days of Thanksgiving files
If you came here looking for the old 12 days of Thanksgiving files, you can get those here. I’ve since updated the post with new gratitude activities for kids since those old ones were so tailored to my own children. This update is full of all good things for kids to do to help with an attitude of gratitude but without the 12 day labels.
Gratitude Activity Cards
This year I made out these gratitude cards that have gratitude activities for kids (or the entire family) on them. Some of them are a bit more work and some of them are just simple things like saying something nice to someone else.
The idea is that each week we’ll pick out a couple of cards to do that week. You could do one card daily, but some of them take a bit more planning and thought, so we are picking out a couple a week.
Then when Thanksgiving week rolls around, we’ll try to do one each day.
Or if you want to make it even more fun, you could even create this gratitude punch game and put them inside!
Each of the cards has something different on it but all of them are easy enough that kids can do them but nothing that’s so basic that older kids won’t be okay joining in the fun as well.
Switching up who chooses the activity whether you choose randomly or let them actually choose is a great way to get the entire family involved. Young children and older children alike enjoy being involved and feeling like they have some say in things!
One of the things that my kids have loved most about these is not being able to look at them before they choose. We have them all in a Thanksgiving bowl folded up.
Then each week when we’re going to choose our activities, we each pick one out and read it aloud (and I help the littler kids with the reading).
It’s more fun when it’s a surprise or at least it has been for my kids. I think it just makes the gratitude more fun! And it’s my favorite thing to see how excited they are to open the activities, even though they’re all gratitude activities!
Okay it’s one of my favorite things. There are plenty of positive things we’ve gotten out of these cards!
Ways to Use these Cards
There are a lot of different things you can do with these cards but if you’re looking for some creative family fun, these are some unique ways you can use them! You still get all of the benefits for gratitude while adding in a little fun!
1 – Use them as boredom busters
If someone says they’re bored during November, they do one of these gratitude exercises. You’ll be surprised how quickly kids will start saying they’re bored just to flex their gratitude muscle, especially if you fill your jar with the best gratitude activities.
And one of the best parts is that it’s a wonderful way to teach a sense of gratitude.
2 – Use them to plan your family nights
If you want to do some more of the more time consuming gratitude challenges, pick one a week and use it as the focus of a night of gratitude for the whole family. Plan it out together, do it together with a positive attitude, and talk about the wonderful way it made you all feel.
3 – Hang them on a gratitude mobile
Once you’re done with the activities, hang them up somewhere for everyone to see all of the fun activities you’ve completed in the month! Make it a mobile that hangs and spins, a gratitude tree up on the wall, or just put them somewhere everyone can see!
Break up the more time-consuming gratitude lessons with simpler ones so that everyone doesn’t get burnt out on gratitude by day two! Choose a simple exercise like saying something you’re grateful for would be the perfect activity sandwiched between doing gratitude crafts and writing thank you cards.
Gratitude Activities for Kids
The downloadable file also includes some blank cards so if you want to add in your own gratitude activities you can do that as well. I’ve included a huge list of gratitude activities below if you need some more ideas to get you started!
These are in addition to the 24 gratitude activities already on the cards!
- Go on a hike to enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
- Rake leaves for someone.
- Walk around your neighborhood and pick up trash.
- Collect leaves to make a craft (one of these fun turkey crafts would be perfect).
- Draw a picture for your friends.
- Make a craft for someone else. These DIY ornaments for kids could be fun!
- Bake treats for your neighbors. These pumpkin cookies or these pumpkin snickerdoodles are always a win.
- Donate food to a food bank (this supermarket sweep game is a fun way to do that).
- Buy the people’s food behind you at a drive-thru.
- Donate a meal at a grocery store .
- Have friends over for lunch or dinner.
- Send someone a text just to say hi.
- Put together an inexpensive gift basket and leave it as a surprise for someone with one of these thank you tags.
- Pick out a couple of your toys (or clothes) to donate.
- Do a chore for a sibling.
- Help your parents without being asked.
- Say thank you every time someone does something for you today.
- Listen to music that makes you happy.
- Spend time with your favorite people.
- Look at pictures of past vacations and talk about your favorite memories from them.
- Draw pictures to send to relatives in the mail.
- Tell a family member something you love about them.
- Go on a gratitude walk. Every time you see something specific (like a basketball hoop), say something you’re grateful for.
- Put sticky notes up around the house with things you’re grateful for.
- Play this Skittles gratitude game with your family.
- Write in a gratitude journal. It’s great for your mental health and so helpful to look at during difficult times!
- Express gratitude to someone you normally wouldn’t like the mailman.
- Make these heart treats then talk about having a grateful heart.
- Go on a gratitude scavenger hunt using this alphabet scavenger hunt. Find things for all letters for the alphabet you’re grateful for.
- Make a thankful tree using leaves you collect on a walk.
- Volunteer in a soup kitchen (if that’s allowed and you have kids who are old enough to help).
- Write things you’re grateful for on a gratitude pumpkin (my friend just told me about this, and I love the idea).
- Collect rocks on a walk and turn them into gratitude rocks with things you’re grateful for!
- Read gratitude quotes together and make a whole gratitude wall full of your favorites! This compassion quote is one of my favorites.
- Do random acts of kindness for an entire weekend! Use these random act of kindness cards to get you started!
- Write letters of gratitude to people who have blessed you but that you may not speak to regularly (old teachers, leaders, etc.). Either just use normal paper or write on the back of these thank you tags!
- Read your favorite gratitude books. I love the little ones that have gratitude notes and quotes for the entire year!
- Make a gratitude collage by cutting out magazine pictures of things you’re grateful for.
- Write a list of non material things that you’re grateful for! Even better if you write them down on slips of paper and make a gratitude paper chain you can hang up somewhere!
- Call a family member you don’t talk to often just to talk. Or if you don’t have anything to talk about, ask them questions in this family interview.
Don’t feel like you have to do everything on this list or everything on the cards! There are so many benefits of gratitude whether you incorporate it into your daily life, do something once a week, or even just do one whole day of full of thankful activities. Do what fits your life!
More Thanksgiving Printables
If you’re looking for more fun activities to do during the month of November or even throughout the holiday season, these are some of our favorites!
- Thanksgiving coloring pages – tons of free designs that works for kids of all ages!
- Turkey hunt – this fun game will have people looking for turkeys on a regular basis or at least on Thanksgiving Day! It’s a fun activity for everyone to enjoy!
- Thanksgiving scavenger hunt – the best part of this is that after following all of the clues, there’s a surprise at the end!
- Thanksgiving trivia – tons of great trivia questions including some for younger children, some for teens, and even some for adults!
- Free printable Thanksgiving placemats – let young kids show their creative side when they color and design their own placemats!
want more Thanksgiving printables?
Get the Free Gratitude Activities
Enter your first name and email address below to get the free printable. You’ll receive a copy to your email within minutes.
If you’d prefer to not provide your email for the gratitude activities, you can buy a copy in my shop here.
If you can’t see the form below, click here to get to the form to enter your info.
The PDF fill will include:
- Three pages of gratitude cards perfect for this time of year
- One blank page that you can use to write your own gratitude prompts
- Use policy – everything is for personal use only